Sunday, January 31, 2010

I like grouping the weekend days together like this


Day 298

Day 23

We woke up to a rather generous dusting of snow outside on Saturday morning. It continued to snow for most of the day, eventually accumulating about 6 inches. Nothing like our big storm last month, but it was still pretty. I'm glad we didn't have anywhere to go. I had hoped to go for a swim (in the indoor pool, obviously) this weekend, but I awoke Saturday with a pretty nasty sore throat, so I scrapped those plans. Next weekend!


Day 299

Day 24

No additional snows overnight, and the roads were nice and clear, so I went on a grocery run in the early afternoon. Having two small kids (or even just one) really makes you appreciate being able to go grocery shopping without them. Soren's actually really good in the store - a little grabby sometimes, but not in the "I want it! I want it!" sort of way. Really he just likes grabbing things if I let the cart get too close to the shelves. Or he likes reaching back and grabbing things that are already in the cart. But he doesn't pitch a fit when I take them away and put them back. Really it's the whole getting in and out of the car production that I'm most pleased to avoid. I know there's not really a big difference in the amount of time it takes, but it just feels so much easier when I'm by myself.

Here's another pair of "same outfit, different kids" photos.

Soren was just a couple days shy of 2 months old in that picture (so, like, more than twice as old as Eleri), which is part of why his head looks smaller. It's just in better proportion with his body. (In better proportion with? That doesn't sound right, but I can't quite come up with the know what I mean.)

Man, the weekend went by way too fast. I'm not ready for Monday yet! Can't we get a do-over on today or something?

My brain's all fuzzy, and I'm fresh out of amusing anecdotes, so I'm going to wrap this up before I waste more pixels on drivel. I'm sure I'll be more entertaining tomorrow!

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Day 297 / Day 22

The weather took a turn for the cold on Friday (not sure if it even broke 25 all day), so we stayed indoors. Soren was up earlier than usual again, and I guess two days of early rising caught up with him because at naptime he slept for almost three and a half hours. Whoo!

Friday also marked 3 weeks since Eleri's birth. I can't believe it's been 3 weeks already. She still feels so new!

It's been a while since I wrote about shanking (seriously...that post is almost 4 1/2 years old!). In the comments, there was some conjecture as to the existence of a shanking gene. If indeed one exists, it would seem our wee lass has inherited it. Before she was born, she frequently kept me awake late into the night with her kicking and flailing and hiccuping. And even though there were a couple of nights this week when she fell asleep before midnight, for the most part she's continuing to stick to her late night shenanigans. I call it the Eleri Johnson Party Hour, though that's completely a misnomer (definitely not a party, and usually way more than an hour in duration).

Friday night was worse than usual. She was awake and largely unhappy from about 10pm until well after 1am. Bubbles in the belly seem to be the major culprit in her unhappiness, but why they bother her so much more at night than they do during the day is beyond me. Fortunately, once she finally does succumb to sleep, she's pretty much out for the night. She'll wake me up a couple of times - grunting a little, not screaming - for a snack, but then she'll go right back to sleep. So that's nice, at least. We just need to get her shanking under control because let me tell you, after a long and tiring day, a 2 or 3 hour intermittent crying jag is most definitely not at the top of my wish list.

Of course, as I type this, it's a little after 11pm and she's passed out on Tom's chest like a little angel child, having commenced (and, obviously, completed) her shank-fest somewhat earlier than usual tonight. I should perhaps take advantage of this fact and get some sleep, myself.

Ach, I spoke (typed) too soon. She stirs. I think I'll wrap this up anyway, since I'm just kind of whining pointlessly at She really is a remarkably easy baby on the whole. And cute as the dickens. (Not, mind you, the Dickens.)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

You can't win em all

Day 296

Day 21

A crummy night's sleep makes everything worse, no doubt about it. I didn't sleep solidly or deeply for most of last night, and then Soren was bright eyed and bushy tailed extra early this morning, so the first 2/3 of the day was less than stellar. I always look forward to naptime, but today I was especially glad when it finally arrived. I can feel the tension starting to melt away as soon as I hear that change in Soren's breathing to indicate he's fallen asleep. Amazing how that works. ;)

Things improved after our nap; we bundled up and walked over to the play area again, where Soren got to run and climb and slide and I got to talk to my good friend Shay on the phone. Eleri, once again, slept in the front pack all the while. When he'd had enough of the cold, Soren walked over and grabbed ahold of my jeans pocket and started leading me back toward our building. Very sweet.

