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Friday, April 17th, 2015

Me:  32.5, Nathan:  Two days shy of 41, Jane:  4 plus 2 months, Aiden:  6.5 months

I woke up this morning and heard Aiden babbling and realized it’s been months since I’ve documented anything about either kid so decided today was the day, an impromptu Day In The Life:

7:15 a.m.:  Wake up tired and mildly hung over.  Last night I took my bike out for the first time (YAY spring!) to run some errands, one of which was delivering beer to a friend for a huge favor they did me earlier in the week.  So I ended up staying out late and drinking, plus Aiden still wakes up several times per night.

7:30:  In the bathroom, washing my face, and Jane is next to me, talking as usual, asking what we are doing today.  I used to think people were crazy for deliberately waking up earlier than their kids, but now I understand.  The talking is more than I can handle at this point in the day.  She is so sweet and smart though.  She loves to write down what we do each day on her calendar, which I got from the $1 store for x-mas.  In the past few weeks she’s started sounding out words to write on her own and I am soooo impressed!

Right now I’m just trying to have a minute alone to wake up though, so I ask her to go read a book to Aide who’s still in his swing and she’s such a good helper/big sister she agrees.

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7:45:  Milo, the almost 2 year old we watch today, arrives.  Jane starts singing a song like “I get to sit in the front todaaaaayayayyayayyyyy” complete with vibrato and a bunch of rhyming words, which she’s really into right now.  (She gets to sit in front in a booster since Milo will be in her car seat in the back.)

7:50:  “Mom, this baby smells like he has a poop!”  And she was right.  And it was very nearly a blowout poo!  But Aiden in his typical happy way had sat in it for who knows how long without complaining a bit.  I change him and nurse him.

So much to say about Aiden right now!  He continues to be an amazing sweet (pretty) easy baby.  His hair dries naturally into a mohawk.  Big flaky pieces still come off his scalp (cradle cap?).  He sat up unassisted for the first time this week.  We hardly ever call him Aiden, mostly A. Dee or A. Dees, which I’m unsure how to spell as a name. I’ll just write AD for the remainder of this post.  He likes to babble “deedee deedee”.  I love him so much and am always squeezing his suddenly really fat thighs and kissing him and telling him he cannot grow up any more because he is my baby.

My little naked fatties, both about 6 months:

 

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Mohawk:

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8:00: Get breakfast ready for the older two kids. Except Jane gets a lot of her own breakfast ready, she eats oatmeal almost every morning, with peanut butter, flax, fruit, and molasses. She gets out all the ingredients plus bowl and spoon and presses the buttons on the microwave by herself.

I make a grocery list for Costco (we are almost out of molasses) and start dry-frying some tofu for lunch.

Perfect fried tofu:

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Jane says “Mom, you know what?” like 30 times. Sometimes she doesn’t even know what to say after, just wants my attention. But sometimes she says things like “I have four dollars in my purse, it’s like, so crazy!” in a voice I’d expect from a teenager.

Teenager:

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8:30: Put AD down for a nap. I still just swaddle him and lay him on my bed:

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Jane and Milo play a game that involves throwing a piece of paper back and forth. I love that she can have fun even with a 2 yr. old who doesn’t talk yet.

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8:45: Finish the tofu, AD is still fussing so I go in to nurse him again. Jane shows me a “magic trick” with her Corduroy book where she basically tells me to look the other way while she hides it. I try my best to look interested.

9:00: AD finally is sleeping, I set up playdoh for the kids and get in the shower.

9:30: Go in the bedroom to get my clothes and AD wakes up. GAH why did I have to walk in RIGHT at the 45 minute mark? He’s started waking up (tired and cranky) at 45 minutes, just like Jane did at this age. Luckily, unlike her, he’s quick to get in a better mood and usually easy to get to sleep again if he needs another nap soon.

10:15 – 12:45: Go to a friend’s to play and have lunch. It’s gorgeous outside and she has a blow up bouncy house in her backyard, awesome:

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1:00: Home, start naptimes. The two year old goes down no problem. I struggle with AD for like an hour and he finally sleeps at 2:30. Jane is super crabby by this time and wants me to lay on the living room floor with her, put her legs on me, nothing is right. She falls asleep and I try to sneak out and she loses it and I lay down again so frustrated, the vision of the title of the book Go The F*ck To Sleep burning in my brain.

3:00: Finally all the kids are sleeping. I make a salad, sit quietly, do some work on the computer.

