Friday, November 29, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year we celebrated Thanksgiving just our family unit.  It was strange not being surrounded by family but at the same time it was a lot of fun to focus on making this holiday a special one for Nolan since he is starting to understand that holidays are special days.  So we started the day off with some pumpkin waffles that I pre-made the night before.  They were very good, the recipe made just enough, everyone liked them, there was little to clean up after and it felt a little special.
 Next we watched the Thanksgiving Day Parade which was really fun.  Nolan was very interested and Emily was wildly excited about watching the dance numbers.  I was weepy at how special this felt, all of us watching the parade just as I remembered doing when I was little.  I loved the big balloons and shed a tear when they made the big announcement that the balloons WOULD be flying this year.  After the parade I made a scavenger hunt for Nolan to do.  I wanted to get him outside if only for a little bit.  The 'something soft' thing he found was our neighbors dog and the something beautiful he declared was our family (with a little bit of help from me after walking around the yard a few times searching for flowers).  This is the stick he chose and decided it looked like a reindeer's antlers.
 After lunch and naps we made turkey headbands to wear at dinner.  THIS was awesome.  Nolan seemed to love it and even complimented me in the manner that I organized the craft.  We made one for each of us, even Emily.
 And here was our attempt at a family portrait with the headbands on (while balancing the camera on top of a wine glass).
 And the obligatory turkey leg photos...  Emily ate a TON of food but did not eat any of the turkey leg.  She preferred the mashed potatoes with a bit of turkey hidden in there.  And she liked the stuffing too but preferred the mashed potatoes. 
 Nolan did not eat any turkey leg either.  And he had to be bribed to eat any of his dinner except for teeny little forks of mashed potatoes.  Please note the very special drinks in very special glasses for big boy- sparkling cranberry apple juice.  He did not like it, sadly, but was the first to cheers and say Happy Thanksgiving which I totally loved.
 This is how Emily at most of her meal, I'd scoop up the food on a spork and hand it to her.  she'd figure out how to get the food off and eat it, which gave me a few moments to eat my own dinner before she'd start asking (grunting, kicking and flailing her arms) for more.
After dinner we ate the apple pie that Nolan and I made.  It's funny because I don't really like Thanksgiving food/meal.  And growing up I loved to help make the apple pie but I don't actually enjoy eating the apple pie either.  But I love to eat the raw apples coated in cinnamon and sugar.  I asked Dave if he wanted me to make a pie and he said no but Nolan came home from preschool one day declaring he was excited about thanksgiving to eat apple pie.  So Dave and I shrugged and said 'I guess we're making pie'. Nolan helped make it.  It was so special for me to make it with him. Surprisingly (or not really) he did not want to eat the sugar coated apples, but did eat the raw flour off of the counter...  So after our dinner we cut a piece of pie for Nolan and he did not want to eat it.  After encouraging him to try it he did and declared that he did not like it- I get it, little buddy. I get it.  
All in all it was a really super thanksgiving.  A different, small, laid back, wonderfully kid-focused thanksgiving.  It was a really lovely day.

OH!  And Emily crawled!  More on that tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Different Kids/ Different Play

Oh these two are different.  While Emily seems perfectly content munching on whatever she can get her hands and or mouth on (including eating the carpet), Nolan does not.
He prefers to want to play with whatever she is munching on.  Or just sitting begging me to play with him-even when I am sitting waiting for him to play with ANY toy we own except for the one Emily is gumming at that very moment.  It is agonizing that every day he wants less and less to do with his toys, even to the point I've considered removing every toy except a handful from our playroom to see if he is overwhelmed with the options.  But really, I think he just prefers to interact with people over playing with toys.
And then we have a break through.  We find something that occupies his time and it's hard to convince him to do something else.  I got these paint pages where you use water to activate the paints on the top of the page and then paint the page.  HE LOVED IT.  And he did about 10 before he started to wear down his interest.  
So what's the deal?  Is he bored with his toys?  Does he just want attention?  What can we do to get him to play independently?  Ever? Last weekend we pleaded with and begged him to play by himself all morning.  He instead followed us around, moped, jumped around, took toys away from Emily and followed us around some more then when it was time for nap he was playing perfectly happily in a separate room.  It lasted about 20 minutes which was amazing.  Is there something we can do to make him play by himself better?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Playing in the leaves

