Sunday, September 30, 2012

Eight Months

Cecilia napped for about 20 minutes this afternoon. Bad form. She is only eight months old, however, so sleep was going to find her whether she wanted it to or not. One minute she was jumping and the next...

About 45 minutes later we heard her start jumping was like she woke up, realized where she was and wondered why she had stopped jumping in the first place. Love her.


Writing monthly updates on my little one is turning out to be a pretty awesome way to spend some of my time. I went back and read what Cecilia was like as a 7 month old and I love that I can get a clear glimpse into what life was like a measly month ago and see how it's changed (or hasn't, in a few cases).

There have been a handful of major changes since last month, one being that she can now feed herself little bits of food. I was saying last month that I looked forward to this stage and here were are!

The only problem is she eats them so fast that you have to be armed and ready to replenish her supply as needed or else. If she finds her tray empty she yells and slams her hands on the tray until she gets what she wants. We are working on teaching her "more" in sign language...much more civilized.

The other major change is with her mobility. She has retired the army crawl for the much cooler (and yet more traditional) crawl on the hands and knees.

This change seemed to naturally lead to pulling herself up on furniture and shuffling her little feet so as to get from one end of the table to the other. Walking along furniture is slooow right now, but it's amazing how much more adept she has gotten at this in just a handful of days.

One thing she has yet to conquer is playing with a toy while standing. Sometimes she will use both hands to put a toy in her mouth and down she goes....I do a lot of hovering when she is on the loose.

This improvement in overall body control has forced me to adjust the way I bathe her and change her. Bathing has actually gotten easier (HOORAY!!). She sits up on her own so she can just go wild splashing whilst I clean her and wash her hair (you have no idea what a project it is to wash this kid's hair).

Changing her clothes or diaper on the other hand has become nothing short of dreadful. I often find myself putting one leg over her chest to immobilize her. Trust me, it's necessary.

As I mentioned, a few things about little C have not actually changed much at all in the past month. She is still enamored with her brother. She still sleeps well at night and is somewhat sorta kinda consistent with naps (jumparoo nap excluded). She still laughs like crazy when I tickle her by her collar bone. She still eats a bottle every 3 hours like clockwork. She still gives 90% of new faces a dead stare and refuses to smile (and even some familiar ones...Tiffany). She still generally dislikes to sit up because there is way too much to explore. I got a rare shot of her doing just this with a toy the other day...

More than anything, she continues to be a delight (even when she is causing trouble). Love her to bits. I wonder what month eight will bring!

Friday, September 28, 2012

A little of this, a little of that...

Tonight Cecilia fell asleep in the car; I carried her in and she stayed sound asleep. There is something so wonderful about carrying a big sleeping baby. The bigger they are the sweeter it is, probably because the bigger they are the less often this happens. But tonight it happened, and I walked extra slowly from the car to the house and up to her room.

Today Simon wondered why it's called a forehead when you only have one head. Good question, son.

I've been itching to do something with Cecilia's hair lately. It's getting really long (several inches when pulled straight) and I wanted to do something other than put a headband in it. So I put my brave hat on, put her in her high chair with many many puffs and 30 minutes later we had a mini masterpiece. Okay so maybe it's not earth shattering, but I am a very proud vanilla mom right now :)

I have hopes that this style will stay in good shape for at least a few days. I also tried puffs this week and they weren't tough enough for this little lady, but they were worth a shot!

Simon is really into screens lately. I have to make sure to pay close attention to how much of his day is spent staring at said screens. Sometimes he steals my phone and hides in the toy room until I notice...we're working on that.

I don't really love little girl jammies. I want to buy her little boy ones because I think they are so much cuter (barring the leopard ones from Auntie Al).

Tomorrow morning we have book club at a restaurant. I am really looking forward to this!! We also have two birthday parties later in the day; Simon is stoked. I told him he could pick something from the dollar section at Target today and he picked a pack of glow in the dark spiders. He has been obsessing about handing them out at Lily's party and made sure he had enough for all the kids. I thought this was quite thoughtful.

If you haven't been introduced to Momastery yet, I suggest you check it out. Yesterday she introduced me to a charity that helps young adults who have aged out of the foster care system (in other words, they turned 18 and are subsequently on their own in every sense). You can buy them things they need, donate money, help them find jobs, just plain offer them support in a variety of ways. This spoke to me. Cecilia could have so easily been a child in foster care. Her birth mother chose a more stable path for her thank God, but it really could have been. Eighteen years from now, Cecilia could have been left to her own devices with no family, no support, no nothing. She would have deserved help and love and to know that someone really cared about her. It makes me so sad to think that there are other people who started life just like her, and through no fault of their own had a horribly rocky life and then were expected to be fully independent, functioning members of society come eighteen. They could use some help. Check it out. It may not speak to you like it did to me, but it's worth a click.

It's getting late and I'm starting to feel pensive....I should go to bed, this post has gotten long enough. I will leave you with Simon eating a banana (in an outfit he picked out himself, can you tell?).

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Grocery Shopping

While grocery shopping with kids is definitely not my favorite adventure, lately it has been tolerable...amusing even. At Woodman's where we do all of our grocery shopping, they have these carts with benches attached to them so your bigger child(ren) can look at the younger child who is sitting in the cart.

