Monday, November 30, 2009

Weaning and sleeping

So as Penelope's first birthday approaches, so does the end of bottles... we're not going to quit cold turkey (which just makes Pen sound like a formula junkie) but we are going to start the weaning process. In a way we already have - P is down to 3 bottles a day and those generally coincide with her nap schedule. She has one around 9:30 and naps around 10, has one at 2 and generally naps around 2:30, and then has her bedtime bottle right before she goes to sleep.

At the height of bottle consumption she was at 6 a day (I think) so we've cut her formula intake in half. This means, of course, that she eats more solids throughout the day. She has three meals and two snacks a day - and sometimes those snacks are bottles at this point. So eventually those snacks will be just solids and she'll drink water or milk with meals. She already gets whole milk with breakfast and she really seems to like it, so that's good.

By the end of the month I'd like to cut down to 2 bottles - maybe just morning and night. By February I'd like her to be down to just the nighttime bottle and before the next baby comes I'd like for her to be off bottles completely.

We'll see how this goes. If she's really resistant then I'll reevaluate... I don't want the transition to be traumatic. But I also don't want to have two babies on bottles (hopefully breastfeeding will work this time, but I know that at some point pumping/bottle feeding will be necessary since I'll have to go back to work and will have to student teach in the Fall). The thought of two babies on bottles (even part-time) fills me with dread and makes the hand on my skin weep. Bottle washing is hell on your skin.

So if Penny can be off bottle before April I will be a very, very happy mama. The nighttime bottle will be the hardest - for us both - so we'll see if milk in a sippy plus a bedtime story will do the trick. It's the last one I want to get rid of so I have some time before I have to worry about it. She may surprise me and wean on her own, she is getting more independent when it comes to eating (which is a whole 'nother post).

This of course brings me to sleeping. She's been doing well, sleeping from 8-6:30 or 7, except the last week or so she's woken up at night and needed to come into bed with us. I say needed, but it's really just easiest for us - I'm sure I could make her stay in her crib and she'd sleep eventually but I'm not comfortable with letting her cry (it works well for some moms & families, but it's not for us). I know that it's her 2nd molar that's bothering her; and maybe the third molar as well. I admit that I enjoy waking up next to her in the morning, although I do NOT enjoy being smacked in the face in the middle of the night.

Once New Baby gets here nighttime bed transfers will have to stop - and ideally they'll stop well before then. Since we co-sleep with our new babies until they're about 3 months old, we just can't have New Baby, Penelope, and us in the same bed - there just isn't room. It's hard enough now with the three of us (plus the damn cat)... there's no way we can fit a baby into the mix. So Penny is going to have to stay in her own bed.

We contemplated getting bunk beds for Pen (so eventually the two kids could share a room) but after talking with our midwives we've decided that's not really the way we want to go... their stories of bunk bed hassles have given us a lot to think about - a lot we never really considered (like sheet changing and sick kids). So bunk beds are out. I think Bryan is just going to build a frame for a queen sized mattress that's low to the ground. P will move to the queen in her new room (which is now the "guest" room), the baby will eventually move into the nursery, and when the baby is old enough both kids will share a room. They'll either share the queen sized bed, we'll get two twins, or do some sort of trundle thing. It all depends on the gender and temperament of New Baby.

Ok, time to finish addressing the Holiday cards. I ordered 50, but I think I'll need to get more...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pictures and video

Pictures and video from the last few days:

Penelope dancing to various songs:

Riding her horsey (a birthday present from Great Aunt Diana & Great Uncle Bill)
Playing with blocks

Pier 39:
On the carousel
On the Pier - Alcatraz in the background
Looking at the water/sea lions

Dickens Christmas Fair:
Hanging out at Mad Sal's stage
Someone is EXHAUSTED

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Firsts, Lasts, Repeat Repeat Repeat

The first year of a baby's life arguably contains the greatest amount of firsts they will experience - I mean, the whole year is full of them. We've had some fun ones this past year, and Saturday will mark the Last First (well, holiday/celebration wise). It will be Penelope's First Birthday. I am looking forward to (and slightly dreading) the event, which will take place at a local pizza parlor and is themed "Winter Onederland" (cute huh? I didn't come up with it).

Anyway it should be a lot of fun, but it will be bittersweet. My baby isn't so baby anymore...