Finally our tree dropped it's leaves.  So Nolan is free to rake and play for at least a few days before the snow and cold weather arrives.
Emily seemed to like the leaves too, mostly because she wanted to eat them. 
 And Nolan preferred to toss them in the air.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Bath Monster

Wow.  What an awesome weekend!  Of course there are no pictures of all we did so I'll just give you the highlights.  First, we discovered this little monster got a tooth!  It felt a little sharp on November 23 but for sure the next day we felt it.   
On Friday Nolan and Dave went to the Princess and Pirate event at the XL center.  It was fun for them to do something together and Nolan did great.  He loved it, wore his costume and despite Dave's hopes, Nolan did not want to eat anything at the show (they even had beer available but Nolan said no- what else is new, the kid just doesn't care about eating!).  

While Nolan and Dave were out Emily and I did some shopping and I bought her some new clothes.  She's hovering in this size for longer than I expected and she's getting easier so I got a few cute outfits.  Some babydoll shirts and leggings and a Christmas dress (oh it is so cute).  It was fun to shop with her, people were walking into things trying to coo at her and over and over I got told how cute she is.  It's funny because I don't shop with Emily very much, not like I did with Nolan because it's so hard to get anywhere with the both of them and rarely I have solo time with her.  It was so fun!

Saturday we had a lot of errands and trading off the kids to get stuff done and a birthday party.  Sunday was COLD and we didn't do anything which was so nice.  We hung at home, watched football and cleared out the garage so Dave can park inside.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Video Friday: Babbling and Trying

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Emily started babbling this week.  She started saying Dadadada.  It's not as she is directing it at Dave, just making babbles.  It's so cute.  She is also trying really hard to get moving.  She can get onto her knees and hands but not quite in crawling position yet.  And she's trying hard to pull up on things but can't quite get herself all the way up- she can get herself on her feet but not legs fully extended.  Look out world, she's going to be moving soon.  Oh, and Nolan, your world is about to be disrupted.  You will have to share your toys. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Really Nice Day

A few days ago we had some really nice weather so we went outside to play.  It was lovely.
Emily got some good playing time in, outdoors and Nolan got some running and playing in.  I tried to convince him that kicking (hard) the beach ball wasn't a great idea but he wouldn't listen (sigh). 
 So he was really upset when he deliberately kicked it into the rose bush and it got a hole in it.  Poor kid.
 He got over it quickly and did some raking.  He made a pile under the slide but prefers to jump from the top of the slide into the leaves rather than sliding into the leaves.  And Emily just likes to eat the leaves.
 This boy loves being outside.  Lucky for him, Emily loves to watch the trees and leaves so it worked out well.
 A great way to spend a morning.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Seven Months Old!

Where do I even start?  Emily is 7 months old.  Wow, there have been lots of changes this month but mostly to her eating.  She's still happy, even happier at this age.  She continues to nap every day twice, mostly for 45 minutes but sometimes for longer.  She likes to play, laugh and has a cute, almost shy, personality.  Her behavior around other people is good, improving.  She's let other people hold her and while she doesn't seem to love it, she isn't wailing either.  And she's eating.  Eating lots.  On Saturday she ate more dinner than Nolan did, we had spinach and artichoke stuffed shells.  
I've been following the method called Baby Led Weaning except I can't actually say that I do it since I started Emily on purees and can't seem to get her off the purees.  The idea of BLW is to skip the purees and just give your baby food that is safe and let them learn to feed themselves.  No spoons, no purees and easy for the parent.  Purees were a breeze when we had just Nolan because it was just Nolan.   But with Emily it means that I make Nolan his lunch, me my lunch and Emily gets her lunch.  When her lunch was pureed, I just couldn't get it all ready in time and she'd be too hungry and wolf down the puree and then vomit half of it because she was frantic eating.  Now I toss some food on her tray and let her go to town while I get Nolan's lunch out and mine too.  She's eating purees and solid foods.  
For breakfast she typically has oatmeal cereal/puree with some mixed in grownup (cooked) oatmeal and either chopped bananas or hard boiled egg yolk and some pureed fruit (sometimes mixed with yogurt).  For lunch she has some sweet potato puree with chopped up chicken and a protein pancake or zucchini mini muffin.  For dinner we've been making some oatmeal bars, store-bought babyfood with chicken or turkey in it and some baby cereal with something chunky in it.  And if she joins us at our dinner we'll put some food on her tray or give her some crusty bread  to chew on or food Nolan has discarded.  

