Friday, September 30, 2011


Adorable, right? I think this is the best shot I took, even though Johnny isn't smiling... but it beats the ones where he was climbing:
or making funny faces:
But I guess those are cute, too.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


After a lovely week of snot, phlegm, and nasal congestion, we've finally come out the other side. Johnny is still sporting a booger-crusted nose, Hank still has to have his mattress inclined to sleep at night, and I'm still a little congested, but at least we're all well enough to leave the house. Yay!

I'm not proud of it, but most of last week was spent like this:

I felt so sick and was so sleep deprived (from Hank being sick, too) that I didn't have the energy to entertain Johnny the whole day like I usually do. Plus many of our usual options were cut off since we were sick; no parks with other children, no indoor playplaces, no playdates, no walks, etc. Yeah, it was a tough week.

I remember one of the expectant (first time) moms in our birth class talking about how she saw a two-year-old with an iPhone and how well he could use it. She was appalled that a child so young had spent enough time with a smart phone to be able to manipulate it so expertly. She would NEVER let her child spend so much time with technology. I think she'd be horror-struck at our list of activities from last week, don't you agree?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Still brothers

They still look pretty similar, but I can now tell them apart a little easier... I mean, in pictures of course. Here are pictures of the boys at 3 months old:

Their eyes are about the same color and so is their hair... though Johnny seems to have more of it than Hank. Unfortunately, Hank is losing hair in weird spots. He's not going bald anywhere (other than the back of his head, of course), but his darker newborn hair is definitely falling out. If Johnny's hair is any indication of how Hank's will turn out, I think I can expect some light blond hair to grow in.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sick time

Hi! No blog today. We're all sick with a cold and Hank and I were up for a good portion of last night. If you've never dealt with a 3-month-old with a cold, just picture an organism that only breathes through his nose... and that nose is stuffed up. Yeah. That was our night. Hopefully today will be better!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Gift buying guide for a 1-year-old

Before I had a child of my own, I never had any clue what to give a child for a special occasion. I would Google "children gifts" and would be bombarded with products that I had never seen before. So I thought I'd put together a little guide for anyone who needs help... like I did.

First thing to know: it doesn't have to be something they will use right away. The second year of life is full of changes; if they don't play with it at 12 months, they may be all over it at 18 months. So keep that in mind.

Second thing to think about: How well do you know the parents? Some parents don't give their kids toys with batteries. Some parents prefer not to have loud toys in the house. Some parents only want to give their children educational toys. Take these things into consideration, but don't stress too much. Most parents are like John and me, so any toy you give will be played with and enjoyed. But if you're not sure, go with a best bet, as I have indicated with a (*) below.

Third thing to know: AVOID SMALL PARTS! Kids stop compulsively putting things in their mouths in the second year of life (ish), but that doesn't mean they won't see a small game piece and attempt to choke on it. If the toy has a small piece that has you second guessing, play it safe and find something else.

Fourth thing to remember: Gift receipts. I've gotten a few gifts for Johnny and Hank that we already had and couldn't return because I didn't have a receipt for them. I re-gifted them to others or donated, but I hated to do it since I know how much effort goes into choosing a present for someone. Be a kind gift-giver, include a receipt.

Last thing: It doesn't have to be a really complex toy for them to like it. One of Johnny's favorite toys is a wooden truck that has wooden animals that go with it. It's very simple, but Johnny loves to push it around, put the animals in and take the animals out. Children generally have simple tastes.

Gift ideas:

*1. Books - Always a winner, but make sure they're the board kind - toddlers are still pretty rough on things. Johnny has really enjoyed the Matthew Van Fleet books that we have, but anything that has texture and/or rhyming is a good choice.

*2. Simple puzzles - Kids this age are working with matching shapes and motor function, both of which are addressed by puzzles. However, they need to be pretty simple and have knobs for easy pick up. Melissa and Doug has a great selection of wooden knob puzzles that would be great for a one-year-old.

3. Imaginative play toys - Kids love to mimic their parents, so if you can provide something age-appropriate that looks like something their parents use, you've probably got a winner. Some toy examples: phones, remote controls, cameras, kitchen utensils, shopping cart, dolls, etc.

