Saturday, September 27, 2008

OOOOHHHH...we're HALFWAY there....

Some people are newborn people. They love newborns, can't get enough of them, want to have more babies so they can have a newborn. But ever since I had the personal of parenting a newborn, I'm more of a toddler person. I love toddlers, they are SO fun. Of course every age has it's challenges, but nothing exhausts me like a newborn.

David is 6 months old, and I'm pretty giddy about it.

Reaching six months seems to be a huge hurdle for babies. Today I was putting the stickers on the September page of David's baby calendar, and I was peeling stickers like crazy. Just in the last 2 weeks, David has:

* Gotten his first tooth,

* Started solid food,

* Rolled in both directions consistently,

* Learned to sit up (this one blew my mind - one day he couldn't, next day he could),

* Found his feet, and

* Manipulated toys.

Not only that, we're moving out of the tiny baby phase. Just this week, we have:

* Put away the bouncy seat,

* Put away the swing,

* Gotten out the jumperoo,

* Started carrying him in and out of the car without his carrier (ugh - that thing is so awkward. Surely there's an engineer out there who can make those easier to carry, don't you think?), and

* Switched from the Bjorn to a sling on the hip.

David had his well visit yesterday, and unlike last time, I didn't have any questions or overly paranoid concerns.

Weight: 19 pounds, 9 ounces, 80%'ile

Height: 27.5 inches, 80%'ile

Several people in the office commented on David's happy temperament, even after he had had his shots. He is a sweetheart. I love you, Bubs, more and more everyday.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

after 6 months of nothin' but breastmilk...

...even rice cereal tastes good!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The 2008 Family Vacation Awards

Whew - we are finally back from our beach vacation. It was a fantastic trip, so much so that I would like to issue some awards.

Best week to go on vacation: Ok, seriously. We could not have planned this better. The weather was perfect in South Carolina last week, and it seemed to be the only place in the country not getting severe storms. Back at home in Ohio, the remnants of Hurricane Ike blew through town and left 300,000 people in our county without power, including our house. Our street was in the dark for 4 days, so I was very thankful to be gone. The only downfall is that we lost everything in our fridge and freezer. I'm bummed about the meat, but the biggest "shucks" is the supply of frozen breastmilk. I didn't have a lot, but it hurts to lose that. But huge kudos to my friend Stephanie who came and cleaned out everything so we wouldn't come home to a stinky mess.

Most stylish great-grandparents on the beach: One of my big motivating factors for taking this vacation was to get to spend an entire week with my grandparents. They are 2 of my favorite people on this earth and I don't get to see them often enough. It was a very special time that I will always remember. And my grandfather, who will be 84 this week, rode his bike 5 miles up and down the beach and swam in waves that were too high and rough for me.

Best beach hat: My baby boy hardly knew he was at the beach. I'm sure he loved all the extra arms to hold him and lots of extra kisses and snuggles. His feet never touched the sand or the water, come to think of it.

Best sandcastle: I can't really pretend that Katy helped me much with this. While Brian was snapping this shot, he said, "Smile, Katy! Mommy's really proud of herself!"

Best sport: Aunt Mel rode in the van with me, my husband, and my 2 small children for most of the 24 hour round trip to and fro. She even stayed in "Katy's Special Room" (read: Motel 6) for the first night of our adventure, where we had to sit quietly in the semi-dark after 8pm. Somebody give that girl a Klondike bar.

Best Thing We Packed: This was Brian's idea. Katy has this hamper that collapses flat. Brian suggested that we put it in our suitcase so that we'd have a place to put dirty clothes through the week. Brilliant! It made a huge difference in maintaining my sanity in the condo (much better than trash bags or "secret compartments" in your luggage).

Best suit: My mom wins this one. Her bathing suit was like a beach outfit - stylish, comfortable, modest, and water-friendly!

Best shirt: Greg and Grandpa would have to tie for their beach print wear. But it's worth mentioning that my Grandpa hasn't worn a shirt that wasn't a solid color in 40 years. He sported this one for the very special occasion of visiting the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum in Savannah, GA in which he served during WWII.

Biggest milestone: My son cut his first tooth on the beach! How memorable is that! We were all constantly putting our fingers in his mouth - "Do you feel it yet?" and it finally popped out toward the end of the week. What a trooper.

Biggest water bug: Oh. my. gosh. This girl loves the water. It was all we could do to get her to go in for lunch. She loves the waves, loves the seashells, loves the sand. Love, love, love. She woke up one morning and ran out to the kitchen, throwing her arms in the air and shouting, "We're at the beach!!"

Biggest surprise: Mom and Greg rented bikes for us to ride, and it was so incredibly pleasant. The beach was a bit windy, but the bike trails were marvelous. (I know, I know, Katy should be wearing a helmet. I didn't know we'd be doing this so I didn't bring one.)

Best spot: I've always said in the past that I wasn't a beach person. This was really the first time I've had a vacation where we stayed right on the beach, and we had plentiful chairs and unbrellas for relaxing just a few hundred feet from our deck. You know what? I might just turn into a beach person yet... especially if these fine folks keep inviting me to come.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

this and that

Katy and I have been reading some picture books about the beach, and the plot of each of them goes something like this: the kid wakes up in his own bed in the morning, packs a beach bag with a towel, shovel, and some snacks, drives to the beach, plays all day, and is home for a bath by nightfall.

Obviously the authors of these books don't live in the Midwest.