4:00: Kids wake up one by one, we have snacks, change diapers, clean up, play, pack for Nonni’s because we’re leaving as soon as Milo gets picked up so Jane can sleep over. AD eats a TON of rice cereal, it’s only the third time I’ve offered it, first time he didn’t quite know what to do, but now he loves it. I clip and file my nails, they feel disgusting to me if I let them get too long.

Stop to take a selfie:

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We go outside to play for awhile, but soon after I get everyone out, Jane has to come in to poop. High on my wish list for things to have in a house is a fenced backyard that I can see from my kitchen window so I can be inside and the kids can be safely out. Unfortunately we only have a front yard on a busy street with no fence.

6:15: Finally off to Nonni’s, but Aiden screams the entire 25 minute ride. Hang out with my mom and sis for about an hour.

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8:00: Come home, exhausted at the end of this week, get Aiden to sleep, and start writing this post but only get through about 9 a.m. (finishing it nearly a week later!), and go to bed!

K

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s the time of year when many people in our climate start dreaming of moving somewhere else.  I gave up those crazy ideas years ago (winter has actually gotten easier for me to deal with post-kids!), but I do still definitely prefer summer.

Every year I’m like “oh I’m going to embrace winter this year, go snowshoeing or something, get some better outdoor gear”.  And then I just stay inside and pour more whiskey into my tea.  At least I have aspirations!  I am so in awe of people I see biking this time of year.  Someday…  maybe…!

We spent the holidays mostly sick.  Everyone we know was hit with something in those few weeks.  Nathan had the flu, the kids both had coughs forever, somehow I got away with only getting half sick – literally, I could not hear out of my right ear, and snot was coming only out of the right side of my nose.

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Now it’s just the countdown until spring.  January is halfway over, yay!  Feb. is short and is the month of celebrating love, and Jane’s birthday, which will be held at a place that serves alcohol this year (what took me so long?).  March I plan to do an unlimited month of yoga, and get in shape for going to visit one of my bestest friends in L.A. in April.  I’ve never been to Cali!  She has an 18 mo. old girl and we will just hang out with our babies on the beach  =).

Other random things:

-Aiden is still wonderful.  He’s the baby that makes me want more babies.  When I see him I say ridiculous things like “I wuv wuv wuvs you my bubby boobles”.

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-I finally calculated our net worth.  I feel ashamed admitting this, being so into personal finance.  But for so long I’ve been focused on our day to day budget and not spending more than we make in a month, because that has been such a challenge for years.  I sat down one Saturday night (I know, party animal) and put all our retirement accounts from previous jobs, other savings and debt into one spreadsheet.  And was pleasantly surprised we are not in the negative!

-I’ve started watching Wheel of Fortune a lot (I rarely watch tv but it’s on right when Nathan is getting home from work/Aiden is wanting to be held/I’m needing a break from the whole day) and dreaming about being a contestant.  Or maybe Nathan being a contestant because he’s better under pressure than I am and just as good.  Jane watches it with me and gets SO excited when I “win”.  I seriously love this show, it’s one of the only smart shows left on tv.

That’s about all, hope you are having a wonderful winter wherever you are.  One final pic of Jane dressing up Aiden in a Queen Elsa hat.  That is some kind of makeup on her face, which she is obsessed with, thanks Auntie Jen  =).

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Just wanted to capture what everyone’s like at this stage – especially Aiden, who, as a stereotypical 2nd child, does not have a baby book started yet.

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Aiden!:  Just turned 2 months and it seems like he’s been with us forever.  He continues to be an easy baby.  There’s never been an extended period of crying, he’s easily soothed just by being held.  He’s sleeping 6-7 hours straight at night, but this usually starts about 8 p.m. so doesn’t mean an uninterrupted night for me.  (As tired as I get, 10 p.m. is about the earliest I can get to bed.)  Then he usually wakes a couple more times before we’re up for the day, but again, he usually goes right back to sleep, never any middle of the night crying.  Daytime sleeping patterns are still really unpredictable, but he’s never awake for long.

He still doesn’t do much, but started smiling around 6 weeks which is awesome.  He has the cutest expressions raising his little eyebrows.  People say he looks so much like Jane, and I suppose there are similarities, but his dark hair and fat face (and easy temperament!) make him seem like a very different baby to me.

Jane:  Is still such a character at “three and three quarters”.