4. Trucks - This is definitely something that boys like, though I'm not sure about girls. I know that Johnny has all kind of trucks to play with: cement trucks, tow trucks, tractors, fire trucks, etc. Some are battery-operated and play music, others are wooden and come with wooden accessories. Again, complexity isn't going to matter here.

*5. Blocks - Johnny still loves blocks. Big Lego-type blocks, cardboard blocks, squishy blocks, and wooden blocks still keep his attention. One-year-olds are still working on motor function (as mentioned earlier), so stacking blocks is a great way to build those motor skills. Plus what is more fun than having Mom build a tower so you can destroy it? Nothing, I tell you. Toddlers love destruction.

The bottom line: A gift that you have put some thought into will surely loved by a one-year-old, but try not to over-analyze it... despite all of the instructions I just threw out there. :)

Anyone else have other things to add to my list? I'd love to have more ideas up here!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Pinterest = Awesome

For those of you who are not on Pinterest... I'm almost a little jealous because you probably have more free time than I do. But I pity you as well. Why, you ask? Because Pinterest has changed my life in many small ways.

Just in case you don't know what Pinterest is, it's a site that is set up like a bulletin board on which you can "pin" favorite things you find the Internet. So instead of finding a great article and then bookmarking it and never looking at it again, you can make a bulletin board on Pinterest called "Articles" and save the location for later perusal. The best part is you can see what other people are "pinning" to their boards and you can find some majorly cool stuff.

For instance, these bad boys:
These are Oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookies. And they are everything a cookie with that kind of name should be. I made them this week just for the heck of it and I was not disappointed. Just the sheer size of these cookies made them worthwhile:
Yes, they are (okay, okay, were) amazing. And I would never have found them without Pinterest. Other cool things I have found and have done:

Felt flowers
Power cord labels
Andes Mint Cupcakes
Ruler growth chart
Meal Plan dry erase board

Admittedly, only a few of things I have pinned have actually been realized, but it's fun to take a look at things that other people find. I've found a couple of awesome blogs through Pinterest and have found some of what I consider my style... which is a big deal considering I've had NO style for a while now.

Bottom line: If you're not pinning, you should be. It's awesome.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Hank is 3 months old!

I'm 3 months old today!
This month has brought a few changes for me. Not only can I roll over from tummy to back, but now I can roll over from back to tummy! Of course, there isn't any evidence because I get distracted by the camera, but Mommy has seen it happen a few times. I have yet to use these new-found skills to do any kind of traveling though. Maybe next month.

I am still very smiley and laugh at the faces Mommy makes. My sleeping schedule is pretty much the same from day to day, which is nice because there's a routine to my day. This has probably helped with my nighttime sleeping; on an average night, I go to bed around 7pm, get dreamfed at 9:30pm and then wake up around 2am for another feeding and wake up for the day at 6:30am. Not too bad, right?

I still hate the car seat and will only tolerate it under very special circumstances. Otherwise, I scream my head off. Not that it does any good, Mommy just does what she needs to do regardless of my discomfort. That's what happens when you're the second child, I guess.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The many faces of Hank

One evening Hank was being especially smiley and sweet, so I told John to grab the camera. My idea was since Hank refuses to smile for the camera, maybe I could get him to smile at me and then John could capture it over my shoulder. Well, this resulted in an awful lot of pictures of Hank staring at the camera and a few where he is kind of smirking. None of them actually captured the full wattage of Hank's smile... but they were still adorable.
P.S. Thank you, Aunt Lisa, for the awesome onesie. Unfortunately, none of the pictures capture the writing that says "My mommy is blogging this. :)", but maybe one day I'll remember to take a picture of it when it's somewhat clean and not covered in either spit up or poop.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I'm part of a local mom's group that does a zoo meetup every month through a mommy meetup program at the zoo. We meet two or three zoo representatives at 8:45am (before the zoo is even open!!) and they walk us through a special program they have set up for us. Each month's program has a different theme and includes an exhibit, zoo keeper talk and a story. Last week the theme was "The three R's and the train". Not sure how the train relates to the whole reduce, reuse, recycle thing, but hey, the kids were stoked.

Well, Johnny had never been on a train before and TOTALLY dug it. It was the only thing he could talk about the rest of the day. Here's a conversation I would have with Johnny:

Johnny: "Train?"