She eats a lot more slowly and less franticly (read: not screaming, arms flailing and grunting) when it has textures, when she has to chew it.  She's capable of getting the food from her tray into her mouth which is really amazing to watch.  She seems interested in the food we're eating and I'm not so worried about giving it to her.  We made grilled cheese and turkey sandwiches last week.  Nolan nibbled two bites and Emily ate 1/4 of the sandwich.  

She just started getting herself into a crawling position. She reaches for toys and can move herself around on her belly, between rolling and reaching she can move around.  She loves toys with music and songs that go when you press a button.  She puts everything in her mouth.  She doesn't have any teeth yet and enjoys standing.  She doesn't bounce in the bouncer.  She doesn't seem very interested in books but is wildly interested in everything around her which makes for some tough times nursing.  She can yell and shrieks pretty loudly too!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Making some changes

I love these kids.  I love them a lot.  I'm amazed daily at what Nolan is doing and how much he's changed.  Emily is amazing too, learning to eat, move, getting ready to crawl, etc.  But I have to ask: Is it supposed to be THIS hard?  I'm just not sure but other people don't seem to have as hard of a time with things as I am having.  So rather than (continue to) complain about it or speculate ways to help make things easier I am actually making some changes to things in hopes that I don't make things harder.

First, I've done away with that damn infant carseat carrier.  Sure, it might be easier to bring her in and out for preschool drop offs but my neck, shoulder and back are aching so badly I can't turn my head most days.  It's too darn heavy for me, I just can't do it.  I'm figuring out the new seat and it's not as hard as I speculated it to be.
Second, we enrolled Nolan in a post-preschool class so he now goes to school on Tu/Th from 8:45-1:15.  It's a very long day for him.  Previously I was bringing him to school for 845, dropping him off, rushing home to put Emily down for her nap and then waking her up (if she was still asleep) in order to nurse her early so I can pick him up at 1115 then going to the playground until 12, coming home for lunch and putting them both to bed at 130 for naps.  It was JUST enough time to get NOTHING done.  Don't get me wrong, during her nap I can get stuff done but I didn't.  I'd blog, email (read: waste my hour) instead.  

Third: I went to the doctor.  I have no idea why I feel so awful most days but begged him not to laugh at me and blame parenthood when I told him I'm feeling rundown, have a headache most days and just feel rotten. Who knows, we'll do testing to find out but at least we are trying to make me feel better.  BUT while I was there I saw a sign for kids that said they should get 9 hours of sleep, 5 fruits and veggies, 2 hours of screentime, 1 hour physical activity and 0 sugary drinks and realized that should apply to grownups too.  SO I am revamping my world a little bit, as much as I can.  
Fourth: we are attempting to change her schedule a little bit.  I know the 'if it aint broke, don't try to fix it' may apply here.  This may be something that really screws up her world but I'm miserable trying to keep up with her current schedule of needing something every hour.  Instead of constantly wondering if switching to formula would make things easier on me we are adding some sippy cups to her day and trying to push her nursing back a little bit so I am nursing just before she eats her meals, rather than an hour before -nursing at 11, then food at 12/1230 and then nursing at 3, then food at 4/430 is really a lot of demands when you have a toddler who wants to leave the house ever.  I keep thinking formula will be easier because the schedule i kept with Nolan was less fragemented.  He ate food, then immediately had a bottle then a nap.  But for some reason I just fear that if we go that route we'll mess up what we currently have which is fair to good.

Fifth: Her napping is back to only 45 minutes at a clip.  However she is eating like a champ and happy when she's awake so it's not completely terrible except that I don't have any downtime which makes it hard to do things like figure out how to eat 5 fruits or vegetables a day or plan dinners that actually feed us for the amount of time I plan them to (we're off by two nights this week assuming leftovers would give us two meals but didn't).

So all in all things are ok.  I wish they were awesome.  Emily seems happy.  Nolan seems busy and tired but he seems to like his longer days at preschool.  I'm finding some time to actually play with Emily which is a big change for me.  So hopefully these little things help make our lives feel better, easier, less impossible.  But if Emily could go back to her 1.5 hour naps I'd be able to play offense versus just sneaking by each day.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Entertainment

Nolan is funny.  He's a funny kid, he really just wants to charm you and make you laugh.  Emily finds him hysterical.  
So after he finishes his lunch and she's still munching away, sometimes he'll put on a show. 
 Which often means he'll jump around, maybe do jumping jacks (which she finds very funny) and then sometimes fall down.
 Whatever it is he's doing, she wants to see him.  They are so darn cute, these two.   