I'm still getting used to having a brand new baby around. It's funny, the things you forget. Too often these days I've found myself surprised by spit-up, without a burp rag handy, resorting to mopping up the puddle with a blanket or the baby's hat or my sleeve. We haven't taken her out all that much, but I know her diaper bag's not as stocked as it should be, and one of these days we're going to be caught out somewhere unprepared. You just get used to a different level of gear with a toddler - and different kinds of gear, as well (sippy cups and snacks instead of burp rags and 2 or 3 spare outfits). We'll get the hang of it again, of course. Just takes time.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Swiper, no swiping!

Day 295

Day 20

Soren woke himself up with his own giggles this morning. Literally, began laughing in his sleep, continued to do so for about 15 or 20 seconds, then awoke and sat up. I wish he'd kept on sleeping - I could've used another half hour, myself - but it was pretty darned cute.

This morning we had not one but two false fire alarms. I thought at first that they were just testing the alarm system again, but after the bell kept on a-ringing for more than a minute, I got up and walked to the balcony door to look/sniff outside. I was just about to open the door when the alarm shut off. A few minutes later, much to Soren's delight, the fire trucks showed up with lights & siren & the whole nine yards. Then, after an hour or so, the alarm went off again. This time I was even less inclined to believe we were in any danger of roasting, so I waited even longer before getting up. When the alarm didn't stop, I put on Soren's socks, shoes & jacket, got myself a sweater, strapped on the front pack and was about to pick up the sleeping Eleri when the bell quit. Yet again, the fire trucks came, sirens blaring. I'm just glad this didn't all go down at naptime (and, you know, that the building wasn't actually on fire).

This afternoon was my 2 week postpartum visit with the midwife. Since they weren't able to schedule me for an appointment last week, before Tom went back to work, and since I didn't think I was quite up to the task of wrangling both kids to the birth center by myself, I took Soren to A's house to play while Eleri and I went to see the midwife. It worked out really well! Soren didn't get upset at all when I left, which is great.

At my appointment, I checked my weight and was shocked to discover I'm already back to what I weighed before I got pregnant. Shocked! I didn't even think such a thing would be possible, this soon. I'm not saying this to draw kudos or to brag; I'm truly just astounded and probably will think I'm misremembering, months or years down the road, if I don't put it in writing now. Crazy. The rest of the visit was also good. Eleri slept in her car seat the whole time, and R said I'm healing splendidly.

After I returned to fetch Soren and visit with M for a little while, I decided I'd be brave and make a run to Trader Joe's with both kids in tow. And it was, like, big brood day in there or something. First thing I see, as I walk in the door, is a woman walking out with her 4 (four!) children. She's got 2 in her cart, and her oldest son's following behind with a stroller pushing the youngest one. There were several twofers and a couple of moms with 3 kids apiece. Seriously, I don't think I've ever seen that many kids in Trader Joe's at one time. It was nuts.

Some pros and cons of our new daily Dora the Explorer habit:

Pro - Cartoons during mealtime = more food eaten with almost no fighting
Con - Cartoons during mealtime = Very Bad Precedent. I know this. You can't judge me any more harshly than I judge myself.

Pro - Occasional Soren utterance of "Oh man!" a la Swiper the Fox (one of the characters on the show...duh), which is rather cute and funny.
Con - Earworms galore. There are several songs that are played in pretty much every episode. Soren loves them. I could very much do without having the "Backpack, backpack" song stuck on loop in my head when I'm trying to fall asleep.

Pro - Bilingual exposure, educational value, et cetera. I have to admit, it's a pretty well put together show, didactically. Lots of repetition, which is good for the little'uns, and it's a lot more tolerable than Blue's Clues (which we also tried out...I'd heard nothing but good things, but I'm not sure I can stomach that one).
Con - "I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the map!" (You're welcome.)

