Saturday, August 30, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday, Bug!

It's so hard to believe that Bug is two today. And I know I keep saying it but the time is just slipping away. He finally started talking a few months ago. Not that he ever had trouble telling us how he was feeling (this little face is more expressive than any other I know) but now at least he's finally putting words to things. His favorite words: choo choo, sissy, mama, milk, cat, truck, fire truck, and of course, the sound of a siren though I'm not sure if we can count that as an actual word. He also loves to cuddle, even more than Little Bear and is almost impossible to put to sleep without some sort of human contact. But as I said before, time flies so fast and what's another night of bedsharing when we never know how many are in our future. So here's to you, Bug. You amaze me with how you can just light up a room with your smile and draw everyone in. You are brave and silly and adventurous and so sure of yourself. I can't wait to see what this next year holds! I love you!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mighty Girl

The kids and I went to Sunriver this last weekend and got to spend some time at the aquatic center. Neither of my loves is 48" so the big slides were out of the question so Little Bear turned to the next most daring activity: the log walk. A series of rubberized "log" steps spanned one section of the pool. Using only your balance and a cargo net strung above the logs, you need to make your way from one side to another. Kids were falling into the water right and left but Little Bear decided she was going to go for it anyway.

No matter that she was the shortest in line by at least 12", or that she was younger by years and not even tall enough to reach the net at both ends. She was going to do it. Now, having learned my lesson with the stroller,  I simply encouraged her to try and asked if she'd like me to spot her from below (she said yes).

Her initial strategy of standing up each time and stepping from log to log didn't work and she fell twice the first go-through. But she got back up and stood in line again. The next time she kept her center of gravity lower and did OK until the end, when she hurled herself at the pool wall and hit square in the stomach. But the third time?  The third time she used a combo of crawling, leaping, and swinging to make it the whole way (and keep in mind, she was admonishing me every time I tried to manually steady one of the floating logs for her)! Her face at the end was priceless and I could see in every bone of her body how proud she was.

And then of course, she went back and did it again. :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mighty Girl!

I remember a few years ago, when Bug was a wee thing, Little Bear insisted on walking to the ice cream store near our house. Except that it's a mile away. But she wouldn't back down,  even as I continued to ask her if she wanted papa to pick us up in the car.

"It's OK just to go part way," I said and, "It's still really far, do you want to drive?" Really? Total parent fail. Luckily I caught myself in time and cheered her on the rest of the way, even when she did eventually get tired... and she did it!

So tonight, at our school's track meet when she asked to push Bug's stroller, I said yes. Even though it was one of the cheap umbrella deals from Walmart that is impossible to steer. And there were a million people. And I was pretty sure there was going to be a thunderstorm.

And Little Bear pushed it almost all the way to the car. Through a dirt and gravel path, up a grassy hill, and around corners. When she had trouble steering,  she bent down and aimed the wheels in the right direction. When she struggled, she pushed harder. Again, I cheered her on and again, she surpassed my expectations.

So here's to you, Little Bear, and to mighty girls everywhere. May you keep walking and keep pushing and may your mama always cheer you on. Even when it's about to rain.

Just stop

I am compelled to take pictures of my babies while they sleep.

My soft, snuggly one year old, who sleeps, as he does everything else, with total abandon. Who does not stop until he curls up on his tummy at the end of the day, arms and legs tucked up under him, and sighs heavily as you scratch his back. And then his mouth hangs open, his eyes roll back in his head, and his heavy lids close. And as I lay next to him, I want to remember.

And my tall, quirky four year old. She still naps during the day and desperately needs it. She also needs to fall asleep surrounded by 15 studded animals, a pike of books, and 1-3 shining lights. But she's just as snuggly and often times,  deep in the night, she cheerfully pads down the hall, pillow and blanket in hand. And then what do you say? Because for the same reason I take pictures of them sleeping, I let them search us our in the night. I want to remember.