Me: "Yeah, we went on the train today."

Johnny: "Fun!"

Me: "It was fun, wasn't it?"

Johnny: "Train? Zoo?"

Me: "We won't be going there for awhile, honey."

Johnny: "Train?! TRAIN!!"

Me: "We're not going the train again today, but you can tell Daddy all about when he gets home."

Johnny: "Daddy? Train!!"

And over and over.

So, I decided that we would go on the train this past weekend so Daddy could see the look of exhilaration on Johnny's face.
Waiting in line with Daddy
Choosing a seat
Squirming around waiting to get going
Unhappy toddler face
The second John gets off the train, he looks at me and says, "You lied to me. He HATED the train." Oops. I guess Johnny was squirming when they sat down and he kept saying, "Down! Off! Down! DOWN!", but I told John to just ignore it and he'd get over it when the train started moving, because that's what happened last time.

Well, he didn't get over it. Apparently he cried the whole time and embarrassed the heck out of John.

So then we get Johnny some food and put him on his bike to leave when he says, "Train? Fun!"

Toddlers are so weird.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

21 months

I'm 21 months old today!
This month hasn't brought too many more changes, but my parents have finally noticed how smart I am. I know all of my colors, I can count to ten (though I often skip 7 and 8) and I can spell my name... without the n's though because I don't pronounce them when I say my name. I'm getting better at using smart phones and have taken Daddy's out of airplane mode repeatedly. This has resulted in Daddy keeping his phone away from me, which is something I don't particularly like, so I complain about it often.

I'm now completely obsessed with the movie Cars, though I call it "Mater" because he's my favorite character. I have a red Cars 2 shirt that Mom got on clearance and if I were allowed, I'd wear it every single day. I have been known to wear it during the day, then keep it on that night and wear it again the next day. I can't wait until Cars 2 comes out on DVD so I can change things up a little... not that the first Cars is losing it's appeal, I'd just like some variety. Maybe.

I'm looking forward to cooler weather coming our way so that we can go outside more often. Mom has been a spoilsport lately because she says it's too hot to go outside. Well, if she would just leave Hank in the house, I'm sure she wouldn't feel nearly as hot. But she won't do it for some reason. He's just a baby, it's not like he's going to go anywhere. Sheesh.

Monday, September 12, 2011

In the Bjorn

One evening a week ago, I put Hank in the Baby Bjorn facing out to see what he would think.

Our efforts to get Johnny in the picture resulted in Hank losing his hat.
Well, he dug it while we walked around, but the second he got tired, he lost his mind. Poor little guy was really overstimulated considering that he is usually snuggled up to me when we go for walks or out for errands. Taking a look at the big wide world when all you've known is your mom's chest is probably a pretty freaky experience. The overstimulation session led to a rather wakeful night, wherein I did most of my sleeping in the glider with Hank in my arms nursing.

Yeah, the Bjorn has been packed up and put away for a later date. Or maybe for the next child.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hair dude!

Johnny and Hank both have a little cowlick on the back of their heads where the hair grows in a circle. Well, Johnny's would grow in a circle if it were long enough, but it's not. Hank, on the other hand, has this adorable curl on the back of his head:
Freaking adorable, right?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Breaking up is hard to do

Hank has lived in the ring sling these last (almost) 12 weeks. It's been great because it definitely allows more ventilation than any other carrier I own and Hank can curl up just the way he likes in it. The biggest (and only) downside is that it kills my back and shoulder. I normally wear the ring side, which is the load-bearing part, on my right shoulder to keep my right arm free while my left arm hits Hank's butt (he loves it, I promise). But now that he's heavier, that's a lot of weight to hang on my shoulder. So I decided to try out the Ergo, so named because it is ERGO-nomic. I figured it'd make my back feel a lot better.

15 minutes later...
The Ergo lasted a grand total of twenty minutes. Hank did fall asleep in it, but his little feet lost circulation because he likes to sleep with his feet together and his knees spread, which means his feet were caught in the waist belt... tightly. So he woke up.

A couple days ago, however, I tried out the Moby out of sheer desperation for some back pain relief.

