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Wednesday, April 27, 2011


And you thought you'd be getting an Easter post.... HA! (Ok, I have an Easter post coming, but it involves uploading some pictures and I'm being lazy.)

No, today's post is something I've been meaning to do for a while. 

Mira's been saying tons of cute things lately and I've been sharing them on Facebook. But I wanted to put them here too because I have some blog followers who are not on Facebook and also because I feel like putting them here is a more permanent record. 

If you follow me on Facebook, this post may be rather boring for you, though you may see some you missed and I added a few that were not posted to Facebook. Also, some are just as funny the second (and third) time you see them. ;-)


"Plaw-berry". That's Mira-speak for "probably".

"Tamp-treen." Mira-speak for "trampoline".

"Ock-paws". Mira-speak for "octopus".

‎"Goose-tight." Mira-speak for "gesundheit."

‎"Umm-blooooah". Mira-speak for "umbrella".

"Hoo-hoo". Mira-speak for "hula hoop".

"Blay-set". Mira-speak for "bracelet".

"Beh-beh-beh-beh pepper." Mira-speak for "red bell pepper".

"Bee-yah". Mira-speak for "banana".

"Teppin tool." Mira-speak for "stepping stool."

The following are some cute/funny little things that Mira has said over the last 2 months or so:

While changing the baby's diaper....
Mira: "pull up baby pants"
Me: "I will but first I have to snap up her onesie"
Mira: (counting as I snap each snap) "onesie... twosie... threesie... yay did it!"

While driving in the car, Mira said, "Run people over, Mommy." I swear. You can't make this stuff up.

Finished reading Mira "Where the Wild Things Are". When we got done, she looked at me and said, "... weird."

While she was crying about having to leave a playdate, Mira said "Eyes watering, mommy... crying... water dripping out, mommy."

Mira: "Play hair. Play hair. Play hair, mommy. Play hair."
Me: "Mira stop talking for a little while, ok?"
8 seconds later (I know, I counted.)
Mira: "Play hair, mommy."

Ellowyn was crying and Mira said, "Don't cry, Baby Ellowyn. Give you hugs, Baby Sister." So sweet.

In the car, Mira started to take her shoes off so I said, "Mira, please leave your shoes on." Mira replied with, "No, Mommy, not say that. Not say that word, Mommy." It was made even cuter by the fact that, as she was expressing her disagreement verbally, she was putting her shoes back on.

Mira named her babies: Baby Pam, Baby Amanda, Baby Nancy, and Baby Gramma. That last one is a bit confounding for me.

After I told Mira about what our plans were for the day she replied with "Okay.... sounds great, Mommy." She sounded just like a little grown up.

Mira: "Baby Ellowyn loves Mira SOOO MUUUUCH!"
Me: "Yes, Ellowyn does love you."
Me: "Yes, so much."

Mira saw some people walking by outside our house and said, "People walking... in Mira's outside."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mira dances like Aunt KK

My little sister, Katelyn, is a dancer.  Being a senior in high school, she is on the drill team and they just put on their annual spring show.  Brian took Mira to see it and she had a blast watching her Aunt KK (Katelyn's nickname).  Well, a few days later I had some music on and Mira started dancing.  But it wasn't her usual dance moves (where she tucks her hands up by her armpits, sticks her elbows out and flaps her arms up and down like she's doing the chicken dance, all while jumping up and down).  Instead she was extending her arms and bending down low.  So I grabbed the video camera and turned it on.  Here's what happened next:

It's really neat to me that just watching Katelyn dance had such an impact on the way Mira danced.  It's making me think that maybe she's ready for some dance classes, though usually they don't start till age 3.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mira's big girl bed

First, some cute pictures:  

Feel happier now?  I know I do.

Ok.  So.

I guess it was about 10 days ago when we decided that we'd convert Mira's crib into a toddler bed.  Basically, all you do is take one side off the crib and, TA DA, toddler bed.

