Children like night and day

March 6, 2017 at 10:15 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Violet turns 22 months this week, and so we decided to move her up to the next level in her Gymboree class. I remember doing the same thing for Liam with his Itsy Bitsy Yoga class at Willow Street Yoga in Maryland at about the same age, and it was a disaster. He’d been so happy in the baby class, but when we switched to a new routine, he totally hated it. We only made it to a handful of classes before I decided to just give up. He would refuse to participate, crying at the door, and that was just the beginning of his many years of disdain for group activities.

Violet, on the other hand, took to it like a duck in water. She held back a bit with some of the new activities, but jumped in whole-heartedly with others. At one point they had the kids pretend to fish, and when the teacher dumped a bucket of little plastic fish under them, she exclaimed, “Oh!” and tried to climb down to get at them. Another activity, where they looked at little photos and told us what they saw, had her pointing and exclaiming in her ever-growing vocabulary. By the end of class she was hollering, “Jimbo!” and talking up a storm.

Amazing how different siblings can be, right?

Violet is 21 months old!

February 11, 2017 at 6:35 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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We’re in the home stretch… second birthday here we come! Violet is incredibly independent, but she still wants cuddles and kisses. Here’s what else vivacious Violet has been up to:

  • Violet has discovered coloring in a big way. She mostly loves coloring with markers on her own body, but she will also scribble on paper with crayons.

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  • She has mastered climbing on the dining room chairs. In fact, her favorite game is musical chairs, in which she pushes the adult (or brother) out of their chair so she can climb up there, just to climb back down and move to the next chair. Mealtimes in the high chair have become less desirable, though she still sometimes prefers it. I bought her a silicone butterfly plate that can suction to the table, and now her very favorite spot is next to her brother, crouched in her own dining room chair. She’s constantly up and down, walking around with food. It’s anarchy! I may have to break out the booster chair and see if that contains her. Knowing her, I doubt it.

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  • The entourage, consisting of three baby dolls, accompany her wherever she goes. Their newest member is an Ernie doll I used to drag around with me everywhere at this age. All four sit in the chair while I read to them. And they all find themselves in the crib with her for naps and bedtime.
  • Violet is on a constant, vigilant quest to acquire my iPhone. If I leave it on a table, she makes a beeline for it. She covets it when she gets her grubby hands on it, smearing the face as she delightedly touches the buttons. If I ask for it back, she screams, “No! Mine!” and runs away. I’ve recently taught her how to share with other kids by giving them another toy and asking for the toy they have. She tries that with me, handing me her toy smart phone while pleading for mine.
  • She’s getting better on her little push trike, tooling around the living room. We took it to the park once, but she couldn’t get very far because a small crowd of toddlers surrounded her, ooo-ing and ahh-ing and wanting a turn.
  • She’s still super into books, spending a good part of her day looking through books or being read to. Her favorite titles at the moment are Peanut Butter & Cupcake and Mix It Up.
  • Every night she still dutifully sits on the potty. She’s started informing me now when she has a poopy diaper. The other day, as I was changing and cleaning her up, she said, “Thank you very much!”

 

Violet is 20 months old!

January 11, 2017 at 9:28 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Look at that smile! She’ll happily say “cheese” if you ask her to. One of many developments in her budding personality. Here are some more:

  • At Christmas she received two more baby dolls and a purse with lipstick, compact, smart phone and keys. She also got a little kitchen and a tea set. She loves to walk around the house with her purse on her shoulder and a baby under one arm. Such a girlie girl!
  • She also loves to feed her babies. She’ll put one of them in the high chair and offer her snacks. Unlike her, the babies like milk from a “bobble.” She says it just like my sister used to at that age.
  • Her vocabulary continues to grow, 100+ words at this point. She heartily points to objects and names them. She repeats any word you ask her to, and some you don’t. I better watch my language! She’s also figuring out sentences. She’ll wave and say, “Bye! Morrow!” She’ll say, “Get that!” when she wants something. Today she said, “Sissy hungry.” She can also say Liam’s name, a very short and adorable, “Leem!”
  • Whenever she notices two of something, she’ll immediately call it out. “Two babies!” She’s getting better at counting, as well. “One, two, four, three…”
  • This girl loves music. Whenever she hears a song, she’ll stop whatever she’s doing (ahem…nursing) and exclaim, “Song! Dance!” Then she’ll clap her hands, wriggle to get down, and shake her booty.
  • And, yes, we’re still nursing. Once she’s finally over this jet lag, I plan to start cutting back to just naptimes and bedtime. This could be a challenge…for us both. It’s nice to have such a quick and easy way to calm her, and she’s getting increasingly agitated about things as she approaches two.
  • She often wakes up hungry, declaring she needs, “Snacks!” and then grabs my hand and marches me out the door to the kitchen. I asked the other day if she wanted breakfast. “Yes. Breakfast snacks.”
  • She grew four new teeth this month, all four canines. Add to that the jet lag and sleeping in a strange bed for most of the month, and it didn’t make for very restful nights.
  • She’ll eat eggs in take-out fried rice, but not scrambled eggs for breakfast. Perhaps I should add soy sauce.
  • And just for fun, here’s Liam’s 20-month write up. Check out that silly smile! They are definitely siblings! Although it’s funny to see the differences. Like how she can say 100 words and he could only say a handful. How fearless she is, and how fearful he was (and still is!). How I was so thrilled that he went down the slide all by himself on his tummy, and she’s been a pro at the slide for months. She’s like Liam 2.0!

More fun photos!

Violet is 19 months old!

December 11, 2016 at 10:29 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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scan0007This girl is just oozing personality now. Check out what she’s been up to:

  • Her two favorite words now are “Phone” and “Applesauce.” And she says both as clear as a bell.
  • She’s been known to voice an opinion or two about what she’s going to wear. She’s especially fond of her pink tutu, though it isn’t a daily requirement…yet. She will insist on wearing a bow every day. Now that she has enough hair for pigtails, we often have two bows.
  • So it seems we’re potty training now. At her insistence. She sits on the potty every night before her bath. She’s only actually peed once and pooped once in the potty, but we’re definitely planting the seed for success here. She’s been telling me when she poops, so that’s a good sign that we’ll be potty training this one early.
  • I finally finished decorating her room. She loves the little 3D purple butterflies.
  • Tonight when I changed her diaper, she reached her little hand under my armpit and squealed, “Tickle!” So flippin’ cute.
  • At bedtime she has to have her Dolly and her Blankie. She’ll even lead me over to my phone — she knows I like to listen to podcasts while we nurse. These are the three essentials. Whenever she needs a nap or is going to bed, she’ll say, “Nighty-go.”
  • This girl loves to sing. She’s got the ABC’s song up to E, and she’ll do all the hand motions to Itsy Bitsy Spider, as best as her clumsy little hands can manage. She’s also tried to count a little, going “two…four” and pointing her finger to things in a book that I typically count out with her.
  • Another favorite word…”again.” She likes to read books over, and over, and over again. She’ll also ask for more food with a, “more please.”

We had a very eventful weekend. Here are more photos from the Embassy Christmas Party and the Gymboree Christmas Party we attended on Saturday, and the birthday party we attended at Pipis on Sunday:

A playdate for Violet

February 18, 2016 at 3:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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It amazes me how different one child can be from another. Or at least my memory of said child — it has been awhile since Liam was nine months old, and his monthly write up doesn’t jive with my memory of his personality at that time. I do remember him eating just about everything I gave him. But I also remember him being sensitive about getting hurt. But maybe that came later. And I could swear that he was crawling at nine months, but I guess he wasn’t quite there yet. Violet isn’t, either. In fact, I feel like she’s a little bit behind him with pulling up and cruising.

At any rate, we had a big play date today at the embassy, and I can assure you that my children handle crowds of children in very different ways. While Liam would have been crying in my arms every time a child got near him or lightly tapped him, Violet was totally fine with the chaos. One little girl kept stepping on her foot, and it did not phase her in the slightest. Mind you, this could all change as she approaches two. I remember Liam’s personality did a 180 right around 20 months or so. But I think having a big brother all up in her grill everyday has made her more tolerant of strange kids crawling all over her. Which is a welcome change to my little Brazilian soccer player. You know, because he’s always faking an injury. Heh.

Five month milestones for Violet

October 21, 2015 at 10:35 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Three more weeks until Vi is six months old (where did the time go?!), and this week she hit a couple of major milestones. First, all this week she’s been super cranky and drooly. Despite Liam acting the same way at this age, he didn’t cut teeth until around 8 months, and I was expecting about the same from his sister. But yesterday as she was chomping down on my knuckle, I felt a barely perceptible sharp angle on her bottom gum. I wasn’t sure if I was imagining things, but this morning it’s even more noticeable. My baby girl is cutting her first tooth! At five months!