But until then, we have a whole week of firsts left. Last week was P's first Thanksgiving, today was her first trip to Pier 39 & the Dicken's Christmas Fair. Tomorrow will be her first November 29th (I know, lame, but there's really not much else going on that day).

I have some pictures of Thanksgiving & of today, but I am WAY too tired to grab the connector cord thing for the camera and upload the pictures to post. Maybe I'll get around to it tomorrow. Maybe.

So that pretty much takes care of Firsts and Lasts... on to Repeat Repeat Repeat.

We've gotten to that LOVELY phase of childhood where Penelope LOVES to force her poor, exhausted, and only sometime patient mother to repeat EVERYTHING. She wants me to read to her now (instead of just flipping through the books) and then will have me read the same d@mn book over and over and over again. I have memorized most of the books we have in the livingroom. Thankfully my Aunt Diana gifted us with a bunch of new books so I have a lot more left to memorize (I'm not being sarcastic here, I'm very very glad for the new material - I think if I had to read "Mr. Brown Can Moo" one more time I'd need to be committed).

She also loves to have me repeat words. So tonight she would show me the blue crayon over and over again so I would tell her "blue" and then she'd laugh like it was the funniest joke in the world.

This stage is getting old - fast. It's lasted about 2 days and I am ready for it to be over already... only I have a feeling its only just begun. Oy vey.

Oh! Last week I ordered our holiday cards - hopefully they come in the mail Monday and I can get them out soon. I love the preview of them online so I hope they turn out well.

And now for a New Baby update:
New Baby has decided that he/she would like to take a more active role - by kicking the bejesus out of me morning and night (not noon, he/she sleeps then). This equals so AWESOME sleep for mama... and by awesome I mean restless. I shouldn't be surprised (and I'm not really), since Penelope did the exact same thing when she was "on the inside" <- that makes it sound like prison.

Anyway, the movement is reassuring and a little annoying. Especially since Penelope has gotten so much better at sleeping through the night (from 8pm-6:30am). I'd also like to sleep then, but find myself awake and tossing and turning most of the night. The sleep deprivation will only get worse once New Baby makes his/her appearance.

One day, when the kids are 12 & 13, I will get a full 8 hours of blissful, uninterrupted sleep. I hope. So kids, if you're reading this now, all mommy wants for Mother's Day is to be allowed to sleep in until noon. Of course, once my kids are old enough to let me sleep in I'll have morphed into my own mother and wake up without an alarm every morning at 5:30. Makes me wish I would have appreciated all the sleeping in I did as a teenager.

So kids, if you're reading this and you're currently able to sleep in on the weekends until noon then count your blessings. Appreciate every Saturday that is spent in pajamas until 3. Enjoy 12 hours of sleep while you can get it - one day you'll be older, have kids, and/or have been cursed with your Grandmother's freaky natural early morning wake-up.

Alright, off to attempt to sleep - but since New Baby is having his/her own little rave inside my uterus right now I don't really see sleep as a possibility anytime soon.

Friday, November 27, 2009

What do you think?

So when I was pregnant with Penelope I went to this website that claims to be able to show you what your kids will look like (you upload pictures of mommy & daddy and they merge them somehow, probably with magic).

Anyway, the picture they gave was for a 3-ish year old - but I figured it would be fun to compare the picture to one of Penny now.

Here's the website's prediction picture:

And here's Penelope now:

So what do you think? Relatively accurate or way off base?

Belly Belly Belly

So I haven't been as diligent this pregnancy with taking belly pictures. With Penelope I took one every four weeks until I was 30-ish weeks or so and then it was every other week or weekly (I think, it's been awhile and I'm too lazy to check my photobucket account).

Anyway, I have yet to post a belly picture this go 'round (or have I? Can't remember). Regardless, here's New Baby Belly at 20 weeks (Halfway!!!!!):


And for comparison, here's my belly with Penelope at 19 weeks:

And for fun, here's a sequence of belly pictures for New Baby:

So looking at the pics, I have to say my belly is much rounder from the get-go this time. I looked pregnant quite a bit earlier - which isn't surprising, especially considering I hadn't lost all my Penelope baby weight when I got pregnant this time around.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

So I have issues with Thanksgiving (like I do with many major holidays) including (but not limited to) the following:

1. There is no way that the "first" Thanksgiving happened in November. No. Freaking. Way. There is no evidence to support a November Thanksgiving, so having Thanksgiving in November seems weird and utterly arbitrary.
2. The weird cartoon-y glorification of the Puritans bugs me.
3. Culturally sanctioned gluttony is so awesome.