This bodes well for us. Simon has the freedom to easily get in and out of the cart and Cecilia has built in entertainment. Barring two specific incidents in recent history that I am trying to block out, we seem to be managing our trips to the grocery store pretty well these days (and good thing, because we visit there often).

Anyway, here is a glimpse into what grocery shopping these days looks like for us...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

30 Day Challenge Complete.

 Good Morning!

Today marks 30 days from when I started my no-coffee-exercise-every-day challenge. Coffee is no longer on my radar and I've only skipped working out 4 days...close enough.

A month ago when I would wake up in the morning, I would think about coffee and not much else. Now I just think about how I don't want to go to the Y. Despite my early morning internal protests, I'm usually warmed to the idea by the time Cecie is done eating and we're able to make it happen. All around, this was a great goal to have and I think it's really helped me to make exercise a regular part of my life again.

Now, what should my next mission be? :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Happy Dog. Happy Brother. Happy Update.

Happy Dog:

We're at that stage when I can put Cecie in her high chair with little food bits and she will be entertained for quite some time trying to eat said food. 

She manages to get some in her mouth with great effort and determination, but most of it winds up on her body or the floor.

Enter dog.

Elliot loves this and, frankly, I love it too. Not having to clean a single thing up off the floor (or even from the seat of the high chair) is pretty awesome. We have a living, breathing vacuum cleaner to happily take care of that for us.

Now if only Elliot could figure out how to get mashed food out of the deep recesses of her fro, we'd be all set.


Happy Brother:

Having Simon around to watch Cecilia grow up has been ridiculously fun so far. He was there when she first learned to crawl, when she started to crawl with her belly off the floor, when she first started babbling ("she said 'grandpa!'"), etc. He gets so excited when he sees her doing something new.

The other day, she was in her pack 'n play and reached up so that she was standing on her knees holding on the the side. Simon saw this and yelled to me, "Mom! Come quick! Cecie is doing something super cool!"

And then today, when she got all the way to her feet in there, he exclaimed, "Mom! She's standing! She's standing, Mom!" with pure joy on his face (she thought this was pretty cool too, as you can see).

I have always loved watching babies learn new things. It's just exciting for me to see tiny humans do something they have never, ever done before. But throw Simon's excitement into the mix? It practically kills me.


Happy Update:

Since August 27th, I've skipped working out 3 days. I intended to skip out zero days, but I'm fine with it. Taking a day off every week is reasonable in the grand scheme of things and I hope I can continue this trend indefinitely. Having a routine helps...every morning I get up, get the kids fed and ready, head to the Y, work out, head home and immediately put Cecilia down for her first nap of the day. I know when it gets colder out it's going to be a little more of a mental challenge, but we'll make it happen. So that's that.

And coffee? So last month. Caffeine too. I decided I couldn't live without a warm beverage every day, though, so I've made friends with herbal tea. Badabing.

Monday, September 17, 2012


The past few days have been all about boogers. Our dear Cecilia has a face full of them every time I turn around and she does NOT enjoy when I wipe them away. Maybe she is angry because she likes how they taste or how the slime moisturizes her skin or how they feel on her fingertips. No matter the reason, she wants to keep them and doesn't want to share them with a tissue or a towel or a little fleece sweatshirt I found in the car (desperate times and all that).

One swipe to the nose = total hysteria.

Not only is she a little booger face, but she has been tear stained and puffy eyed and has looked generally strung out.

And to make matters worse, she has a mom that will photograph her crying rather than soothe her. Poor kid.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Passing through Tantrum City

We've been seeing the above expression (with accompanying sound effects) entirely too often these past few days. August was a fantastic month; if you recall I even wrote about how agreeable Simon had been as of late, but that agreeable kid appears to have gone in hiding and a possessed version of himself has risen to the surface.

I know that the normal child he can be will win out again eventually, but man is it frustrating to deal with his bull shit in the meantime!

Interestingly enough, after the fit he threw in the grocery store I told him he was teaching Cecilia how to be naughty and he did not like that idea. I said he needed to act like a nice boy so that Cecilia could learn how to be a nice girl, and he actually stopped crying at this point to set a good example.

I will be using this tactic against him in the future...thank goodness he loves his little sister so much! :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

5 Minutes

I feel like I would be doing a disservice to my friends and family if I didn't share this with you...

A while back I posted about making homemade laundry detergent. It worked fine, but it was a teensy bit complicated and it wasn't formulated for high efficiency machines so I went back to using store bought detergents when we got a new machine.

I liked the idea of making my own, though, so I did some more research online and found a homemade detergent recipe that is A) good for any kind of washing machine and B) a million times easier than the last recipe I used.

Seriously, it is so easy. And so cheap. And it works significantly better than the kind I had been buying from the store.

So here's what you do...find 5 minutes in your day, finely grate a bar of ivory soap with a cheese grater and add it to a cup of borax and a cup of washing soda. Mix well. The end!

Yup, I'm excited about laundry detergent. Hellooooo thirties!! :)

{Store detergent in an airtight container. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load. For detailed directions and pictures, click here.}

Monday, September 10, 2012

Busses and Boo-hooing

The Bus.