Monday, November 11, 2013

Sleep

This is what Emily is not doing right now.  Why?  Who knows?  But it's so hard when she doesn't nap.  Last night she had a rough time going to sleep too.
She seems to be a lot more aware of the world.  She's moving a lot more, trying to crawl, preferring to stand or even kneel.  She's shrieking and screaming a lot which is hysterical.  We just laugh and laugh at her. 
While I know we are still lucky that she's napping and sleeping through the night, it's so hard when she isn't since it's rare, we don't know what to do about it.  Poor girl.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Video Friday: Giggles

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Emily laughs at Nolan.  All the time.  He's nuts so it's easy to provoke laughter from her... for him.  For us we need to jump around and do something ridiculous.  or apparently sneeze.  Enjoy!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Happy Girl

Most days Emily is really happy.  It tends to change based on how long her naps are (thank you universe for sorting that out!).  She likes to play and she really would rather stand up, as of yesterday. 
Which means that instead of sitting on the floor playing with stuff she'd rather stand up and play with stuff.  Oh my neck and back are killing me already!  When will this phase end- when she's crawling? 
She is starting to get into a crawling position and also trying to pull herself up on stuff.  She's not yet strong enough but she can get her bottom off the floor when she's pulling up.  She, just yesterday, got onto her hands and knees but collapsed very soon after.  She sees Nolan running from the minute he wakes up to the minute he goes to bed, I know she's desperate to play with him.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mice Are Away

While the boys were out trick or treating, Emily and I gave out candy.  Unfortunately we only had 3 sets of trick or treaters so we had a giant bowl of candy leftover.
And Emily helped herself.  She is so grabby and mouthy right now it's funny and scary.  We are trying hard to keep the little toys out of her reach but she seems to be working on crawling.  She'll spot a toy out of reach and lean over, reach for it, tumble onto her face and roll around until she can get it to it.  She's trying to get onto her hands and knees and yesterday was working so hard to pull herself up on something.  It takes a long time to get the coordination and strength but this little one is determined.
So after she grabbed candy from the bowl two times while I was giving it out, I just put it in front of her.  I approve of her choices- chocolate goldfish and kit kats.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Build a Bear

Nolan has been doing a great job at bedtime lately.  His behavior has been great but you can really see when the wheels start to come off.  He acts crazy, stops listening, runs around the house,and is just overall a handful.  We decided we needed to do something special for him.  Something a little out of the ordinary, not the same weekend routine.  After thinking out several ideas, we decided to bring him to Build-a-bear to make his own special pal.
We already have tons of stuffed friends in the house but lately he just hasn't really been into them.  I thought he'd really enjoy creating his own, seeing how it gets made, putting the stuffing into the bear and sewing him up and making his really special.  I was right (oh, I love saying that).  He LOVED it.  He was really overwhelmed at first.  After guiding him away from a Sponge Bob Squarepants, he picked a basic light brown bear and decided to name him Spiderman.  He also picked a beating heart to insert into his body which is really cool. After Spiderman got stuffed and sewed Nolan washed him in a little tub, brushed his fur and picked an outfit for him.  Then we tried to get out of that store not buying anything else (a real accomplishment!)
Spiderman came home in an awesome little box that looks like a house.  Nolan was so excited about Spiderman that while carrying him to the car from the store he would peer into his house to check on him. Nolan also insisted that Spiderman come into the restaurant for lunch with us.   Spiderman slept in the box house in the living room during naptime.  After naptime Spiderman was dressed and undressed no less than 8 times and was introduced to all of the other special friends in our house (Nolan ran upstairs and gathered all his pals and sat them around the propped up Spiderman to meet.  Even Rupert, Nolan's other bear was invited to hang out in the box house since they are about the same size!  Spiderman has tried on some of Emily's clothes (but they are too big for him) so a pair of PJs will be arriving via mail soon for this guy too.  At any rate, Spiderman is a hit.  He's a sweet looking bear, super soft and Nolan seems to really really love him.  I'm so happy.