Saturday, February 26, 2011

Plants, Paints, and Pictures

More than anything else in the world (well, maybe not more than watching Toy Story) Penelope loves to paint. Last weekend we had a painting playdate with our friends Holly and her daughter 'Busy' - Poe had a fabulous time until it was time to put the paints away and then she had an epic tantrum. The likes of which are rarely seen. But it was still a good day, and they girls made some beautiful flowers which Penelope and I "planted" the other day. Here are some pictures:

Pen & Busy

Planting our flowers

Our flower garden!!

Also? Griffin has tooth #7! Finally... it's been awhile since his last tooth. I'm hoping #8 makes an appearance so he's not lopsided :)

More pics:

Bubba loves the bath!

Penelope decided to wear her Abby costume for the day. Daddy did her hair.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I have to do WHAT?

Monday my very last class of Grad school begins.

MAT640: Applications in Research

Ugh. My Thesis.

So for the next four weeks I will be beyond busy, stressed, and focused on the following purpose statement:

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of a multicultural English/Language Arts curriculum for ninth grade students increasing student engagement and performance.

That's actually my 2nd draft of a purpose statement and it's not final yet. My first draft was too long so my professor had me shorten it. I'm going to sleep on it tonight to see if I want to keep it. I feel like it needs something.

I have 11 peer reviewed journal articles waiting to be read and highlighted so I can begin the literature review portion of the project. I have reading lists critiqued. I have books downloaded to my Kindle that I need to read.

I have very little time.

This class ends at the end of March. I graduate on April 17th (with honors thankyouverymuch, I have a 3.85 GPA).

Overwhelmed doesn't even begin to describe my current state of mind... especially considering I have a baby-monkey of a 10 month old who clings to me when I try to hand him off and nurses for HOURS during the day and a very active 26 month old who needs to be regularly exercised at parks or museums or the zoo in order to give me 3 hours in the afternoon in which to continually nurse said monkey-child.

Whew. I'm exhausted already.

Monday, February 21, 2011

A few things just for the record

Just some things I don't want to forget.

1. The look on Griffin's face when I ask him "do you want to nurse?" It's a combination of excitement and joy. He will literally leap out of someone else's arms into mine after I ask the question. It's cute, I love it.

2. After I get G out of his bath he nestles into me and lets out this little sigh. It's one of my favorite parts of the day.

3. When Penny trips, she picks herself back up and announces "I'm alright!" Her vocabulary is impressive and she's speaking in 5-7 word sentences now. She expresses herself quite well, even though sometimes she uses screeching instead of sentences to convey her meaning.

4. Sometimes Poe will come up to me and say "kiss mama, give kiss please"

5. Penelope will walk around the house with her Jessie doll (+ Jessie's cowboy hat), Woody figurine, Buzz doll, AND the two reusable Toy Story bags. She sleeps with them (sometimes with the bags) and spends a few minutes before we leave deciding which of her precious toys she will bring out with us.

I just love my kids, even when they drive me nuts (which they often do). They're both so sweet and so loving.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Oh that.

My breastfeeding struggles have been well chronicled in this blog. I have easy pregnancies, relatively easy labors, and a really difficult time with nursing.

So making it to 10 months is a Only... only... only I want to make it to 12. Actually, I wanted to make it past 12 months - I wanted to be the nursing mom who weaned when her child was ready, even if that meant nursing until Griffin was 18, 20, or even 24 months. It may not be the norm here, but homebirthing and cloth diapering aren't exactly mainstream either. I'm used to coloring outside of the lines.

Unfortunately my body is not complying with my wishes.

I saw an LC today, one supplied by WIC. She was really very nice, but thanks to my previous LC (who was very thorough), queries of my nursing friends, consultations with my midwives, and exhaustive internet searches, this LC wasn't able to tell me anything that I didn't already know.

Actually, that's not quite true. She was able to tell me that she estimated that I was meeting about 1/3 of Griffin's milk needs - and that at the height of our nursing relationship, when my supply was at its best, that I was probably meeting about 1/2 of his needs.

I cried.