I had been delaying this transition because Mira was sleeping SO well in her crib and she hadn't shown any signs of trying to climb out.  My attitude was: why mess with a good thing?  What ultimately changed my mind was that we are starting to think seriously about potty training and I wanted Mira to have the ability to get herself to the potty if she woke up and needed to go.  So I thought we should make the transition to the big girl bed before we go serious on the potty training.

So we did it on a Saturday morning so that Brian would be home with me to help if things got hairy.  I suspected that maybe things would go smoothly, but mentally I was preparing myself for the worst.  Most of Mira's friends have already moved to toddler beds and in some cases it was pretty rough: kids crying at the door, refusing to take naps altogether, up hours past bed time, finally falling asleep on the floor, etc.  But I had hopes that Mira's transition would be easier for several reasons: 1) We weren't changing much: her routine was all still the same, her bedding was all still there, the only difference was that one side of her crib was gone and instead we had a gate at her bedroom door.  2) We had talked to Mira about it for a few days before doing the transition and we told her that big girls stayed in bed all night all by themselves, talking up the whole experience until she was really excited about it.  I also explained the gate at her door, telling her it was there to keep her safe.  And 3) Mira's personality is not typically one to push the boundaries much; she'll usually go along easily even in new situations.

On that Saturday morning, Brian took the side off Mira's crib, and Mira "helped".  She wanted to sleep in it right away, but it wasn't nap time yet.  So we enjoyed our morning and then at nap time, she was very excited to get in her bed, saying "Do it SELF!"  Her nap was shorter than normal (one and a half hours instead of two), but otherwise went smoothly.  She didn't get out of bed until we came to get her up.  Even after she woke up, she didn't get out of bed until we came into her room and told her it was ok to get out of bed now.

And that's the way it's been ever since.  It's been 10 days and her naps are a little shorter still, but her overnight sleep is about the same.  She always stays in her bed, even if she's having a hard time falling asleep.  She hasn't even fallen out of bed in her sleep, which I was a little worried about.  And she often reminds us to put the gate up at her door as we're leaving her room ("Gate up please!"), so obviously she's comfortable with that.  When I go to get her up in the morning, I often tell her how proud I am that she slept in her big girl bed all night.  The most trouble she's given us is that now sometimes her baby doll falls out of the bed and if that happens, she whines really loudly until someone comes in to put her baby back in her bed (she won't get out of bed to get it herself and honestly I'm not too inclined to encourage her to do it herself because I'm afraid that could open a can of worms).  But we've gotten around that by tucking the baby in under the covers and then tucking the covers into the side of the mattress to hold baby in.

I've heard that sometimes it takes a couple weeks for them to figure out that they can get out of bed when they're not supposed to and so you'll hit a hiccup at some point where you'll have to give them some direction for when they're up during the night.  So I'm waiting for that shoe to drop, but so far it hasn't.  If/when it does, I think I'll try something like what one of my mommy friends has done and tell her that it's ok to get a couple books off of her bookshelf and take those to her bed to read while she falls asleep.

But anyway, for now, it's going great and I'm so proud of her.  Here's a picture of her first nap in her big girl bed.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Taking videos with a toddler

You can see that she does everything possible to get into the video.  Other antics include putting her hand in front of the lens and asking repeatedly, "see it?", which means that she's done recording the video and is ready to watch it back.

It's also dismaying that every time I think that Mira's doing something so cute and I should get a video of it, then as soon as I take out the video recorder, she stops whatever cute thing she was doing and fixates on the camera, repeatedly asking "see it?".  So many cute moments go completely undocumented because of this predicament!  I'm sure most kids are that way... does anyone happen to have any advice?  I've tried being sneaky about it, but Mira has eyes like a hawkkkkkk!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ellowyn is 3 months old today

Today Ellowyn turns 3 months old.  She's doing great!

Sleeping: At night, Ellowyn sleeps in her own room, in an inclined bassinet (for her reflux, see below).  Overnight, she'll sleep for a 9-10 hour stretch, then be awake for 30 minutes to an hour, then sleep again for another 2-3 hours.  I never knew babies could sleep so well at night.  Naps are a little trickier for her; she naps wherever she can: the car seat, the moby wrap, in my bed, in my arms... but she only rarely naps longer than an hour.  Some days she boycotts naps altogether.  This could be a factor of her age or it could be because we don't really have a set nap routine for her yet.  But as long as she continues to sleep so well at night, I can forgive the short naps during the day.