Eleri's passed out on Tom's chest right now. A little while ago, she was holding onto his shirt with her tiny, tiny fist. So very cute.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

And you will know us by the trail of diapers

Day 294

Day 19

A new day, a new schedule. This morning, Soren crawled into bed with Eleri & me while Tom was getting ready for work. We all slept until about 8, then all got up. Eleri stayed awake for a couple of hours, then fell back asleep at her usual waking time, around 10. Go figure. She slept in her crib while Soren & I played and then had lunch, and she woke up right as I was starting naptime preparations for the boy. Hmm. So his nap was delayed while I got her changed and fed, and then the three of us passed out on the couch. All things considered, it worked out remarkably well.

In the afternoon, I bundled up the kids, strapped the lass to my chest, and we ventured out for a walk. I was planning on just making a loop around the buildings to get rid of some of Soren's excess energy, but as we neared the turnoff for the little playground, he started pulling in that direction, saying, "Slide? Slide?" So we went to the playground instead. Soren was very happy to climb and slide and run around a little, and Eleri slept in the Bjorn the whole time. We didn't stay out too long, as it was only about 45 degrees outside, but it was a nice little diversion.

Today's photos: lest you disbelieve me, here's Soren picking up his toys before bed. He has to be reminded almost constantly of his task, of course, or else he'll start playing with things instead of putting them away. But it's a good first step. As for the lass, we've got her looking oh-so-cute snuggled in the Oregon blanket. Aww.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Just shows to go ya...

The first rule of raising multiple kids is: there are no rules.

Soren was never a great fan of the sponge bath (who is, really?) but as soon as his umbilical stump fell off and he was able to start taking "real" baths, he was totally on board from day one. And why wouldn't he be? Soaking in warm water is great.

Well. The wee lass had her first bath in the bathtub tonight. And she screamed bloody murder the entire time. It wasn't a temperature thing; she was just severely unhappy about the whole situation. She didn't stop hollering until she was once more safely ensconced in her pjs. Crazy little gal.

I mean, sure, I'd heard of kids who don't like baths, but some part of me couldn't fully accept that they actually existed. How could you not like baths?!

And we all survived

Day 293

Day 18

(I decided the date titles were boring. So I'm ditching them, at least until my creativity runs out. Not that today's title is particularly creative, get the idea.)

Fortune smiled upon me, today, and Tom's first day back at work did not end with me curled on the floor in the fetal position, victim of a nervous breakdown. Instead, everything went remarkably well. Eleri continued her pattern of sleeping late in the morning, giving me a couple of hours of one-on-one time with Soren. We listened to music and had some breakfast, and he played quietly until his sister awoke and joined us. Eleri was kind enough to nap while I fed Soren his lunch, and even though she woke up when it was time to put the lad down for his nap, she wasn't too noisy or fussy. She eventually dozed off again, so I was able to catch a bit of sleep too until Soren woke up. More music and (relatively) quiet games until Tom got home, though tomorrow I think we're definitely going to take a walk in the afternoon to burn off some of Soren's extra energy.

At one point in the evening, Soren brought all of the books from his room, one by one, out to the living room and handed them to me. He didn't want to read them at first; he wanted to read a couple of them eventually, but not until he'd collected them all in a pile. Pretty silly. The best part, though, was that I was able to get him to put them all back away again, one or two at a time, just by asking. And he was very happy to do so! Tom's been really consistent about having Soren pick up and put away his toys in the evening, so it seems to be paying off.

Soren's all about hugs these days. Particularly if something upsets him, but frequently for no discernible reason at all, he'll just say, "Hug!" and come running over for one. Besides being really freakin' cute, it's awfully nice that he's getting more adept at coherently articulating his needs and wants. Of course, this makes it slightly more frustrating in contrast to deal with the newling, who just cries indiscriminately. Why can't you tell me what's wrong, baby?! Just tell me! don't do that yet.

(I am, of course, exaggerating for effect. I don't actually forget that she can't talk yet.)

Anyhow. I'm really relieved that today wasn't a catastrophic failure. I know there are obviously going to be easier days and tougher days, but having a really bad day right out of the gate would have done a number on my confidence, I think. So yay!

Another Weekend Double-Post


Day 291

Day 16


Day 292

Day 17

This weekend I continued my efforts to get as much rest as humanly possible before Tom goes back to work. Tom, meanwhile, has been an incredibly good sport about it all, letting me sleep in with the baby while he gets up with Soren in the morning, making delicious (iron-rich) dinners every night and not grumbling when I pass out on the couch for an hour or two mid-day. It's not anything like an equitable arrangement, and I'm incredibly grateful that he's let me have this break.