She was also very supportive. She told me that I've done more than any other client to best meet the needs of my son and that I should be really proud of my accomplishment. She said that it was more than just the milk, but my dedication to my children was evident due to the lengths I have gone through just to nurse (when switching to formula would have, in many ways, been the easiest way to go). So that was nice. It was actually more than nice.

So here's where I'm at. In order to increase my supply and come as close as I can to my goal I have three options:

1. Pump 8-10x a day (um, no)
2. Use a SNS (supplemental nursing system)
3. Get back on domperidone

Option #1 is out. Very out. I don't know if you could PAY me to pump 8-10 times a day.

We tried a SNS today - Griffin was not having any of it. I may try again tomorrow, but I don't want him to develop and aversion to the breast.

Domperidone is probably my best option, but it's not cheap and it takes awhile to get here.

This leaves me with a decision to make. Do I order the domperidone with the intent of increasing my supply, with no guarantee that it would do so, in order to nurse for as long as G is willing... OR do I pat myself on the back and throw in the towel?

G's been needing more and more formula. I feel that with every pound I loose I loose milk as well. If I want to continue to nurse then I need to act quickly.

Only I have no idea what to do.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Penelope and the Terrible, Awful, No-Good, Very Bad Day

I have to get this all down because it is both tragic and humorous, sad and pathetic.

I should really start this at yesterday. Yesterday Penelope did not nap, which happens occasionally, and is never a good sign for either the evening or the next day. So when the evening passed without incident I should have prepared myself for one whopper of a day today. But I didn't.

Today is play-group Wednesday at Kim's and it started off well. Penelope insisted on bring her Jessie doll with an equal insistence on not sharing said Jessie doll. Considering how much she loves that thing (as evidenced by multiple blog posts on the subject) I should not have been surprised about what was to occur next, but I was.

I actually succeeded in hiding the doll for awhile. But I didn't hide her very well because after lunch, which Penelope didn't eat much of, and which she only agreed to sit down to after crying about the swing, the doll was found. Only not by Penelope.

So Penny immediately goes to reclaim her precious and I decide that the doll just needs to be put up. If you can't share your toys, then they "take a nap" until you can either share them or you're at home without any friends over. Otherwise, to hoard a toy, is just a little rude and that's not the kind of manners I wish to teach my children.

But oh, that did not go over well.

Crying, crocodile tears, screaming, and general tantrum behavior ensued. She got so worked up she couldn't stop and then everything was tragic. She couldn't find Sally (from the movie Cars) = more tears. Orson was playing with his hobby horse (which Penelope calls 'Bullseye') = more tears. And then she started crying because she was crying.

After about 10 straight minutes of crying I decided that we were done playing for the day and we just needed to go home, because my goodness, someone needed a nap!

Diaper change = more crying.

She asks for strawberries, she gets one, bits the inside of her cheek = more crying

She slips on the carpet and falls = more crying

I think she may have cried for 20 minutes straight.

When we left (still clutching the Jessie doll as if her life depending upon it) it had started to rain. It was still sunny, but the sky was peppered with big, black, stormclouds and as we race out to the car she's sobbing, getting rained on, and we bonk heads = more crying.

After everyone is settled and we're on our way home she stops crying and quietly says "Mommy, take nap please. Mommy, Jessie take nap too. Can Penelope have binky please?"

Poor thing. She ran to her room when we walked in the door and promptly fell asleep. I hope she wakes up in a better mood.

I have to admit that during this drama I had to laugh. I tried not to, but it was so pathetic, so utterly over the top, that I could not stop a few giggles from escaping. She was obviously so exhausted, overly emotional, and maybe even a little hormonal - can 2 year old girls be hormonal?

I don't know. But what I do know is that she is in no way ready to give up naps. Not by a long shot.

My poor Poe.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

"That was the best ever!"

Penelope says or does something every day that makes me laugh. Today she was on a roll.

As we pull into the parking spot @ G's Pediatrician's office:

"Whee! Whee! Whee! That was the best ever!"