IMG_0417She loves playing dress up, princesses, Frozen, and makeup.  She still hasn’t displayed any of the dreaded older sibling behaviors I read all about before Aiden was born.  Never seems jealous and is even more patient than I am!  One morning I was obviously getting frustrated trying to get out of the house and Aiden was fussing in his swing I sighed and was like “sorry Jane, I just want him to go to sleep so we can get ready” and she came up and rubbed my arm and said “Mama, it’s ok, I understand.  Babies just cry sometimes, it’s ok.”  I love her so much.

She also seems so much older because she’s started asking how to spell words and then remembering how to spell them on her own.  I couldn’t believe it when she showed me how she wrote “Auntie Jen”!!

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Me:  32 years old.  Feel older when I now say I have “kids” plural.  I’m still feeling better than I expected, I especially thought the cold weather would be tough, but it’s ok, time is going fast.  There are some annoying physical things going on that would’ve bothered me a lot more in the past, but maybe I just don’t have time to focus on them or maybe have grown out of caring so much?

My skin is acting up, which I know is common in this postpartum period, but, UGH.  Skin and hair were so great during this pregnancy and now I have low level acne and redness all over.  My hair is flat and falling out and I feel like I have to shower more often (but maybe part of that is due to having milk/spit up dribbled all over me too…..)  I spent a large chunk of time this morning researching skin remedies and made a face wash tonight with Almond, lavender, and Vitamin E oils, plus aloe straight from our plant.

One thing I need to do soon is find a way to get regular workouts in, for my mood more than my figure.  My body looks pretty much back to normal, but my current weight is at a number that would’ve horrified me during much of my past life.  I’m surprised at how little I dwell on it though, I cringe at how obsessed I used to get over “the number”.  I just wear looser clothes now and am happy I grew a baby.  Hopefully this lovely phase of body acceptance will last awhile!

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Nathan:  40 years old.  I don’t have any pics of Nathan right now, and there are hardly any pics of the 4 of us!  He’s working the same shitty paying job with the same shitty hour each way commute, worse in the winter when it’s dark and made longer because of snow.  He’s still going through the application process to become a cop, and we’ll find out in late Jan. or Feb., so at least that’s giving him some hope for now.  But by the time he gets home at night and eats, it’s almost time for Jane to go to bed and he doesn’t have time for much else.  I feel so bad every time I think of him doing that commute and sitting in an office all day, and am thankful for being able to stay at home, even though I can get pretty beat by the end of the day too.

Overall, things are good.  Looking forward to all things x-mas, it helps get through the first part of winter, then we just have Jan. and Feb. to deal with!

K

 

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I’ve been craving this recipe since last weekend when we were at my parents’ house and my Dad agreed that packaged lunchmeat is icky, but “what am I supposed to eat for lunch?”.  This was the first thing that came to mind as something he might like instead, and I had planned to make it and bring him a sample today, but of course when I was at the store the other day chickpeas were the one item I forgot.

So now I’m enjoying it all by myself.  Friday night, Nathan went to a friend’s, Jane is sleeping, and I don’t feel the least bit lame for planning to go to bed early.  Looks like I really have come to accept this parent lifestyle.

Anyway, this salad is awesome.  Very easy, very cheap, and easily customizable, hence my lack of specific measurements.  Really all you need is the chickpeas, a crunchy veggie, mayo, and some spices.  Otherwise, you can make is as healthy (lots of veggies, less mayo), creamy, salty, or spicy as you want.

I had mine in a salad over some spinach, but of course in a wrap or sandwich would be great too.

Vegan Chickpea “Chicken” Salad Recipe

– 1 15 oz. can chickpeas (about 2 1/2 cups)

– 2 large celery stalks, diced

– 1/4 cup sweet onion, diced

– 1 big pickle, diced

– 2 big spoonfuls vegan mayonnaise (I use Vegenaise but have heard Earth Balance is very good also).

– 1 big spoonful tahini (I was running out of mayo and thought this would be a good sub, but you can use all mayo too!)

-1 T nutritional yeast

– few shakes garlic powder

– few shakes mustard powder

– little shake cayenne

– salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Drain & rinse chickpeas, then put in pot with water and boil for about 15 minutes, so they’re soft & easy to mash.

2.  Chop veggies, mix in mayo & spices.

3.  Drain warm chickpeas again and mash in pot with potato masher or fork, then mix in with veggies & mayo.

-K

P.s. I have to include some baby updates too.  Jane has learned how to “hug” and it is so, so sweet.  You’ll say “Janey give Mama a hug!” and she’ll lay her head down sideways on your chest.  She’s never been a cuddler so it’s really extra sweet =).  Also, my parents gave us their piano (which really hasn’t been used since I moved out a decade ago) and we finally got it moved to our house…  I haven’t played much at all, but Jane does every day:

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Parenting and Paranoia

Jane got her first fever last night.  It is really distressing to go get your baby from her crib at 1 a.m. and feel the heat radiating off her.  102.5.