There's more, I assure you.

But I still participate - why? Cultural peer pressure? Family obligation? Probably a little of both... I find cultural peer pressure to be even harder to resist now that I have a baby. That's probably how a lot of cultural traditions suck you in - doing it all for the kids. You can't short your poor kids out of a day of non-stop eating now can you? Because childhood obesity is becoming a rite of passage :/


It's really not all that bad, I do enjoy spending time with family - playing cards and watching football. So I don't hate Thanksgiving. I just have some issues with it... nothing that can't be overlooked where pie is concerned.

So Happy Thanksgiving. Look for my Christmas rant in a few weeks. That one is MUCH longer.

I shall leave you with a picture of Penelope (which I've also posted on Facebook, so many will have seen this one before but I wanted it for the blog as well).


Something from this morning...

This morning we all wake up and I ask Penny "where's my morning kiss?"

So she leans over and kisses... Daddy.


I eventually got my morning kiss, but he got two.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An update-y type thing

So I haven't really updated in awhile, it's been a busy week.

Today Penelope had her first eye exam today. There's a free program called InfantSee ( that gives free eye exams to children between the ages of 6months - 12 months. Since neither Bryan or I have great eyesight (well, his is great now post laser eye surgery) we figured it couldn't hurt to get Penny on the right track eye-exam wise.

Lets just say she isn't a fan of eye exams. She did pretty well but had to be distracted by food while the doctor was looking into her eyes. During the first part of the exam, the doctor mentioned the she might actually be shortsighted already - which would mean glasses. But after the eye dilation and a more thorough exam it turns out that she's just a little farsighted (which is typical at this age) and she has wonderfully healthy eyes. Yea! She needs to be seen again between 3 & 4 and then every year after that. Odds are she'll need glasses at some point, if only because of family history... but hopefully that won't be until much later.

We'll definitely take New Baby in when he/she is old enough.

In less than two weeks Penny turns one! Some days it seems like the time passes by so slowly ;) but overall this year has flown by. I vividly remember this time last year - I was SO READY TO DELIVER. Soooooo ready. Her birthday will be bitter sweet, my little baby is now my little toddler - and not really so little anymore! In fact today two different people asked me if she was a year and a half - they were both shocked to find out that she wasn't quite one yet.

She's almost walking on her own, she's taken a dozen steps or so on her own but she's not quite comfortable enough to do any serious walking without holding on to one of our hands. She just uses our hand for comfort - she rarely uses it for support. Soon enough she'll be walking so I guess I shouldn't push it, but I'm ready. Hopefully by her 1st birthday because the party dress I bought her isn't one she can really crawl in :)

Thursday I'll be 20 week pregnant - halfway! 5 months down, 5 to go. I've actually enjoyed pregnancy much more this time around - although I wouldn't go as far to say that I like being pregnant. It is a condition I endure to get my lovely babies... I think the reason this time around isn't so difficult is because I know what to expect and I know this is my last go-around.

I know I promised ultrasound pictures, but we haven't gotten around to scanning them in yet. It'll happen, I promise.

I don't have any new pictures of Penelope either - I hate our camera and my new phone doesn't really take very good pictures. I may actually go out and get a new camera before her birthday so I can take plenty of pictures.

There's probably a TON more I could say about both Penny and New Baby, but I'm drawing a blank.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I'm going to regret this...

Here is our TENTATIVE list of boys & girls names. There's poll on the actual blog (for those of you who read this on facebook), so feel free to visit & vote.

A few things before I share the list.
1. Popular names are not guaranteed a spot on the final list.
2. If I am told "oh, I hate this name" I can GUARANTEE you that I will immediately LOVE the name. I am nothing if not ornery.

With that said, here are the *tentative* list(s)



Names will undoubtedly change before April...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

All about New Baby

We had our ultrasound appointment today, and once we get around to scanning the photos I'll post them here.

Few things to note:
1. Anterior placenta - which is why the kicks I feel are faint. The placenta may or may not move to a posterior position, but shouldn't affect delivery.