Waiting for the doctor:

P: "I'm a snake! Ssssss! (this was accompanied by an Axel Rose like dance) I'm a giraffe! (she continues to list other animals)"
Me: "Penny, pretend to be Lightening McQueen."
P: "Beautiful idea! I'm Lightening McQueen! Ka-chow! Ka-chow!" (this said while jumping around)

At 'It's a Pita' she was dancing to the music, but he dancing looked like she was miming cross-country skiing.

When she spilled something this morning: "Oh man!"

Putting on her seatbelt in the carseat: "I did it! I'm doing it!"

She's also taken to playing "monkey bars" which is when she stands on her bed and hangs onto the windowsill and then attempts pull-ups.

She's a weird one. But we love it.

10 month stats

Griffin went in for his 9 month check-up a month late, but here are the stats.

Height: 31.75 inches
Weight: 23.4 lbs

At this age, he's taller than Poe (she was 32" at 1 year) and weighs less (by about 4 lbs). So he's tall and thin, just like his dad.

Everything else looks good. Although he's had these tremors a few times. Most of them are just like shivers when you're cold and last maybe a second, but last week as he was falling asleep he had an 'episode' that lasted almost a full minute. His eyes were closed, no fever, and he hasn't had one since. The Pediatrician wants us to keep an eye out, but she says that it probably isn't a seizure. We need to look for rolling eyes & fevers if it happens again. I hope it doesn't.

A nurse friend of mine said the tremors are pretty common since babies nervous systems are still developing. So I'm not really worried. He seems fine after each one and the night of the longer episode it didn't wake him up and he slept ok.

In other Griffin related news, he's chatting up a storm now. Constantly babbling. He's also getting braver & more steady when standing up without support. He loves to walk when you hold his hands and I'm sure that he'll be walking in a few months, if not sooner. Hopefully he gives us a few more months though :)

Oh! And we're still nursing! 10 months and counting. I never really expected us to make it this far and I'm really happy that we did. I wish we could eliminate formula, but we still have to supplement - and probably will for the remainder of his first year (+ a few months after I guess). But hey, every little bit helps.

In other news, I've lost 13lbs. Still a ways to go until I get back into pre-pregnancy shape, but it's a start!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mommy, I love Jessie

Today while playing I said to Penny:

"I love you Penny."

She thought about it. Then she said:

"Mommy, I love Jessie"


Although 2 days ago we had an "I love you" contest. I was in the kitchen and she was in the living room. She would yell out "I love you Mommy!" and I would yell back "I love you more Penny!" "I love you more Mommy!", etc. For about 3 minutes.

So I'll let the Jessie thing slide.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Be Vewy Vewy Quiet

The last few days have been crazy, but tonight the house is eerily silent. I can't decide if I like crazy or quiet better. I think maybe crazy.

Early EARLY Thursday Bryan left for Oklahoma. His best friend's wife passed away and he went out to be with his friend for a few days. He comes home late Sunday and we all cannot wait until he gets back. I'm really glad we could make it work so B could go out there - I wish we all could have gone - but we miss him. I miss him. A lot.

And not just because the kids are super-clingy suddenly (although that certainly factors in). I miss him because, believe it or not, I really love that man. Good thing I guess :)

But until then I'm (mostly) doing ok. Tonight my parents have the kids for their regular Friday night date (it's move night, they're watching Aristocats) and so I am all by my lonesome for an entire night. That hasn't happened in over 4 years! I don't know what to do with myself... laundry is started, the living room is clean, the floors have been swept and mopped... I should probably get around to cleaning the bathrooms (ick). Maybe after blogging :)

I have a TON to talk about and I hope I remember it all. Every day something new happens with one or both of the kids and I feel like if I don't write it down I won't remember it. And I want to remember. I love these stages.

Penelope is a chatter box. She narrates everything! "Mama, see trees? Pah-pooh-pea see trees! I count them, 1, 2, 3, 4..." She can count up to 30 (which she calls twenty-ten), and is so very sweet. He big "bad" thing is hitting - she gets frustrated and hits, which we're working on. But afterward she'll come up and apologize and give you a hug. Griffin is usually on the receiving end of her swats and he tolerates them pretty well. He cry and bit and then grin at her when she gives him a hug.