Five months was also the time Liam started sleeping in his crib, so I decided to give it a try with Violet. She’s been very cozily sleeping in the Pack n’ Play in our room, and often times in my arms in the bed, until now. Monday morning I gently laid her in her crib for her morning nap, eyes open, and she just laid there looking around. Wow. This was easier than I thought! But then five minutes later the wailing started. I dutifully waited 10 minutes before going in, and I tried my best to comfort her without picking her up. But she WASN’T HAVING IT. So I bounced her back to sleep and gently laid her down. Well, as gently as I could – we’re not using our old drop-side crib anymore, so I have to stand precariously on a stool to get her in without waking her. Sheesh. Fifteen minutes later she was crying again. Needless to say, it was a long day for both of us. That night, after a handful of attempts with the crib, I decided to put her back in our room and try another tack in the morning. Tuesday I moved the Pack n’ Play into her room next to her crib. It just barely fits. And things went more more smoothly after that. In fact, last night around 10:30 she woke up, then managed to calm herself after 15 minutes. Way to go, Violet! She woke up at 1:30 and 4:30 to nurse, and I took her to my bed for the latter one. But she slept most of the night in her room for the first time ever! I’m hoping we can eventually segue into the crib once she has self-soothing down pat. Progress!

Violet is 5 months old!

October 12, 2015 at 3:30 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Here’s what my sweetie has been up to this month:

  • Woe is me, this girl STILL does not like riding in the car! On our most recent visit to KC, she was either sleeping or screaming all the way there. She cried for two straight hours on the way home yesterday, despite all the stopping I did to calm her down. She was fed, changed, covered in a blanket, not covered in a blanket, air conditioning turned up, turned down, window down, window up – it did not seem to matter what I did unless I took her out of the car seat and held her. Needless to say a twelve-hour drive to Lexington for Thanksgiving is out of the question. Let’s hope she enjoys planes better.
  • Our little miss is getting very particular lately. She prefers one bathtub over the other, she prefers nursing on one side over the other, and right now she seems to just want her mama. She won’t take a bottle anymore at all, even from me. She still lights up when James comes home, and others can hold her for a bit. But only mama can calm her down completely. Which has made going to the Y or having someone watch her while I volunteer at the school challenging. She pretty much cries the whole time I’m gone.
  • This girl is sitting like a champ! She’s still a little tippy, and she doesn’t take kindly to toppling over, especially if she lands on her belly. But she can hold herself upright reasonably well, and she’s much happier for it. She loves her new vantage in the stroller, sitting up instead of riding in her infant carrier. She’s still a little bit small to fit the straps, but she’s secure enough not to topple out.
  • We are in love with baby headbands. I never thought I’d be that mom, but with that little swoop of hair in the front, I just can’t resist. Must get more of them!
  • We’ve continued to give her rice cereal, and each night she seems to master opening her mouth and swallowing a little better. This morning I mushed some of my banana in my fingers and gave her a taste…she couldn’t get enough! I think this time around I’m not going to make such a big production of purchasing baby food or concocting purees. Much simpler to just feed her what we’re eating, mashed up or cut into tiny pieces.
  • This girl loves to nurse. Pre-nap, post-nap, every three hours, every one hour…whenever she gets fussy I just pop her on the boob and that usually calms her down.
  • She’s still no closer to rolling over. In fact, I’d say she spends even less time lying on the floor now that she can sit. The doctor says it’s still normal not to have mastered it by 6 months, but after that they’ll have to make sure nothing is wrong.
  • Bye bye bassinet! Time to Ferberize! Liam was sleeping (relatively) soundly in his crib around this age, so I’m hoping to get Violet sleeping through the night in her crib here in the next month or so. Baby steps, though. I’m solo parenting for the next four weeks (four very long weeks, to be sure), so she’s sleeping in the pack n’ play in the bedroom until I decide to give the crib a try. Judging from her two-hour scream session in the car, this girl will likely be more difficult to sleep train than her brother. It’s always something, isn’t it?

