Monday, September 29, 2008

Skinny minny

Well. This morning I took Gage to the doctor for his nine-month check-up. If you need a refresher on how his six-month visit went, you can read that post again here.

This morning Gage weighed 15 pounds. He gained just one pound over the last three months. Where he was in the 3rd percentile three months ago, he's now below the curve on the growth chart. If I used to think he was as small as he could be, I now know that's not the case. Gage's length measured 27 inches putting him at the 10th percentile. Given his short stature, our doctor wasn't as concerned about the low weight as she might have been. In fact, she called him delicate or at least said he has a delicate frame. I guess he won't grow up to be a linebacker. :)

I'm a glutton for punishment, so I checked back to see Braeden's measurements at this age. Braeden was 3/4 of an inch longer and weighed 19 pounds 3 ounces. Wow. He was in the 25th percentile for both height and weight. And his hemoglobin checked out normally.

Since he's hitting his developmental milestones, looks happy and healthy, and certainly doesn't look underfed, we mostly just laughed about the growth chart. But she did say we could bump up Gage's calorie intake. She actually suggested mixing a little butter in with his mashed sweet potatoes. And she suggested we add yogurt to his diet so that should be fun.

I'm positive his MeMa will enjoy the thought of getting to fatten up a baby when we see them in a few weeks in Virginia Beach!!

Gage hasn't liked the small pieces of cheese I've tried giving him, so tonight I gave him shredded mozzarella and he shoveled it in almost faster than I could get it on his tray! He had cheese every where, and I HAD to take a picture or twelve!


I couldn't decide which picture to post so you get both!



Gage had to get a shot today and a finger prick to check his hemoglobin level. About mid-morning the doctor's office called. After exchanging messages back and forth, I finally spoke to the doctor. It was a little stressful at first when I realized it was the doctor and not a nurse, but she did her best to calm me down. It turns out Gage's hemoglobin level is a little low which makes him a little anemc. His is 8.9 and the good range is 10-13.5. We have to give him a little medicine once a day for a couple weeks. Then we take him back to the doctor for a more complete panel of blood work. The office gave us an info sheet detailing some foods we should be giving to Gage that are high in iron--green peas, beans (kidney, pinto, etc.), sweet potatoes, and meats. Now that he's nine months old we can start introducing chicken and other meats so that should help too.

I asked the doctor about flu shots and she told us to wait until the end of October. Then we can bring both boys in. Gage will get a shot and Braeden can have the mist. On the way out, I made the appointment for Gage's twelve-month check-up. And I got smart and made Braeden's four-year-old appointment for the same time. We took boys together when Braeden went in for his three-year-old appointment. It's nice not to have to make two trips to the doctor's office at the same.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Silly boy!

Braeden and I were snuggling in his bed tonight after dinner at Monterreys. He's into telling riddles lately. He'll say to me, "Mommy, what swims in the deep ocean and eats fish?" I start guessing random silly things like a butterfly or a kitty cat which makes him giggle. After a few guesses I tell him I don't know. Then he proudly announces it's a shark. Sometimes he gives away the answer in the riddle. Mat and I just look at each and smile.

Tonight he was talking about school and his friends. He told me that he didn't have to eat by himself at lunch time. I asked why he would eat by himself and he explained that's one of the punishments his teachers use when one of the kids acts up too much. Then we talked about who his friends are. He talked about hugging Makena and I asked him if he thought she was pretty. He said she was. Then he said that when his friend Isabella wears a dress he tells her she looks beautiful. Isn't that sweet?

Remember how Braeden picked up saying Barack Obama all the time? Now he say, "Barack Ohhh-bama. To the rescue!" I like to think of that as a good sign for November. :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

What's new


Gage is getting two new teeth...the other front bottom tooth is coming in and so is one of the top front teeth. He looks so sweet!

He's also obsessed with standing up, just can't get enough of it. He can stand for longer than I would have expected and he's even figuring out how to sit back down again. Sometimes he just plops back down on his bottom (which is well-padded thanks to his cloth diapers) but more and more he's learning to put one hand down to the floor to brace himself. It's so cool to watch him figure something like that out. I swear that's one of the greatest things about parenting.

But the big news? Well, that's the new diapers I just got in the mail. I know, I know. Another post about diapers. Did you ever think there'd be that much to say?

Most of the diapers we use are pockets with an outer waterproof layer and an inner absorbent layer. But these new diapers are fitteds which means they don't have the waterproof outer. I've got a few I bought used for about $7 on a swap site. That's one end of the spectrum. The other end is something called a goodmama and that's what I just bought.