Eating: Ellowyn is a great nurser!  It's her favorite thing to do.  We are still exclusively breastfeeding and plan to continue for a good long time.  She has completely rejected bottles now, and we've given up on trying to convince her to take one, so feeding Ellowyn is all me all the time.  It's a pain to be chained to her that way, because it means I can't be separated from her for more than an hour during the day and that there are certain times of day that I must be there with her, but I got used to that when Mira and I were in the same situation so this time it's not such a big deal to me.  I know this is just a brief blip in my parenting career, so I'm inclined to enjoy the positives about our breastfeeding relationship rather than fixate on the negatives.

Reflux: Most babies have some level of reflux; that's what causes spit ups.  But in Ellowyn's case, she has fairly severe reflux which causes her esophageal pain.  So we've chosen to put her on a mild antacid temporarily until she grows out of her reflux (most babies do outgrow it at around 4-6 months old).  The medicine treats her reflux very well: she's clearly happier on it and miserable off of it.  She recently had a few days where the reflux symptoms came back despite the medication (refusing to nurse long even when hungry, back arching during feedings, extreme distress before and after burping/spitting), so we had to up her dose: as she gets bigger, her gain in body mass means that she'll need more of the medicine to treat her effectively.  But now that she's on the higher dose, she's back to her happy self again.

Communicating: Ellowyn has discovered her vocal chords and is spending every waking minute doing verbal play.  Most of it is just her yelling happily at the top of her lungs.  And she is quite social.  She loves being talked to.  It seems like every time someone engages with her, she is smiling like crazy.

Playing: Ellowyn is at that stage where everything she gets her hands on goes immediately to her mouth.  The lips are a very sensitive part of the body with lots of nerve endings sending loads of sensory information to the brain, and she's definitely making the most of that fact.  She also really likes to kick anything that's dangling over her feet.

And last, on Friday Ellowyn hit a milestone: she is now rolling from tummy to back.  She'll do it repeatedly at each tummy-time session, so it's definitely a skill that she has a firm grasp on (rather than being something she did once on accident).

Monday, April 11, 2011

And the days go by...

Note: this blog post is probably not terribly interesting for anyone but me, but it's something that I wanted to write down for my own memories. I will be following this one up with several that are more appealing to the masses. I haven't been keeping up with the blogging very well, but I've been taking videos and pictures, so I've got lots of material to share. So watch for that in the next few days.

I feel like I'm really getting the hang of this whole two kids situation. Most days, things go quite smoothly and we're all happy and healthy. Here's what a typical day looks like for us:

At night, Mira sleeps from about 8pm to about 8am. Ellowyn sleeps from about 8pm to about 5:30am (yes, a 9 to 10 hour stretch, I know exactly how lucky I am), is up for 30min to one hour nursing on and off, then goes back to sleep from about 6:30am to 9am (usually). So in the mornings, I'm up from 5:30am to 6:30am with Ellowyn in her room, nursing and rocking until she goes back to sleep (she sleeps in an inclined bassinet in her own room- the incline helps with her reflux as opposed to lying flat in a crib). Then from about 6:30am to 7:30am I can get a few more winks of sleep. Then I get up to get my shower before the girls are awake. By the time I'm dressed, Mira is usually stirring and I'll go in to get her.

Since Ellowyn is usually still asleep, I can spend some time alone with Mira over breakfast. After we eat breakfast we can play a bit together and I'll pack up the diaper bag so that it's ready for the day. Ellowyn wakes up around 9am and I'll nurse her and then is our time to be out of the house. We spend most weekday mornings at a playdate: either at the park or a friend's house or at one of the many cool kiddie places around Austin, spending time with some other wonderful stay-at-home-mommies and their children. (I'm so thankful for my mom's clubs; it's such a supportive network and it's so nice to have friends to spend the weekdays with.) Some mornings we'll run an errand too, but that depends on Ellowyn's mood.