And that worked out really well, except for the ridiculous amount of sweating I did. Even Hank was hotter than usual. Can you see the sheen of perspiration on his little brow in the picture above? So even though my back and shoulders felt a lot better, Hank and I were way hotter than usual. Which prompted a return to the ring sling. Oh well. Sooner or later he'll start spreading his legs more and the Ergo will serve. If not, the temperature is sure to dip below 90 degrees in a couple of months and I can rock the Moby. Or maybe he'll take naps in his crib. *gasp!*

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Hank hardly ever wears clothes because it's summer and it's hot. And he's always swaddled. And in the ring sling. All of those things together make Hank rather warm all the time. Therefore, we skip the clothing.

The other day, we had some of John's friends over so I dressed Hank up for the occasion.

He looks pretty cute dressed, doesn't it? Granted, it lasted for about an hour and then it was saturated in spit up. Delicious.

And since I have to include pictures of Johnny, here we go:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Big shoes to fill

Johnny loves shoes. One of his first words was "shoe". Well, actually, he said "fouf" but that's what he called shoes. It's a real word.

Anyway. He's been picking out shoes for me and John for a long time. There have been many days when I don some neon pink flip flops because those are what he picked out for me... and he flat out refuses to let me wear any other pair of shoes. So, I wear the flip flops. He knows the difference between my shoes and John's shoes, so when we ask for our own shoes, he will actually get Mommy's or Daddy's shoes. Amazing really.

While he will still get our shoes for us, he's now become interested in putting them on:

He may have big feet for his age, but at least they don't fit in John's shoes yet.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Just wait.

I am so sick of hearing those two little words: Just wait.

When I was pregnant with Johnny and complaining about being tired since my pregnant body wouldn't let me get into a comfortable position, people said, "Just wait until that baby comes, THEN you'll be tired!"

When I managed to get down to my pre-pregnancy weight after only four months of having Johnny people said, "Just wait until you have your second baby! THEN we'll see how easy the weight comes off."

When I was talking about how mobile Johnny was when he learned to crawl and how fun it was, people said, "Just wait until he can walk! THEN we'll see how great you think it is."

When I was pregnant with Hank and complaining about being able to just sit down while taking care of Johnny (because he was a Nazi about people resting at all) people said, "Just wait until you have TWO babies! THEN we'll see how tired you are."

When I would tell people about how I wanted to go without pain meds for Hank's birth people said, "Just wait until you feel those labor pains! Then we'll see how fast you ask for those pain medications."

And a couple of days ago, while talking to another mother of two about how the first two months with two babies haven't been as bad as I was expecting, she said, "Oh, just wait! It'll get worse, I promise you."

I admit that I have said those two little words on occasion, but after that mother made her comment a couple of days ago, the negativity of them has finally clicked.

The people around me, strangers and friends alike, that I have talked to about anxieties, fears, complaints or even what I'm proud of have downplayed my emotions by telling me that my future is a black abyss of exhaustion and frustration. That the only good thing I have going for me is that this moment doesn't suck nearly as much is the next moment will.

I refuse to believe that.

So when the pregnant mom with her 15-month-old girl asked me what it is like to have two babies so close together, because she'll be there in two short months, I told her that it hasn't been as bad as everyone told me it would be. Yes, I'm tired, but it's not worse than the exhaustion I felt with the first one and it's outweighed by how much less your second baby cries because you know what you're doing. She walked away with a smile.

The next time you're about to tell someone, "just wait [insert snarky comment here]"... just don't. Say something positive, you'll feel better about it.

Has anyone else had that "just wait" thing thrown in their face?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

And just like that...

... he's that much closer to being a big kid.
The past weekend, John and I switched our kitchen and dining room tables. Our kitchen table was counter-height and difficult for Johnny to sit in a chair safely and eat with us. Our dining room table, however, was normal height. Thus, we decided to just switch our tables instead of buying a new one for the kitchen and selling the counter-height one.

Why did we need a lower table? Doesn't Johnny have a high chair? Well, he has been growing increasingly interested in sitting in regular chairs like John and I do. Last weekend we had lunch at Rubio's and since there weren't any high chairs available, he sat in a real chair. He actually did pretty well. So now, he sits at the table in a real chair with a real plate (that he has yet to throw off the table, though I'm expecting that any day).