Anyway, largely as a result of my aforementioned sloth, I don't have much in the way of interesting tales from the weekend with which to regale you. So in lieu of that, I thought I'd just list some random tidbits (mostly kid-related) as they pop in my head. Let's see where we go with that, shall we?

Under the general heading of Clothing, I have a couple of observations. First, I'm really enjoying getting more mileage out of Soren's tiny outfits, especially some of my favorites. Two cases in point:

(Ha! That was completely unintentional, having them facing opposite directions like that. Too funny.) So that's fun. The other clothes-related tidbit is also related to my previous "ZOMG Soren's a giant!" comments. It's highly amusing to me to do a load of laundry in which there's a mixture of both kids' clothes. I was going along, folding tiny onesies this evening, and suddenly there was a pair of Soren's huge pants. Tee hee.

Speaking of huge, that's one of the adjectives that Soren's been employing with some regularity. Others include “cute,” “soft,” “another,” “silly” and “tiny.” He sometimes refers to Eleri as “tiny girl-o,” which Tom & I find endlessly amusing.

Our foray into toddler TV exposure the other day has resulted in the lad becoming slightly obsessed with the little song that Dora & friends sing at the end of each episode. It goes something like, “We did it, we did it, we did it, yay!” and then goes on to recap the various and sundry adventures from the episode. This song is, of course, up on YouTube, so we've been able to play it for him (over...and over...and over). He requests it by saying, “Again...gillit?” (with a hard G sound there). Apparently he's far from being the only kid who's enamored of the song; there are tons of videos also on YouTube of toddlers gleefully dancing to it. Better this than Barney though.

It's pretty nice to be able to exercise willpower again with regard to sweets. So bizarre how that works. I mean, I'm still happy to eat ice cream or cookies when the opportunity presents itself, but I can also abstain; it's not as though I must consume these things with great frequency. Oh pregnancy, why are you so strange? I'm also very pleased to report that the heartburn has finally taken its leave of me. I was most chagrined when it lingered this time, but I seem to be done with it now. Huzzah!

Tom's been singing this song to both kids since birth. Actually, the first time I ever heard it was when he sang it to me while I was in labor with Soren. It's hardly your typical lullaby (for those who don't want to bother clicking the link, it's “Turn Around” by They Might Be Giants), but you know what they say – it's the singing in general that's soothing, not necessarily the song. Anyway. My point is that recently Soren's been requesting the song (“Again...ta-wound?”), which I find pretty funny. So much of TMBG's catalog is silly and kid-friendly; it's not really all that surprising that he'd grow to like it. It's just funny I guess that he's branching out from Wheels on the Bus and Old MacDonald into “real music.” He also seems to like Simon & Garfunkel. Go figure.

Eleri's still quite the night owl. We're working on it; she's been awake more during the day these past few days, and hasn't been staying up as late at night, but here we are, just after midnight and she's only just fallen asleep. (Maybe. Not yet clear if she's going to remain sleeping.) This first week back on a regular work schedule is going to be a challenge, methinks. Oh, we'll get through it, of course. But I don't expect it to be easy.

I think I'll sign off for now. Good night, all.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday, January 22

Day 290

Day 15

Tom's cold is making its way around our apartment, it seems. Soren's been congested for the past couple of days, and while I haven't gotten the worst of the symptoms, I was really worn out and headachy and just generally "bleh" today. Fortunately, Tom's starting to feel better already, so (a) it doesn't seem to be a particularly long-lasting cold and (b) I was able to get some good rest today while he took over the child tending and meal prep, so hopefully this will help keep me from getting any sicker. I'm counting on fighting off this bug and passing on the bug-fighting antibodies to the wee lass so she (fingers crossed) won't get sick at all. She hasn't shown any symptoms so far, so I'm just going to keep on hoping.

We let Soren watch a little bit of kid-geared TV programming today (specifically, Dora the Explorer). Yes, the American Academy of Pediatrics says no TV before age 2, but he's just a few months shy. He seemed pretty engaged, repeating some of the things Dora et al were saying on screen. I can definitely see how letting him watch a bit of educational programming could be really helpful in the coming weeks and months, while I'm adjusting to the whole two-kid three-ring circus we'll have going on around here. Thank goodness for Tivo.