G is getting very brave - he's ready to walk (mentally) even though he's not quite there physically. And we've decided that "mama" is indeed his first word. He now uses it only when he's talking about me, which is often. That child is one big mama's boy.

They're both big (in 4T & 18-24 months) and pretty much the most adorable children ever conceived. But I'm not biased or anything.

Penny sleeps with the following items: Her Jessie doll, a Buzz Lightyear toy, the Woody cake-topper, Kiki (he stuffed cat from Build-A-Bear), Cookie Monster, and her pillow pet.

When she's tired, she whispers EVERYTHING. When she knows Griffin is asleep she'll also whisper. Sometimes she talks in a high pitched voice when she's trying to mimic my "sing-song" voice or when she's calling for Griffin.

One of their favorite games is to chase each other up and down the hall. She'll say "this way Bubba! This way" and he'll crawl after her, she'll screech and he'll laugh.

His sleep is improving. He's only up 2-3 times at night and a few nights he doesn't need an extra bottle. WIC is setting me up with an LC next week to see what she thinks about my milk supply. We'll see. I don't have my hopes up that anything short of more domperidone will increase my supply enough to drop the 1-2 bottles of formula he gets a day.

I've been looking for a job since January and so far it's gone about as well as a hunt for the end of the rainbow. A lot of districts aren't even hiring subs. But I'll continue the search. Something has to turn up. Bryan and I are discussing out of state options, so we'll see where that leads.

Ok, that's all I can think of for now (kid related at least). I do have some Soab-box-y stuff I want to talk about, but that can wait. I'll end with some pictures (which are also on Facebook).

With the kids at the zoo today

Little man and I

I love the expression on G's face in this one.

The kids with my brother, Uncle "O-Nic"

Saturday, February 5, 2011

She's a GENIUS

Video clip, so if you're reading this from facebook then please click here.

Penelope is, as previously discussed, obsessed with the movie Toy Story.

She can also read. Well, sorta.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Good idea, bad idea?

Bryan's birthday was on Tuesday. We had a small celebration at home and I ordered an ice cream cake. The kids went with me to order it and so I let Penny help pick out the decorations - she chose Toy Story (big surprise).

The cake turned out well, but choosing the theme may have been a mistake.

It came with Woody and Buzz figurines, and the Buzz figurine isn't really a figurine at all. It's more like a hologram card. The Woody figurine is about 2 inches tall and he's sitting on a letter block.

Anyway, Penelope (obviously) got the figurines.

And has proceeded to take them to bed with her every night since then. She also took "Buzz" to the zoo with her and showed him the animals. "Look Buzz! Giraffes! Mama, Buzz see's giraffes too!"

It is crazy how in love she is with these tiny, cheap, plastic toys. Crazy.

Also? I have a cloth reusable bag that has the Toy Story characters on it. Penelope took it with her to nap today. I am not kidding. This child is CRAZY for Toy Story.

Things I learned today

1. Griffin loves Goldfish. Secondarily, Penelope loves feeding her brother.

2. Griffin is not allergic to peanut butter (see part b of #1).

Ordinarily we wait until after a year to introduce peanut products. Some places recommend waiting up to 2 years, but since we have no family history of food allergies I think that's a little overly cautious. One year works for us - except when you have an almost 10 month old with Stretch Armstrong arms and a 2 year old who thinks it's fun to feed said almost 10 month old.

But while G loves the PB&J, he's not in love with the bread. I think it's the texture.

We usually wait on the Goldfish as well. They're not exactly health food; they're made with whole grains though... still. Anyway, Penelope and Griffin conspired to move up the date of his first taste of the orange crackers and now he's hooked. Of course, I'm not going to feed them to him every day - too much salt - but if he gets a hold of one every once in awhile I'm not going to flip out.

He's probably ready for a lot more table food that I've been giving him. I don't know why I've been so hesitant to start table food. Maybe it's because he's my last baby and I want to stretch out the baby stage OR (and more likely) I don't want to deal with the insane mess that is a baby and table food. Insane.

I have 1,000 other things to blog about, but G is actually napping in his crib so I will take this time to be productive. The moment I start said productivity he will promptly wake up and need to be nursed for the remainder of his nap.

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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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