2. Breech baby - so the baby's head is up closer to my bellybutton and it's feet are down near the cervix. Penelope was always head down, so I was a little worried but my midwives assured me that half of the time they see babies in this position and most babies flip on their own. If the baby hasn't flipped then they can help make that happen - I have no desire for a breech delivery.

3. Baby is curled up against my spine and even if we had wanted to know the sex, the baby wouldn't have let us :)

4. Placenta is low, but not obstructing the uterus. This actually makes me nervous and I may elect for another ultrasound when we get into the 30-ish week mark just to make sure everything is still as it should be. Placenta previa is serious and would mean a necessary hospital delivery. Hopefully the placenta doesn't move further down so we can have our planned homebirth.

5. Everything else looks good, we'll talk more about the measurements, placenta, and whatnot at our next midwife appointment which is in early December.

Thursday I'll be 19 weeks, which means the halfway mark is a little over a week away!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


This video is also posted on Facebook:

Penelope says "ball" and gives mommy some serious attitude - it's cute though :)

Things to post before I forget

1. Penelope loves soccer. We went and saw my cousin Riley & Macy's soccer games and Penelope wanted to get in on the action. That afternoon she also passed a ball back & forth with Riley and correctly identified the soccer ball as a "baa". My mom took video with her phone, so I'll try and clean in up on my computer today and get it posted.

2. A couple of days ago during dinner P turned to Bryan, gave him a raspberry, and then turned back to me for a bite of food. It was pretty funny.

3. My parent's dog K'Ehlyr (pronounced KayLar; aka, The Red Beast: TRB) loves to lick Penn... and Penn has taken to pushing TRB's head away and shaking her head no. I have a feeling one of her first phrases will be "NO Lar!"

4. Today Penny started saying "bar" when playing with her stuffed bears. I think we may count that one :)

5. We have a molar! Thank goodness! One down, 3 to go (well, until next year when she's supposed to get in her 2 year molars).

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gender prediction

So anyone whose talked to me about gender prediction methods knows I think they're all bullshit. All of the charts, old wives tales, and other such nonsense methods are typically only correct 50% of the time.

The Chinese Conception chart said Penelope was going to be a boy. Wrong! It was the only one I did for her since we found out her sex at 17 weeks.

This time we're holding out until the end, so I though it would be fun to do a couple of the gender prediction methods and come back after the baby is born to see how many guessed wrong.

Chinese Conception chart: Boy
Ring test: Boy
Heart rate: Girl (FYI, for this over 140 = girl, under 140 = boy)
Old Wives tales (it was a quiz): 67% chance of a girl, 33% chance of a boy

So 50/50 according to the unscientific gender prediction methods. Which is what I figured it would be.


Add these to the list of words:

Balloon, Doggy, Baby

Penelope is OBSESSED with balloons. Well, maybe that's too strong a word... nah, it fits. When we went to Red Robin the other day they gave her a balloon and she's been all about them ever since (she also loved the ones at Maddox's birthday party). Today at the store she kept saying "balla" and looking at the balloons - so we're counting it.

She also says "baby" when she looks at the pictures of herself on the livingroom wall. It's pretty hilarious. I'm going to try and teach her to say baby & point at my belly - of course this might backfire and she'll say it even after I give birth. I may want to rethink that one.

As for doggy, she's been saying "da" for Dad & dog until today when she clearly said "doggy" as she was attacking poor Harley-Quinn (well, Harley decidedly deserved it). Although she did go back to "da" later so "doggy" may or may not count at this point.

But balloon and baby are definitely words.

We bought some decorations and favors for her 1st birthday party today! Not a ton of decoration, but we'll also get a bunch of balloons to make the room more festive. I want it to be relatively easy to clean up, so we're keeping it pretty simple.

Exactly 3 weeks (tomorrow) until Penelope turns 1!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pregnancy update

Today was our 18 week appointment.

Baby's heartbeat was 144, which is good. Marlene was able to find it right away (last time baby was moving around too much and it took a few minutes to find the heartbeat).