Not much else to report on the day, except to say man, do we ever have some cute kids. For today's photos, we've got Soren just after a bath, sporting his Albert Brooks 'do. And Miss Eleri is doing her Happy Buddha impression, giving a little grin in her sleep.

"You want the cute?!"
"I think I'm entitled!"
"You can't handle the cute!"

That is all.

Thursday, January 21

Day 288

Day 14

The house cleaners were supposed to come over on Thursday "sometime between 1pm and 3pm." Soren usually goes down for his nap around 1:00 or 1:30, but rather than risk having to wake him up part way through his nap so we could vacate the premises for cleaning, we opted to keep him awake.

Well, the house cleaners didn't arrive until...almost 3:30. We packed up the kids and headed out to run a couple of errands, and I fully expected Soren would pass out in the car. Nope! No nap for him at all yesterday. By about 6:45, in the middle of dinner, he was done, completely melting down. So I got him in pjs and settled him on the couch, where he was passed out by 7:00. So between this super early bedtime and the fact that Tom's still off work til Monday, we actually watched our usual Thursday night TV shows on Thursday night for the first time in months. (Since we've got the Tivo, and Soren's bedtime routine usually starts about the same time as all the primetime programming, we usually just watch everything a day later.)

Eleri then proceeded to have a super exciting night, awake and fussy from about 11:30pm til almost 2am. Whee! I'm not sure why, but she seems to be more troubled by gas bubbles in her belly at nighttime than she is during the day. Poor little baby guts.

Wednesday, January 20

Day 288

Day 13

Mom went back home on Wednesday. Between her and my dad, we had three weeks of grandparental assistance around here, which was incredibly helpful and much appreciated. I'm really glad they were able to come out!

Something I haven't mentioned yet (I don't think, anyway) but have been meaning to is this: it's amazing to me how enormous Soren seemed to become almost immediately upon his sister's arrival. Seriously. He's, like, huge now. I didn't do any of his diaper changes for several days after Eleri was born, and when I finally did change him again, it was like wrangling an elephant. I was hideously uncoordinated, felt as though I'd completely lost my ability to be quick and efficient in performing the task. Such a bizarre feeling. And picking him up...I marvel at the fact that I managed such a feat with ease while nine months pregnant!

And when I pick up the newling again after hefting the boy about for a little while, I can't believe how light she feels. A featherweight in my arms, all tiny and floppy. It's really quite something, having the both of them now.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19

Day 287

Day 12

Soren had two naps today for the first time in I don't know how long. He woke up pretty early, and by about 11:00 he was saying, "Naps?" (Usually he doesn't go down til after 1:00 these days.) After he woke up, Tom took him to the park to play, and then he had another nap after they got back. That's not to say, however, that he didn't fight both naps tooth and nail; he actually appears to have burst some capillaries in his face from crying so vociferously before the first one. Lordy. If only someone could discover a way to reason with toddlers...

In the evening, my mom and the kids and I were sitting around in Soren's room. Soren looked at me and said, "Lie down, please." I wasn't sure if he was actually making a request or just parroting what he hears when he won't settle in his bed, but then he pushed my shoulder backwards to make me lie down. So I did, and then he laid down beside me. It was odd, but cute. ;)

Miss Eleri seems to be wanting to keep the same hours she kept in utero, which isn't a huge surprise, but it means she has about a two hour block of wakefulness late at night. It's not especially fun, particularly since she's been coupling it with unusual fussiness. We're working on getting her schedule shifted, but of course that process takes time.

She's also got some very light colored hairs coming in under the dark topcoat on her head. She may well have lighter hair than her brother, when all's said and done. Interesting.

All right, I think she may finally be asleep, so I'm going to sign off and get some shut-eye, myself. G'night!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Monday, January 18

Day 286

Day 11

So, on Sunday, my mom tweaked her knee coming up the stairs. Something went crunch, so we all thought it wise for her to go get it checked out today. Tom & Soren drove her over to the hospital this morning, and since Eleri was snoozing, I decided to try putting her down in her crib and getting a few chores done. She slept great, and I was able to make good progress on the laundry and dishes, which left me feeling remarkably accomplished.