Then it's lunch time. If Ellowyn has slept at the playdate (usually in my moby wrap while I chase Mira), then we can sometimes go get Daddy from work and take him to lunch. As long as Ellowyn has had a morning nap and I nurse her right before the meal, the girls are both very well behaved when we go out to eat lunch. If we eat lunch at home, I get lunch for Mira and once she's seated eating, I'll nurse Ellowyn down for her nap. Then Mira finishes lunch and I'm free to read books with her and then put her down for her nap. Somewhere in all that I grab a few bites of something for myself.

I'll usually have a few minutes to myself in the afternoon while the girls are napping. I can get some dishes done, catch up from the busy morning, eat lunch if I didn't get time to while the girls were eating, and take a break. Ellowyn usually wakes up before Mira and then I can have some quiet time with just Ellowyn: nursing, doing tummy time, cooing at each other, etc. Around 3 or 4pm, Mira wakes up from her nap. We can sometimes squeeze a quick errand in before rush hour, but usually we just spend the afternoon playing at home. We play in the backyard with the swings, slides, sandbox, chalk, or if it's warm enough I'll turn on the water hose for Mira. Or if the weather is not good, we play inside with crayons, play-doh, puzzles, baby dolls, or Mira will cook something for me or Ellowyn in her play kitchen.

The evening is the most demanding time of the day. Brian usually gets home from work at around 6:30pm, but in order to get the girls down for bed, we need to eat right as he walks in the door. So that leaves me juggling dinner, a toddler, and an infant. It's challenging, but as long as I plan ahead, it's usually ok. So that's another thing I'll usually do while the girls nap: figure out what's for dinner and do as much prep work as I can so that when it's time to make dinner, I just start up the stove/oven/grill and everything's ready to go. Brian gets home and we all have dinner together, with Ellowyn sitting in her bouncy chair at the table with us. (I think it's very important for the family to sit down to dinner together on a regular basis, so it's a juggling act for me to accomplish, but it means a lot to me so I make it work.)

Right after dinner, I take Ellowyn up for her bath, giving Mira a chance to play with her daddy for a bit. I give Ellowyn her bath and then nurse her down for the night (it's an epic feeding, easily lasting half an hour or more). While I'm nursing Ellowyn, Brian will bathe Mira, then read stories with her. Usually when I finish nursing Ellowyn, Brian and Mira are finishing up their bedtime stories and Brian and I can both tuck Mira in together. It's usually about 8pm when the girls are in bed, so then Brian and I can spend a couple hours together before going to bed ourselves.

It's all hard work, but it at least goes smoothly most of the time. Some days are harder, like when Mira is being needier than normal or when Ellowyn refuses to nap. On those days, I have a few tricks that I can pull out of my hat. A big one is nursing on the ground: me lying on my side on the floor, Ellowyn pulled in to my chest to nurse and Mira sitting up by my head so we can play with some toy together (or read a book or work a puzzle or color or whatever Mira wants to do with me). Another trick is baby-wearing. This works especially well on the days that Ellowyn is fussy/not napping. Technology is another great trick: I have apps on my phone for both girls: white noise for Ellowyn, games for Mira. And there's the old TV trick, though I use this as a last resort because I don't like Mira to get more than about 2-3 hours per week, Mira will always sit quietly through an hour of Sesame Street, which is nice when I just have to get some task done.

So, yeah, I'm feeling really good about my abilities as a mother and my coping mechanisms and the things my children are being exposed to and how much time I'm able to spend with each of them, separately and together. Now if only I could figure out how to do all that and also keep up with the chores... I'm starting to think maybe it's not possible.

Edit: I forgot to mention another of my tricks: dual diapering. Whenever Mira needs a diaper, I change Ellowyn's at the same time, laying the two girls down side-by-side, and changing one, then the other while they lay next to each other, keeping each other entertained with faces, talking, smiling, etc. Just before Ellowyn was born, Mira was in a toddlery stage of resisting diaper changes, but dual diapering solved that problem completely.