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Showing posts from 2012

11 months old

Just a basic journal-type entry about Henry, as he enters his last month before age one: At 11 months old, Henry seems to be squarely on track for all baby development signs, if a little slower than his sister with mobility. He has become an adept crawler over the last two months. He is starting to pull himself up on things, balancing on his knees. He eats a wide variety of food, and likes purees and finger foods including carrots, crackers, cereal, beans, corn, squash, apples, bananas, pears, rice, and peas. We have been through many different phases of sleep, including a really rough patch a few weeks ago, but seem to be coming out of that into an easier pattern of falling asleep. However, he seems to be at the beginning of the transition from two naps a day to one, which makes bedtimes inconsistent. Talking seems to be just around the corner, or may have already begun. Learning words seems to be such a gradual process, I never know when a baby crosses the line from babbling

10 months old

Baby Henry is ten months old and growing, growing, growing. Every week there are clothes to add to the "too small" bin. Every day he seems to understand something he didn't before. Just this last week, he finally learned to crawl. Like, forward. He would only go backward or sideways for the longest time, it seemed. The first time crawling from one room to another was to come from his bedroom into the bathroom where his sister and I were. He was so thrilled when he made it across the threshold and into the room with us! He immediately sat up (standard position for him) and waved his arms, kicked his legs, and squealed. I fell in love with him again, just as I do every day with each adorable thing that he does. Nights have been a little rough lately. Henry is teething, or growing, or overwhelmed with his new learning, or something. Something that is making him wake up. Something that is making him scream for no apparent reason. And this kid can SCREAM - the high pitched,

Our Family in Pictures

The talented photographer Amanda Reed did family photos for us about a month ago. Here are a few: Eye contact He thinks we're funny - You guys stuck me in a bucket?! Best sister, cutest pose Pure sweetness toothy! My sister, just returned from two years in Madagascar, with her niece and nephew I'm pretty sure these are the cutest kids in the world. I know I will treasure these pictures forever. Thanks, Amanda!

Three and a half

My darling daughter has unique tastes. lunch yesterday: peanut butter, mayonnaise, cheese, pickles, and pretzels in one sandwich outfit today (and regularly): all pink - shirt, tights, skirt, undies, shoes hair: down, with the biggest barrettes or headbands or both that she can find. Sometimes she will let me braid it or do a ponytail, but she prefers it down and wild Some of my favorite things she is saying lately: "let's all split up and work together" "we can do it with teamwork!" "acciwentady" (accidentally) "Mom, that's not my plan!" singing "Henewy, stop crying! There's no crying in baseball, or in volvos" in a loud loud voice in the car, which inexplicably will often actually make Henry stop crying "let's do ballalet!" (dancing, ballet) "that trip to the library makes me have to watch a show" "I want to take a bath WITH Henry" (them in the bath together is one of the cu

Dear Departed

My last living grandparent passed away on September 30. His obituary is here . I was lucky enough to be able to travel to Pennsylvania with my children, husband, father, step-mom, and sister, and spend time with members of my dad's family that I hadn't seen in three years. I also got to do a reading at Grandpa Bob's funeral. The sweetest moment of the whole trip for me, besides hearing people say how much I looked like my grandma Anne, was when I finished the first reading, at the front of the church my grandparents were married in, and read the thanks to the lord, and my darling daughter replied "Thank you, Mama!" She doesn't know the norms of the Catholic mass but she is learning manners. Both kids did pretty well with the long days of traveling, thanks in large part to lots of helping hands from my family. It was so special to spend time in the place my grandparents were from and see where they are buried. We stayed in a really nice hotel, with a good fre

So Long, Summer

Summer is officially over, in my view. Teachers are back at work, nights are cool, and it's time for preserving pears. That means fall. I didn't post a single thing on this blog all summer, but I would like to share and record some of what we did. I had a lovely summer full of fun outdoors, at the pool, the river, and my back yard. So, here are some photos to share a slice of our summer. Above: We had a lovely lunch date with some friends at King Estate Winery this weekend. It was nice to get out and have some grown-up time with a fun couple. I'm sure what everyone would rather see are photos of my adorable children, though. So, here are a few from a fun summer day at Odell Lake, a favorite spot for my family. Mostly, fun with hats, but also, Stella swimming in the pollen-filled lake: Thanks to Anne for inviting us up to visit her cabin for the day! Next year you're getting Stella overnight :) I will post more pho

What We've Been Up To

Since my last post , in March, I've returned to work, and life feels incredibly busy. The days go by so fast, even though I'm getting up earlier than ever (by 6:00 most days). I would love to share some photos but can't figure that out right now as my ancient computer is hopefully off somewhere getting fixed. At this moment, I am sitting on the bed in Henry's room, next to him as he stirs in his sleep, gazing out the window at the apple tree in my backyard that is absolutely coated in white blossoms. It's one of those spring afternoons where the sky is kind of dark and stormy but sunlight is coming in from the side and lighting up the fresh bright green-ness of everything. Just lovely. I love spring! One reason I have always loved the spring is that my birthday is in May. I'm not ashamed to admit - I love my birthday. This is the first year, though, that I will turn an age that might be seen as undesirable. Thirty years old does seem like a milestone of some kin