Mom had anticipated having to sit at the hospital for a long while, so she just had Tom drop her off and would let us know when she was ready to be picked up. As it turned out, she was finished not long after Tom and Soren returned home, so rather than hustling Soren right back out the door, I had Tom leave the lad with me. It was a trial run of sorts - both kids on my own for 20 minutes or so. And we managed just fine! So that made me feel pretty confident. I realize, of course, that 20 minutes is nothing like a whole day, but at least the "practice run" wasn't a complete disaster or anything.

No major damage to Mom's knee, fortunately; most likely diagnosis is a strained or slightly torn tendon, but she says it doesn't hurt, and she's able to get around all right, so that's good.

For dinner she & I made chicken taquitos. Well, Mom did most of the work with the frying and whatnot, but I rolled them. They were quite tasty, and while I'll agree they were not terribly difficult to make, I don't see myself attempting any solo cooking with hot oil and a baby strapped to my chest anytime soon. ;)

Eleri was having a bit of a Winston Churchill day. I couldn't manage to take a picture in which she didn't slightly resemble the old chap. Hehe.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekend Update

Day 284

Day 9
On Saturday, the boys went out to run some errands and play at the playground before lunch. Mom & I took it easy and watched a bunch of SNL videos online while Eleri snoozed. Mom made super tasty pizzas for dinner (one BBQ chicken with cheddar, potatoes & red onions, and one pepperoni/mushroom/red bell pepper).

Day 285

Day 10
Sunday was a rainy, lazy day. Not much of particular import to relay about the day itself, so I'll take a moment to mention a few things about Soren's general development in the past few weeks. He's definitely gotten the hang of assigning ownership of objects to people (Daddy shoes, Mommy book, Grandma phone, Soren jacket); sometimes he uses "my" and "your," but those are still kind of confusing for him. He's getting better at saying "please" (when prompted) when he asks for things. He's also gone from strictly two-word phrases to the occasional three- or four-word one ("Let's see Grandpa" or "Come on, Mac Cheese." Mini-meltdowns (and sometimes not so mini) are more or less still a daily occurrence when he's prevented from doing/grabbing/destroying whatever it is he wants at the moment...ah, toddlerdom. But he's also very sweet and clever and cuddly and nice to his sister, giving unprompted kisses and wanting to hold her (for very short periods of time) on his lap.

As for Eleri...well, she still spends the majority of her time sleeping. But during most of her waking intervals, she's an extremely mellow baby, quite content to just look around at the world and take everything in. She doesn't always immediately cry upon waking up, and already she's a better crib sleeper than Soren was at that age. Diaper changes are the bane of her existence, but other than that, she seems to have no major complaints. Eats well, sleeps soundly, poops prodigiously. The baby trifecta!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Year in Review - 2009

Last year I put together a post listing a highlight or two for each month of 2008. It's been a fun post to go back and look at on occasion, so I'd like to do another one for 2009.

January: Having quit my vampire shift job at the end of December, I spent most of the month reducing my sleep deficit and becoming reacquainted with life in the daylight. I also started packing and prepping for the big cross-country move. Oh, and I finally figured out how to make decent cornbread. ;)

February: More packing, making of travel arrangements, and visits with friends. At the end of the month, Soren, Leo & I departed for Oregon to visit friends and family there before making our way eastward.

March: The big move! We landed in DC with my dad on the 2nd, got an apartment and a car, and celebrated merrily when Tom defended his thesis and was able to come join us 3 weeks later. Soren also got a lot more proficient with walking this month.

April: Soren's first birthday! I started my Photo-a-Day project and Soren got his first haircut.

May: I tried to plant an herb garden in a box on the balcony (it failed). I started taking horseback riding lessons again. I found out I was pregnant with Eleri on Tom's & my 3rd wedding anniversary (aw). Soren cut some molars and we had a difficult couple of weeks.

June: We had some awesome thunderstorms this month. Soren started sleeping in his own room and got weaned off breastmilk finally. Oh, and I turned 28.

July: I had to quit riding again (too pregnant), which was sad, but I'd sure enjoyed it while it lasted and look forward to starting up again when Eleri's a few months old. We made Soren's letter cards and the lad started learning to recognize the alphabet. He also cut all 4 of his cuspids at once and was a super sad-pants. At the end of the month he & I headed to Oregon for my 10 year high school reunion.