And because I had a hard time deciding on a photo, here are some other cute ones from today:

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Violet’s Big Milestone

September 29, 2015 at 2:13 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Look at my girl, she’s sitting all by herself now! At just a little over four and a half months old, she’s got Liam beat on this milestone by more than a month. But I’m not entirely surprised. Unlike Liam as an infant, she is not content to just lie around. In fact, I suspect she’ll start rolling over from her back to her tummy a bit later than Liam did because she detests lying down so much. She’s very nearly there, curling her little body into a little parenthesis when she’s on her back…but then she catches a glimpse of the TV, and her floor acrobats are over. Just trying to see what’s on, mom! Sigh…the TV is on a lot more because of her brother, and she’s showing more interest in it than Liam ever did. When Liam’s not around we listen to a lot of NPR and classical music. Maybe that’ll counteract all of the Scooby Doo and Looney Tunes.

Violet’s First Food

September 23, 2015 at 10:36 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I wasn’t sure when we started Liam on solids, so I consulted his baby book (no help—just a photo and no date) and this blog. Turns out he was around 5 months old, and I absolutely agonized over it. Silly first time mommy, me!

For the past few weeks Violet has been eying my food as I put it in my mouth, as if to say, “So…where’s my bite?” She loves sitting in the Bumbo chair on the table or counter to watch us all eat our meals. And for the past week she’s been voraciously hungry at night…even more than usual. She’s 4 1/2 months now…seemed like as good a time as any to try solids! (See what I did there? That is definitely a second-time mommy move.)

We read the label on the package, mixed up the cereal with the amount of breast milk it recommended, and fed her a few bites of the water concoction…which she promptly spit out all over her bib. (Cute bib made by Jan, BTW). I remembered this stuff being more like Cream of Wheat, so we added more cereal to thicken it up and tried again. A few more bites in and she was totally getting it. And loving it! I remember Liam having a very similar reaction to food, as if to say, “This is a much more efficient way to convey nutrition, mommy.” (That’s exactly how he would phrase it in his baby mind, I’m sure.)

She was in a super good mood for the rest of the night, and she immediately went to sleep at bedtime. She didn’t last through the night quite as I hoped (up at midnight, then again at 4:30), but as her appetite for rice cereal increases, perhaps that will change. Here’s hoping!

The Good, the Bad, and the Messy

July 3, 2015 at 9:19 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’m coming to understand why parents of two young children seldom leave the house. But I’m the kind of person who can’t stay cooped up for long, plus, apparently, I’m a glutton for punishment. Thursday I planned a relatively simple outing: lunch out with James and a short trip to Exploration Place. As I sat down to nurse Violet at 11:30, I sent Liam to watch a show, and I figured we could leave after that. Ten minutes later a stomping, huffing, whining six-year-old came blustering into the nursery. Netflix wasn’t working, he couldn’t watch his show, and I must FIIIIX IIIIT. Instead, because Vi had just finished eating, I convinced him to (reluctantly and with much complaining) put on his shoes and get in the car. Then, just as I’d started to pull out of the garage, I heard the tell-tale sound of Violet violently filling her diaper.

Dear God.

It was everywhere. So I had to carry her back in the house like a dripping explosive, clean her up, change her clothes, clean up the car seat, get both kids BACK in the car (cuz you better believe Liam wasn’t going to stay in the car with the bad smell), and set off again.

Thankfully, Chinese buffet was uneventful. In fact, I’m tickled that Liam likes it so much. Mind you, he doesn’t eat a single bit of Chinese food – this huge buffet has french fries, muffins, and cakes, too. But it does encourage him to try new foods. That day he wanted to try a fried banana and every color of Jello they had. It was amusing. 

Things didn’t get bad again until we sat down to watch a short movie at Exploration Place. Violet had slept in her stroller during our whole visit to the museum, but decided to wake up just as we’d entered the theater. I quickly settled her down in my arms and we watched the program in relative peace. And then…more explosive filling of the diaper. While I was holding her.

Dear God.

Quickly I hopped up and grabbed a receiving blanket to keep as much from seeping onto me as possible. Then I took a very unhappy six-year-old out of the movie early so we could clean her up, change her clothes, and get the heck out of there. Earlier I’d promised him a trip to the gift shop, and it was right on our way out, so that placated him a bit. And I found the cutest Bazinga onsie for Violet, which cheered me up a bit, as well.

Today we’re off to Kansas City, our first long distance outing with two kids. We’re just staying one day – long enough for James and I to have our first date night since Violet came along. It’s a three hour drive, and I’m hoping we can make it with no stops… and no explosive diapers.

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