No matter how far away it seems now, I know that one day they won't want to share our bed, won't want me to snuggle "just one more minute," and eventually,  won't even fall asleep in my house. During the day, they live fast and hard and I get caught up in all the day to day mom things. Before I know it, night has fallen and their breathing is once again soft and steady. So I pause, and take a picture.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Open House 2014

Today we got the opportunity to leave Bug behind (with his grandpa, not in the parking lot) and visit Little Bear’s school. She goes to Montessori school which means that generally, parents are encouraged to stay out of the classroom space and let the children take ownership of school and their work. Or something like that. There hasn’t been a ton of communication home from school, either, so the entire thing has been a bit of a mystery to us. But Little Bear seems happy and engaged so we don’t have any complaints. Anyway, Papa and I were both so excited to go visit this evening. I don’t know about him, but it was on my mind all day. Does she have friends? Will she behave herself? Is she learning anything?

We got there and Little Bear introduced us by our first names to her teacher. We were given a card that the teacher had written earlier. The three things that Little Bear had apparently indicated to the teacher that she wanted to show us were painting, geometric solids, and “The Adoration of Jesus.”

open house 2014

open house 2014

Little Bear walked straight in and got out a mat. She unrolled it and went to get her first set of work materials. After laying them all out, she realized the story book was missing, looked for it for a bit, and then put all the materials away. She then got out a second, similar set, and set everything out in a very specific order. Papa read the story to her but obviously didn’t have to. She hid the angel until it was time for him to appear, lined all the sheep up to pay their respects, and didn’t take Jesus out of the basket until it was time. It didn’t surprise either of us because doll and pretend play is a big part of what she loves doing at home, but it was fun to see her level of concentration and the very deliberate order in which she played out the story.

open house 2014

And then (and here was the coolest part for me) she folded up her blanket. The whole putting away process was a long one and, despite the adults and students crowding the carpet, everything was set back in its original spot before we moved on.

Next we went to one of the small tables, where she pulled out a basket of flat cloth napkins. Little Bear knew she needed a stool for this activity and went to seek one out. She also grabbed chairs for papa and I and invited us to sit next to her. This activity involved folding the napkins on sewn in lines so that the resulting figures were different shapes. She only struggled with one and then, without being prompted, returned everything to its place on the shelf.

open house 2014

open house 2014

After that, Little Bear worked on “Open and Close” and a few puzzles. Some of the activities she spent longer on, some she breezed through and put away. The puzzle was neat to watch because it was just wooden blocks that form a square shape. She didn’t piece them together right but worked through her problem until she solved it. open house 2014

open house 2014

open house 2014

Little Bear moved briefly from there to the following activity, which would have made her Boppa proud. That didn’t hold her interest long and we went briefly to the reading corner.

open house 2014

open house 2014

Finally, she landed on magnets, where she probably spent 15 minutes building. She kept asking Papa and I to guess what her creation was. Despite our valiant efforts, we never figured it out. As she started putting everything away, I finally asked her what it was she had been making. “Something from my imagination, mama.” she said. Right. Well, I could have guessed that.

open house 2014

open house 2014

open house 2014

Big boy bed!

Bug Bug has been a nightmare to put to bed. That is, if I don’t nurse him to sleep. The other night, it took me 2 1/2 hours trying to get him down before Papa finally came in and took over. 1 minute later, literally, Bug was asleep. Long story short, we took the side off his crib tonight in hopes that it would help me some. I sat on the floor next to him, he wedged his chubby hand in under my chin, and dozed off. He stayed in bed all night, too, aside from falling out once at about 11. At about 5:30 this morning, I watched on his monitor as he climbed down and toddled out into the hall. What a big boy!



Monday, August 19, 2013

Baby’s first car seat ride!

Did you know that you can use rolled up receiving blankets in a car seat to make the fit better for baby? Aftermarket products (those not actually sold WITH the car seat) are a BIG NO NO and should NEVER be used. But handy dandy receiving blankets can be and here’s how. Remember: Blankets should not be between the baby and the car seat, or between baby and the shoulder straps at any time.

Next to the baby’s head, like this (image courtesy


Next to the baby’s body, like this (image courtesy Car Seats For the Littles): Note that the picture on the left is a MISUSE picture.


Or between crotch strap and baby, like this (Image courtesy Louisiana Car Seat Mom):


For more on infant (bucket) seats, check out this article “Where does the handle go?” from CSFTL or this article, called “The picture guide to car seat safety” from the Daily Momtra.