Those of us in Ohio, particularly those with small children, start preparing weeks and weeks ahead of time to make the 12 hour trek to the coast. Then we have to stay for a solid week to make it worth our while. But hopefully all of this prep will make the same kind of lasting memories for our landlocked kiddos.

So I'm in the middle of hoarding everything that we might need for a week at the beach in the guest room. Need a swimsuit or a bottle of sunscreen? Too bad! Not this week, it's already packed!

Also by some minor miracle, it appears that we might be squeezing our trip in between hurricanes. We are thankful for this, and certainly continue to pray for those affected by Ike in the gulf. It seems like they can't catch a break down there lately.

In other news, David is SO big. I can't believe how huge he seems to me. I feel like he is bigger every time I go to get him out of his crib. I'm wondering when this will slow down, because at this rate he'll pass up Katy in a few more months.

Katy is hilarious. She's already starting to make dramatic statements all the time with drawn out words. The other morning I came downstairs and she was eating breakfast with Brian. She saw me coming and said, "I loooooove Daddy, Mommy. He's sooooooo funny."

She's also soaking things up like crazy. She has a set of stamps that are each of the letters of the alphabet. The other day I told her to spell her name. We've spelled her name a hundred times in various forms, but I couldn't believe she came up with this: (she stamped them in the correct order, but did it right to left)

So we'll have our laptop with us on vacation and will apparently have wifi. So maybe I will have a chance to post some trip updates. I'm sure I'll have some interesting stories to share about my litte waterbug and my chunky monkey.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Facts about my 5 month old

I feel like David is changing and growing so much, but sometimes his sister's antics get more attention on this blog. So I wanted to get a snapshot of what David is like at 5 months (and one week) old (and by the way, that's how old Katy was when I started blogging):

**He seems to be getting ready to cut his first teeth. He's drooling constantly, soaking bibs in a matter of minutes, putting anything and everything in his mouth (toys, his fingers, others' fingers, his bib) and gnawing like crazy, and the past couple of days he's been congested without any other symptoms. The worst part about teething is that you never know for sure until those boogers pop through the skin. And it could take days, weeks, or months. Poor baby.

**He's very smiley, everyone comments on it when they see him. He also laughs, which is the best sound in the world.

**As for motor skills - he can roll onto his tummy really well, and he rolls onto his back about 1/10 attempts. He sits supported, either in the Bumbo or with someone holding onto him.

**We haven't started cereal yet, even though I purchased it yesterday at the store. I was in such a hurry to start it with Katy for some reason, so she did it right at 4 months. But this time I'm not optimistic that it will help his sleep, and I just don't see the hurry. It's really just one more thing to squeeze into the day. We'll start it soon.

**David is a Big Boy. I weighed and measured him at home today, and I am SHOCKED. If this is accurate, he weighs more than Katy did at ONE YEAR. He weighs 19 pounds and is 26 inches long. Other evidence to his looming figure: he's wearing 6-9 month clothing very comfortably (read: getting snug), and he and Katy are BOTH wearing size 3 diapers. Yes, my two children, 22 months apart, wear the same size diaper.

**He has gotten a lot better about spitting up. I used to have to change not only his outfit, but also my own outfit, about 2-3 times per day. Now we have some dribble here and there, but overall we aren't soaking outfits with spit up. (Now we've moved on to drool. You have to admit that's less offensive.)

**He loves to watch his sister. She is so entertaining. He smiles at her and watches her intently, even across the room. He also loves to be held. He'll be content on the floor or in the swing for a few minutes, but pretty soon, he's going to ask in his baby way, "Please pick me up! Now! Thank you!!"

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth a million. I've got 2: the first is complete with smiles, sitting, and fussiness due to teething.

The second one was another one of those precious moments... David cracks up to his favorite comedienne, who tops off her act with a serious case of Nap Hair.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Bringing summer to a close

Labor Day weekend brings to mind the transition between summer and fall. Even though we often enjoy several more weeks of warm weather (if we're lucky), the pools shut down and fall activities begin. So this weekend, we closed up summer shop: watched some football (THANK YOU, Time Warner!), played in the water, and did some end-of-season clearance shopping. (What? Isn't that how YOU end the seasons?)

As for the water activity, we took a fellow-mommy-blogger's recommendation and went to a fountain park that we've never visited before. And we took along Katy's BFF and her family. Katy could've stayed for hours, and my new favorite thing to do is have a picnic lunch. Nothing fancy, I'm talking about peanut butter sandwiches, but it's so nice, because you're out having fun and you get a meal out of the way at the same time.

We're also planning to cheat a little bit and get some extra summer by going on vacation in September, like we did last year. That is, of course, if Hurricane Hannah doesn't throw a wrench in our plans. I hope not, though, because we've been reading library books about the beach for weeks. (Of course, our vacation is a minor concern when we're talking about hurricanes - I certainly pray that people's homes and lives are protected as well.)

While we're talking about a change in seasons, I've noticed another change in the past few weeks related to my daughter. I'm hoping it's just that she's know... 2. But oh my gosh, she's so disagreeable and defiant! I feel like she spends her entire day trying to get away with stuff she shouldn't. In some ways, I feel sad that my sweet baby girl seems to be no more. But it also amazes me how she is figuring some things out on her own. For example, we've been giving David tylenol drops for teething here and there, and Katy thinks this looks like great fun, so she wants some medicine, too. So she arches her back and whines really loud and says, "My teef hurt, Mommy! I crying! I nee meh-sin, too!" Little stinker. She's not evil, right? Just 2??