So why do moms buy them if they're so expensive? Visit a CD message board and ask that question, then sit back and watch the crazy posts flood in. Demand for these diapers reached a fevered pitch sometime in the last year. The work-at-home-mom who makes them couldn't keep up with it and that jacked the prices up into astronomical territory. Certain prints (did I mentioned they come in prints too?) were more sought after than others and collecting them turned normal moms into hyper-vigilant stalkers who were willing to pay two, three, and four times what the dipe originally cost. If you want to see something truly amazing, check out this thread on DiaperSwappers showing off the GM collections.

Here are the rational reasons moms buy goodmamas. They're one-size diapers so they fit eight pounders and 30-pound toddlers. Goodmamas are very absorbent and some people even use them overnight with a wool cover. They are soft, squishy, and stretchy.


And they're beautiful! I bought the kind made from organic bamboo velour. And oh my gosh, these are the softest things ever. I absolutely LOVE the idea of this super-soft material next to Gage's skin. The dipe on the left is called gumball machine and the one on the right is blue sky.

Once I get Gage in one of these I'll post a few pictures of that cute fluffy bottom.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Our weekend

Mat went whitewater rafting with the Elon Outdoors students on Saturday, so I spent the day with my two boys. Gage and I slept in until 8AM then had breakfast while Braeden watched Beauty and the Beast. We played the morning away building towers, racing cars, and drawing pictures.

At lunch I decided to give Gage some bites of cheese. He didn't seem to understand they were something to eat. He devoured bites of dry toast but mostly just pushed the cheese around the tray. He did a pretty good job drinking apple juice from a sippy. We've only given him a sippy a few times, so he's still learning.


After Braeden finished eating his PB&J, peaches, and bee crackers he wanted to play with play doh. He got into play doh a couple weeks ago when he got a little container of it in the gift bag from Will's birthday party. Then I bought him this Diego play doh thing at Target. And he loves it!


Both boys took naps (YEA!!) then we made crayons. Braeden likes to break his crayons, so we peeled the paper off all the broken pieces and combined different colored pieces in muffin cups. When they came out of the oven we had reese's peanut butter cup shaped crayons. Here they are fresh from the oven...


I got the idea from Martha Stewart (of course!). Braeden liked doing it and loved the idea of crayon muffins. He thought that was really funny.

Then we went to Elon to go exploring while we waited for Mat to get back from Charlotte. We walked over to the lake and fed Gage's cheerios to the ducks. They're so used to people feeding them that they were completely without fear. They climbed out of the word and swarmed around us quacking for cheerios. I stood between the ducks and Gage and Braeden danced around us. I could tell he was a little worried about the ducks, but he was laughing too. We even picked out our favorite ducks.

Braeden had a long stick and pretended to fish. We walked around to the other side of the lake and met a man who was fishing for real. He showed us the little fish and one big fish he had caught then pointed to a huge turtle sunning himself on the bank of the lake. I couldn't believe how big he was!


We met up with Mat and went to Monterreys for dinner. We love Mexican!

On Sunday we went to Target and the grocery store. Mat washed both cars while the boys napped. Braeden and I made chex mix. And Gage pulled himself up to stand every chance he got. I was too busy worrying he would fall forward and bang his face to take any pictures. But he's getting so good at pulling up. And he's so happy to bang on whatever he used to pull up or just to even look around and admire his new view of life. And the Giants won.

Great weekend, right??!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Art

Braeden has been really into writing lately. He loves notebooks to write in (hint, hint to anyone who might be buying him presents). I gave him a notebook someone gave me that had a Monet print on the cover. I love Monet and my family knows it, so over the years I've been given some beautiful things with his works on them. Unfortunately I really have no use for a notebook. I do always need those long, skinny, magnetic pads you put on the fridge for your grocery list. I am not at all subtle, am I?!

Anyway, he uses the notebook to make the grocery list. Or to draw me a map, just like on Dora. Or to let me know I got on green that day. Or just to draw.

For the longest time all he really managed was scribbles or lines. Then we noticed he was able to draw these weird, misshapen ovals that he called circles. And now he's started to write a few numbers and letters. He LOVES the number 100. It's Blue's (from Blue's Clues) favorite number and he says it's his too. He likes me to count to 100 for him. I always count for him at night when we're snuggling in his bed but sometimes I'm just not in the mood. :)

Anyway, he can write 100. One day he wrote the letter z. He's written a 7. It's kind of hit-or-miss with him. But it's also something they work on at day care. Now that school is in session, his teacher, Mrs. Shirley, runs their room like a classroom. He's actually come home with homework twice!

I asked Mat to scan a couple of the things Braeden has done at school so I could post them on the blog. I am ALWAYS thinking about the blog and what to post. Now if only I could get the posts out of my head and onto the internet in a more timely way...

Click on the pictures to enlarge them.


Here they were told to circle the letters that appeared in their name. I love that Braeden knows uppercase and lowercase letters. We have his name on the wall in his bedroom, so he knows all those letters.