August: Still on our Oregon trip in the first part of the month; got to visit lots of people and had a great time. We quit the cloth diaper service and started doing cloth diapers on our own at home. And I got a cute haircut.

September: At 17 months, Soren had the whole alphabet figured out and could also recognize a few numbers. Clever boy! We had several friends visiting from California this month and did a lot of sight-seeing. And eating.

October: My mom came out for a visit at the beginning of the month. Rainy season started up in earnest and all the foliage was in super-pretty autumn mode. At the end of the month, we all got pine mouth.

November: We converted Soren's crib to a day bed. I started making the boy a Christmas stocking (fail...well, not a complete fail, but I didn't get it finished in time for Christmas). We made a super tasty duck for Thanksgiving dinner, and had an explosion in the oven.

December: Landlord replaced our hideously loud washing machine with a beautiful, quiet, brand new one. We had a super crazy snow storm! Christmas was lovely, and we got to have a tree for the first time.

There you have it! 2010's already off to a great start (for us...I haven't written about the devastation in Haiti and probably won't, but that doesn't mean it hasn't been troubling me), so here's hoping for more awesomeness in the coming year.

Friday, January 15

Day 283

Day 8
It was time to bring the bouncy chair out of its temporary retirement. I don't think Soren actually remembered it, but he was definitely interested in it and wanted so badly to "help" Tom with its reassembly. Then he had to try it out (you know, to verify its structural integrity...he's only looking out for his little sister). When we put a sleeping Eleri in the bouncer, Soren wanted to rock her, though with rather a bit more enthusiasm than a floppy little baby head is meant to withstand. ;) He means well.

So Eleri was a week old yesterday. I can't believe it's been a week already! It goes by so fast. A week out, I'm feeling pretty darn good, physically. I kind of feel like my body's bouncing back faster than it did after Soren was born (probably because I got more forced rest this time), which is definitely a good thing. I'm glad I've got another week with Tom home full-time (and a few more days with my mom here) before I have to try wrangling both the kids on my own during the day, though. At least Eleri still sleeps a ton, and she weighs a third of what Soren does, so she'll be super easy to tote around or set down to sleep in the bouncer when I have to deal with things like feeding and diapering her brother. We'll manage.

Off to take advantage of naptime to get some rest, myself. Happy weekend, all.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thursday, January 14

Day 282
Thursday morning, Tom & Soren went to playgroup at the library so the boy could have some runaround time with his peeps. Back at home, after lunch, he went down for his nap a little later than usual but proceeded to sleep for three and a half hours! He had to be woken up for dinner, and he was quite dazed and disgruntled with crazy hair. A few hours later (not exactly ready for bed at the usual time) he was running back & forth across the living room, saying "Zoom!" with each pass. Goof ball. Amazingly, he slept really well that night, once he did go to bed.

Day 7
Eleri had a pretty chill day. You know, nap, eat, nap, poop, eat, nap, etc. Ah, the exciting life of a newborn. Here she is examining the glowing sea turtle night light her grandparents got her (and of which Soren also very fond).

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Somewhat More Petite Catch-up Photo Post

Day 3: Sunday
Here's the lass having some snuggle time with Grandma. After her big trip out into the great wide world on Saturday (Tom had to take her for her newborn exam with the pediatrician), it was nice to be able to just spend the day alternately napping with and staring at her. ;) K came by to do her post-birth home visit/assessment and proclaimed us both to be in good shape.

Day 4: Monday
Back to the pediatrician in the morning for her PKU test as well as a weight and jaundice check. She was down almost 3 ounces from Saturday and almost 7 from birth, so the doctor wanted to see her one more time after another 48 hours of eating. They're pretty serious about the whole post-partum weight loss thing, which seems a little silly only because it takes a few days for the milk production to kick in and everything. But we had to go back for her hearing test on Wednesday anyway, right down the hall from the pediatrician, so it wouldn't be an extra trip or anything. After we got home, R came over to do her assessment, told me to rest more but agreed we didn't have much to worry about with Eleri's weight. She's vigorous and strong and eating well, and her color's great. It's a shame we can't get more of our health care in home visit form; having both the birth assistant and the midwife stop by to check up on us was really nice, particularly in light of the whole home birth thing. You know, part of the point of which was to not have to go anywhere. I'm still glad we avoided the hospital, but 3 trips out in the first week with a brand new little one is kind of a lot. Ah well.