We called the nurse hotline, who told us just give her ibuprofen and check in an hour to see if it goes down.  And by morning, it did, but in the meantime we had a restless night, part of it with her in our bed because I was worried…

I wouldn’t consider my self the “paranoid sort” of mother.  I never checked on her ten times a night as a newborn to make sure she was breathing or anything.  I don’t care if she crawls on a less than spotless floor or puts other kids’ toys in her mouth.

And we even know the probable reason for the fever, it’s obvious she’s cutting one of her front teeth right now.

But still, at 1 a.m. I was mentally mapping out our route to the ER.  Trying to calm down by telling myself “Babies don’t just die.  They aren’t just normal at dinnertime and then BAM get fevers and die….  right?  Or I would’ve heard stories about it??!”

And I know that is irrational but the mind goes there…

And now it’s nighttime again and the fever is back and we’ve given her more drugs and she is sleeping.  And I hope she sleeps well but at the same time will be relieved when she cries so I know she’s ok (and then immediately hope she goes back to sleep again…)

I’m not pacing the floors, but I’m not totally at ease.  Low level paranoia and anxiety, is it a constant theme of parenting?

"She won't fall out, will she??"

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Nine Months

I remember when Jane was younger, even just three months ago, when I was sort of anxious for her to get older.  I didn’t feel like I had her figured out at all, naps were all over the place, I generally just felt like I still barely had any idea what I was doing.

It isn’t like that anymore.  All of a sudden it seems like her baby-ness is slipping away and having a walking, talking toddler who won’t nurse to sleep in my arms anymore is coming up very soon.

These days things are good.  Still not easy, but really good.  I love staying at home with her, we’re in a pretty dependable routine, and her moods are much more predictable.

When I used to have my salaried job in a cubicle at a big company, I would wake up dreading each morning, and ask myself every day what am I going to do with my life, what can I do to change this?

Now I wake up looking forward to each day…and while still sometimes cursing and groaning when I first have to wake up (I am the furthest thing from a morning person), always looking forward to seeing my smiley little girl because she is SO smiley and cute right away in the morning.  I never feel like I have to change my life, and that feeling is wonderful.

Waking up:

Her thighs are still scrumptious but right now the back of her little neck is top of my list of favorite body parts:

Anyway, baby developments at this point:

Incredibly mobile and into everything.  Just in the past week or so started standing unassisted for a few seconds at a time.  Really loves to make a beeline for the two places she’s not allowed to play – in the bathroom and with the wine rack.

Also just recently got her sense of rhythm – she’ll hear music and start doing a little head bopping dance.  SO FREAKIN CUTE!

She likes it when we crawl and chase her and also likes the classic peek-a-boo game.  She loves to eat, to the point where it’s impossible to eat in front of her without sharing, or there will be a tantrum.  I really need to start figuring out regular meals for her because I feel like a bad mother sitting her down with cheerios whenever I need five minutes of peace.  Her only regular “real food” meal right now is oatmeal before bed, otherwise we’re still mostly breastfeeding.

Tough choice – nail clipper or cheerios?

It’s so fascinating watching the simple things she is fascinated by – opening and closing a cupboard door, spinning the wheel on a toy car, realizing the cat is a living thing and trying to catch it (at least with my mom’s cat it’s always a chase – not a fan of babies, so she runs as soon as Jane gets close….I’ve never seen her crawl so fast though!)

Looking forward to the next month, I feel like such a cliche saying they grow up so fast, but awww it’s true.

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There’s a definite downside to introducing Jane to delicious new foods.

This is what happens when there is none left (or when you want to have the rest of your breakfast to yourself…):

I picked up a can of pumpkin puree on a whim from Trader Joe’s last week, because it’s just that time of year when you’re supposed to make something with pumpkin, yeah?  Also, it was more than a buck cheaper than the stuff I’d seen at the co-op.

I used a cup of it yesterday to make pumpkin cornbread, and some of the leftover today to make this amazing smoothie:

Vegan Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

-1 banana

-1 big scoop pumpkin puree (1/4 cup?)

-few shakes cinnamon

-splash maple suryp

-enough soymilk for desired consistency (1/3 cup for mine?)

-5 ice cubes

Directions:  Blend!  Enjoy in solitude or be prepared to share…

 

 

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