My BP was 100/60 which is better than last time (90/60) so that was good. I've lost more weight, but they don't seem concerned. They said I'll probably make it up next month or the month after, the average weight gain for the duration of the pregnancy is more important than the weight from month to month. I guess the biggest difference between this pregnancy and the last is the weight - with Penelope I consistently gained almost a pound a week and this time (so far) I've lost weight. Just goes to show that no two babies are the same :)

Everything else looks good, I'll make our ultrasound appointment today so we should have baby pictures (no "crotch shots"!) in the next few weeks.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Halloween, 11 months, and birthday parties

So I never got around to posting about Penelope's first Halloween, I put some stuff on Facebook, but nothing on the blog. So here's her Halloween costume & a video of her "trick or treating" at the Zoo (we went to Boo at the Zoo thanks to her Aunty Meagan).




It was fun and I'm looking forward to next year. We may actually take her trick or treating around the neighborhood, or we may throw a Halloween party for all our baby friends - we'll see. Halloween used to be my very favorite holiday and it's creeping it's way back up the list. It took a dive in my early-20s when a lot of women my age made it an excuse to dress up like themed prostitutes. There's sexy and then there's trashy - and most 20 somethings err on the side of trashy.

The best costume I ever wore as an adult was the "Duct Tape" Fairy - my friend Audrey made me a dress, scepter, and wings out of duct tape. It was AWESOME.

Anyway, Halloween was fun.

A few days after Halloween Penelope turned 11 months and I realized I needed to get my act together and plan her 1st birthday. What a headache that turned out to be! I did it to myself though, it didn't have to be so stressful if I would have just put my foot down. But it's all going to work out in the end... the theme is Winter ONEderland (I didn't come up with that, it's an admittedly stolen idea) and we're going to have it at one of the local family owned (and very delicious) pizza parlors. It should be fun :)

I bought Penelope a party dress in honor of her birthday, I'll have to put her in it and take some pictures before the big day. It's really cute - and I wish they made one in mommy-sizes because I would totally wear it. I don't know where I'd where it TO, maybe a fancy trip to the grocery store.

A lot of Penny's baby friends have recently turned one or will turn one shortly after P does, so we've been going to a few birthday parties - which has been a lot of fun. Here's a picture of Penelope at her friend Maddox's first birthday (he had a monkey theme):

And here's the "gang" at the party (Lucy, Maddox, Orson, and Penelope):
Maddox's 1st birthday

It's been an eventful few weeks!

Pregnancy update: Everything's going well, I'll be 18 weeks on Thursday which is almost mid-point (20 weeks is halfway through!). We'll get our one and only ultrasound shortly thereafter but are still not finding out the sex. We do have a list of girls and boys names and I may post those as some point (or did I already? I forget).

Ok, time to bathe the Penelopotomous.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Official First Word

So I have a lot of Halloween related pictures & whatnot to post, but that will have to wait.

We have an official first word.


You sure?


It's "monkey".

That's right, monkey.

It sounds like "ah-key" when she says it... she only uses it when talking to her monkey toys, so there you go - appropriate use. It's official. Her first word is monkey.

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Penelope's Growth

6 years: 50 inches, 47 lbs
5 years: 48 inches, 42 lbs
4 years: 43.5 inches, 41.0 lbs
28 months: 39 inches, 33.1 lbs
26 months: 38.5 inches, 32.1 lbs
21 months: 37 inches, 31.8 lbs
18 months: 35 inches, 30 lbs
15 months: 34.25 inches, 28.8 lbs
12 months: 32 inches, 27.1 lbs
9 months: 30.5 inches, 25.1 lbs
6 months: 29 inches, 21.2 lbs
4 months: 28.5 inches, 17.13 lbs
2 months: 24.75 inches, 12.12 lbs
At birth: 20.75 inches, 7.15 lbs

Griffin's Growth

5 years - 3 feet 11.25 inches (47.25 inches), 51 lbs
3 years - 3 feet 5.25 inches, 40lbs
18 months - 34.5 inches, 27.13lbs
12 months - 32 inches, 26.5lbs*
10 months - 31.75 inches, 23.4 lbs
7 months - 29.25 inches, 21.4 lbs
5 months - 28.5 inches, 17.9 lbs*
4 months - 28 inches, 15.5 lbs
3 months - 27 inches, 13.10 lbs
2 months - 25.125 inches, ?? lbs
1 month - 24 inches, 10.13 lbs
At birth - 22.5 inches, 9.1 lbs
*with diaper

Izzy's Growth

2 months: 23.25 inches, 10.8 lbs
At Birth: 22 inches, 8.11 lbs

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