The bus is a super convenient resource for parents, especially those with younger children at home. For example, today Cecilia fell asleep for her nap at noon and since Simon was taking the bus to school I didn't have to wake her up 45 minutes later to get him to school in time...she could sleep uninterrupted for as long as she needed. 

One big point for the bus. 

Plus millions of kids have taken the bus to and from school for years and years. Using the bus is the more environmental friendly option. Simon thinks it's super cool to ride the bus. We are already paying for the bus with our tax dollars. When kids use the bus who are eligible it keeps the parking lot at the school less congested.

Five more points for the bus.

The thing is, I've been holding that boy's hand through everything for the past four and a half years and today I had to let go. I had to watch him get into a moving vehicle with a complete stranger and watch it drive away. Even writing that sentence sends shivers down my spine. Would the driver follow the rules of the road? Would he use his blinkers and take his time slowing down? Would he go straight to school or would he just decide to kidnap all of them? And Simon, would he sit in a safe way? Would he be nice to the other kids? Would they be nice to him? Would he follow the rules? Would he fall asleep on the bus and get forgotten? 

All these questions were racing through my brain as we waited at the end of our driveway for the damn bus. 

I was hiding my tears behind my sunglasses and Simon was clueless playing next to me. When the bus came he excitedly got right on and didn't look back. The bus driver had him come back so I could get a picture (one point for the driver), and I was still holding myself together.

But then it drove away. 

With my son.

And it lost all its points.

My phone happened to ring at this moment and it was my older sister. I decided to answer it because I wasn't thinking or seeing straight and could barely choke out a hello. She was frantic on the other line thinking something actually bad happened. Eventually I was able to tell her, "Simon just got on the bus" between my sobs. She laughed, as she should have. Soon I was able to settle down, we had a nice long chat and I was able to make the most of the rest of my afternoon.

I was less anxious waiting for him to come home, but it being 18 late minutes didn't help. Luckily one of my neighbors was around and chatted with me while I waited which helped pass the time. And then there he was, in my arms. One second later he was trying to wriggle free so he could pet the neighbor's dog. It appeared as though this day did not mean the same to him as it did to me (probably a good thing).

I tried for the rest of the night to get him to tell me something about his day, but all I got out of him was "I liked my seat." When pressed further he indicated he was referring to both his seat on the bus and in his classroom...aka he didn't care about this conversation anymore and wanted to appease me.

Tomorrow is another day and I think it will go better. For me. I assume (hope) it will go about the same for him :) 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

30 Day Challenge Update - 2 Weeks In

Tomorrow will mark the half-way point in my little exercise-more-drink-less-coffee adventure.

I'd love to tell a tale of having exercised every single day as planned, but I was a slacker on Labor Day. I can't say I'm too torn up about it, though. It was a holiday, so I took a holiday from exercise. Holidays should be exempt from self-imposed rules, right? I think so.

On the contrary, I did not give myself a holiday from my coffee pact because, frankly, after a week without it I just didn't really care about it anymore. I was doing fine with plain old tea.

But I was still caffeine dependent, my teeth were still slowly yellowing with each sip and my damaged esophagus continued to burn every day (all of which were secondary reasons for giving up coffee after no longer wanting the extra calories from the creamer). So I figured maybe I should give up tea too. I can't remember exactly when I had it last, but I do know I had a few foggy days without it this week. I had a hard time feeling focused and felt almost bored (for lack of a better term) despite a hundred things I could be doing. I really think it was caffeine withdrawal.

In any case, I switched to water and however many days it has been seems like it was enough to get over the hump and feel okay. Stupid reflux is still in full effect, though. Maybe one day I'll figure that hot mess out.

So there you have it. An update :)

And here are two pics of Cecie just because...


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bristol Renaissance Faire

Yesterday we went to the Bristol Renaissance Faire. It's a place for all kinds of interesting people to get together and party like it's 1599 (according to their website anyway). Workers and visitors alike talk and dress like it's several hundred years ago which makes for great people watching. We saw knights, pirates, whores, sword fighters, jesters, royalty and even one ninja (I think the ninja may have been confused about this place, not sure).

At one point the queen was making a grand entrance right where we were standing. This guy was very excited to see the fake leader in her costume. He may have pooped himself...

In addition to the spectacular people watching, there's also a ton of food, shops, shows and other stuff for kids to do (most of which I guarantee you were not around in 1599...iced cappuccinos anyone?). All around it was a fun, freaky place to go with family and friends on summer day.

Here is Simon shooting a bow and arrow; he was very excited about it...

Here he is digging for treasures with Danielle. And by "treasures" I mean drawer handles, bloody fingers, shells, plates and other crap people wanted to throw in the garbage but instead donated to the Faire so suckers like myself could pay $3 for their kid to find said items in the sand. At least he got to keep one treasure - a snake - and it kept him busy for a long time.

Tiffany time...

Cecie just doing her thing...

Simon watching the knights go by on horseback...

And a pony ride, his reward for being a good boy all day! The funniest part was that the only pony left for him was also named Simon :)