Day 5: Tuesday
Per R's orders, I did more resting. Napping with a tiny cozy baby is pretty great. Cuddling both your kids on your lap - indeed, once more having a lap that can accommodate not one but two kids! - is even better. In the evening, Eleri had her first sponge bath. She was not a fan. ;)

Day 6: Wednesday
As I mentioned with Soren's entry, we had a nice lazy morning and fun little photo shoot. Eleri's check-up was good; she was back up to her Saturday weight, so they'll let us off the hook for further monitoring, as long as she continues to eat and poop well. She's becoming an expert at both, so I think we're good to go! Her hearing screening was a simple little test checking to make sure the cilia in her inner ear respond to a range of frequencies. She slept right through the test, passed it, and we were on our way home again.

Massive Catch-up Photo Post

All right, here's my attempt to finally get caught up with Soren's daily photos, et cetera. I'll likely keep the text to a minimum because, really, who can remember the daily minutiae from a week and a half ago anyway? ;)

Day 272 (1/4/10)
Ran some errands, and it was my little sister's birthday. Happy birthday, Amy! Got a tooth brushing photo, since I had waited til the evening to drag out my camera, and I didn't want to take yet another "books before bedtime" shot.

Day 273 (1/5/10)
Playgroup at the library in the morning. I was glad to have Dad along to help chase after the lad; I was really not up to hauling myself off the floor every time he wanted to go exploring under the sink. It had been a couple of weeks since we'd last been to playgroup, what with the holidays and all, and Soren seemed both amused to see people his own age again and also a bit stand-offish, sneaking off to sit with Grandpa every so often. There was one super adorable moment, unfortunately missed by the cameras present, where he and one of the little girls in the group were walking across the room hand in hand. Aw.

Day 274 (1/6/10)
We went over to A's house for a play date. The hand-holder from the day before was there as well, and the 3 kids ran around happily and played pretty well together. Once again Soren was the comedian of the group, finding ways to make A crack up with laughter. My mom got into town that evening, so the comedian continued to practice his arts, now that he had not just one but two grandparents around for an audience.

Day 275 (1/7/10)
Here's the lad gazing at Grandma, having some chill-out time before bed.

Day 276 (1/8/10)
Obviously I was a little busy with other things this day and didn't quite get around to taking any solo photos of the boy. ;) But I think this one's a perfectly good representative for the day.

Day 277 (1/9/10)
I spent most of Saturday in bed, recuperating. Soren came in a few times for visits, but for the most part he played with Grandma all day. We had some family time in the evening, though, and I took a few pictures.

Day 278 (1/10/10)
Sunday I was a bit more on the mend. More Grandma games for the boy, more family time with the kids getting to know one another. I took this shot of Soren just after he'd given Eleri some kisses. He was still making his kissy face. ;)

[Photo to come later]
Day 279 (1/11/10)
Happy birthday, Mom! I didn't manage to take any Soren photos, but my mom got some video footage after we got home from Eleri's doctor visit. I'll be pulling a still from that a little later.

Day 280 (1/12/10)
More of the same for Tuesday, though Tom was able to log a bunch more Soren time than in the past few days. As much fun as Soren's been having with my mom, I think he'd finally decided he missed having his own mom & dad around all the time, so he was really happy to play some Daddy games. I don't know what miracle of timing allowed me to get the above photo, which is adorable beyond measure as far as I'm concerned.

Day 281 (1/13/10)
Whoo-hoo! Caught up! Wednesday we had a nice lazy morning and a fun little photo session with the kids. Soren's very fond of pointing out Eleri's various parts. "Baby...ear! Baby...nose! Baby...eye!" (Followed by all of us scrambling to keep him from jabbing her in the eye with his finger.) He brushed her hair a little bit and wanted to lie down next to her on the blanket. He's a very sweet big brother. In the afternoon we had to take Eleri back to the doctor for a weight check and hearing test; she passed both with flying colors.

Whew. Well there you have it. I'm not sure how I'll be formatting things from here on out (whether I'll keep the kids' daily photos in separate posts or put them together); most likely I'll experiment a little and see what works best. At the least, I'll have another post like this one for Eleri's Days 3-5, since Days 1 & 2 were both encompassed by the birth story post. Anyway. More soon, in some form or another.