We Can't Afford That

Sweet Pea has been asking "why" for a while now, but in the last month it has become her response to practically everything I tell her. This can be fun (why is it cloudy?) and it can be frustrating (why can't I have another Lego set?). Sometimes I choose an answer I regret, because it leads to more confusion, more questions, and me doubting my own answer. One of the worst of these, I think, is the "we can't afford it" answer. First of all, it doesn't make any sense to her - money is just everywhere to her, and she sees us give money to salespeople and them giving us money right back (change). When she plays at buying things at home, imaginary money always changes hands both directions. How can a three-year-old be expected to understand things as complicated as paychecks, tax returns, and budgets? Secondly, I don't like this answer because it often rings false to me. When there is something that we really need, we buy it. We have credit cards for just

Nap-Time Tools

Siblings cuddling in the morning. Isn't she sweet! Baby Henry is a fantastic sleeper. He has been giving us 6-8 hours uninterrupted at night for the last couple of weeks. He also takes long naps (often 2-3 hours) during the day, and is able to sleep in a variety of locations, including on his own in a bed. This is pretty shocking to me as my first child would pretty much only nap in my arms or in her car seat in a moving car for many months. One book that has helped me to understand baby sleep needs is The No-Cry Nap Solution . Stella was likely over-tired much of the time, and although lots of family members suggested that she needed more sleep, I couldn't figure out how to get her to sleep more or how to nap without me. Many days I didn't mind holding her for naps, but she probably could have slept longer if I had been able to put her down. Simply laying her down in her crib or co-sleeper when she was drowsy never worked for her, although I did try. With Henry, I hav

The Fussy Weeks

We recently went through two challenging weeks with Henry. First, he was having trouble napping for no apparent reason, then he had a stomach virus. I was worried that I had done something to screw up his natural ability to nap, and we were never going to get back on track! However, the last few days he has been pretty much back to his pleasant, long-sleeping self. Even before this, several friends had recommended the book The Wonder Weeks . I finally got it a few days ago, and reading it helped me discover that the unexplained wakefulness/grouchiness before the illness was my little sweetheart likely passing through his 8-week fussy period. And now he has new skills! Smiling and interacting! Batting at objects! Knowing when he's about to get fed! I've read about a third of it, and am finding it is so helpful for understanding baby development and anticipating changes that will come. It also is an important reminder that sometimes babies are more fussy not because we are doing

Henry's Birth Story

Contains details of my birth experience - read on at your own risk. If you have been following along, you read about how I was sick of waiting for Henry's birth, and how every day after the external version (turning around a breech baby) I thought I was in early labor, or was about to be shortly. That kind of expectation is mentally exhausting. So, in a way, I felt like I was in labor for a week before he was born. Another way of looking at it is that I was only in labor for four hours, and yet another way would be that I was only in labor for 19 minutes. I will explain. On Saturday night, January 7, we went out to dinner with some good friends. I ate a lot of food, and I was having mild contractions about every 5-8 minutes. We went home, the contractions went away, and I got in the shower and cried. I was so tired of waiting, of being in that "at any minute" state of mind of anticipating the unknown and knowing that I was growing a bigger and bigger baby. I was als


Baby Henry! Also known as Cupcake, Sugar, Hank, and Big Boy (so far). Born 2:19 AM January 8, at home (in the bathroom!), with a great team of support. 9 pounds 3 ounces, 21 inches, with a 14.5 inch head. We are getting good rest thanks to Henry's amazing sleeping abilities and the help of my wonderful mother.

Crafty Day of Waiting

I got out the sewing machine today, a friend came over, and we made a couple of things. She made Christmas stockings for next year, and I made a cashmere baby sleep sack and a little taggie toy for the unborn baby. I would have been able to get more accomplished, except I had to do some creative patching together on the baby sleep sack since I had less fabric left than I thought I did, and it took three tries to get the taggie pinned together correctly. I'd like to make another, bigger taggie that's more blanket-sized rather than toy, now that I know how to do it for sure. The taggies: (monkeys one made by me, flowers by my husband) Good directions for a taggie blanket can be found here   Sleep sack - may be a little short in length and I may still cuff the sleeves and add an applique design on the front: Good directions for wool baby sleep sacks can be found here And one last thing I whipped up at Stella's request - a dress for her baby doll, made out of a hand

The Waiting Game

Written around 10:00PM January 1 Here I am, sitting at the computer using a contraction timer, hoping these mild contractions are the start of labor. I am only 39 weeks pregnant (tomorrow) and have been through this with my doula clients many times before. I KNOW that there is no reason to set my hopes or expectations on having my baby on a particular day. I KNOW that the best time for my baby to be born is when my body goes into labor naturally. And yet.... I can't help but hope that it's tonight. Or tomorrow. Or within a couple of days at least. Sweet Pea was born on her due date, during the first week that I stayed home from work. I had just in the previous few days gotten everything done that I had wanted to do before the birth, and started some very mild natural labor encouragement techniques. I knew that first babies were often late, and was not overly anxious for her birth. So, when my water broke at 1:00 AM on her due date I was pleasantly surprised, and excited. Ev