And this, this is a masterpiece! From scribbles and lines to people. And you can even tell they're people! He came home with a cow picture he'd drawn yesterday. I'll have to get Mat to scan that one too.


Amazing, right??

We have those magnet letters on the fridge and he loves to string a whole bunch together and ask me if it spells anything. xhdoawtoisenhgtoisngvoiehtoiea Nope. Sorry, honey. Try again.

I've also been trying to teach him to spell some easy words. I started with cat, but he had no interest in that at all. So then I moved on to mom. That one he got. Then mommy. And Bob. For Bob the Builder, of course! Maybe dad should be next.

Poor Mat. I taught Bray to spell Bob before I taught him dad. I'm feeling just a smidge guilty now.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Cloth


Just look at all those diapers! All those colors!

I've been thinking about this post for a while. I even took the pictures a few weeks ago. I just never got around to doing it because I wasn't sure if anyone really cared. Besides Emily because she always cares about diapers. I haven't written about them since April (I checked). So...

Everything has been going so well with our cloth diapers. When Gage was home with me (before day care) we used mostly prefolds and fitteds with a wool wrap for a cover. It was easy for me and so comfortable for him. Since he started day care, though, he's usually in a pocket diaper or an all-in-one because those are easy for the ladies at day care to use. Putting one of those on is just as easy as putting on a disposable. They're perfect for day care since we never really know who's going to be changing his diaper.

Speaking of day care, everything has been great since this post. At the end of the day I come home to a wetbag full of dirty dipes and one or two clean diapers that are leftover. I prep the diapers (stick down the laundry tags, dispose of the poop, and remove the inserts) and transfer them to our home wetbag. And I pack a bag of six for the next day. This is going to sound a little OCD, but I never send Gage with all the same kind of diaper. I pack a mix of bumGenius, Thirsties, and snap diapers. Even at home, I usually alternate the kind of diaper. I guess I figure it's better for his bottom to wear something different. Or maybe it's just that I don't like the idea of sending all one type. Like I said, OCD.

But Gage has never had a diaper rash so I must be doing something right!

The one grrr moment since our initial growing pains happened a couple weeks ago. I picked up Gage a little early and nursed him there. That went great, but I couldn't help but remember how I used to go nurse Braeden at lunch three days each week. I felt sad that I can't do that with Gage, but I also felt happy remembering those hours. I especially remember that the chair I sat in to nurse was near one of the other boys' crib. And sometimes Matthew would be awake in his crib while I nursed Bray. He would stand up to watch us and he would talk and laugh. Braeden would get distracted, and I could never stop myself from tickling Matthew or making silly faces at him. Matthew is still in Braeden's room, and the two of them play together. He's an incredibly beautiful boy who (thankfully) seems to have grown out of his minor bullying phase. :) Anyway, after I nursed Gage I packed up his stuff and talked to one of the women who watches him. She's very sweet and was so interested in our cloth diapers right from the start. I commented that it was nice to be going home with three diapers (since I had picked him up early) and she said something about how I only wanted them to change him if he's really, really wet.

What? That's not what I said. That's not even close to what I said. So I reminded her that I wanted them to change him every two hours or when he pooped. Waiting to change him every two hours isn't torture. It's not like they change babies in disposables every 20 minutes. It made me nuts to hear her say that. But I guess if that's the worst thing I can say about the day care, I'm doing good.

My whole reason for posting about diapers was to post some pictures I took after I did laundry one night. I send six diapers and a wetbag each day to day care. I get one or sometimes two unused diapers back at the end of the day. And I wash the diapers every other day. I stuff diapers around 9:00 or so while I'm sitting on the couch watching TV. And I actually enjoy it!

These are the Thirsties. I LOVE these diapers! I love the colors they come in and I love how they fit my kid. I keep buying smalls for him; they should fit until he's 18 pounds. Mat got on the scale with him the other day and he weighed 14.5 pounds. At this rate it's going to be a really, really long time before he reaches 18 pounds! I just bought another one in sky blue.


The bumGenius diapers are the other ones I send to day care. They're also the ones we use for overnight. They just came out with four new colors and I would love to order some except I just ordered two new yellow ones. I guess I ought to wait a little while before I place another order. Plus I have my heart set on a couple new Baby Kangas. I have two--red and pale yellow--and now I'm dying to get two more in green and orange.


Last weekend I stripped my diapers, just the inserts actually. My inserts were starting to look dingy and stained. I didn't think they smelled, but now they really don't. (If that makes any sense.) They look so good, so white. I have one or two I need to put out in the sun to dry to see if that will totally remove the stains. I know. This sounds incredibly anal especially considering the inserts are hidden inside the diapers and the only person who sees them is me. When I do laundry. And occasionally Mat if he helps me get the diapers out of the dryer or walks by while I'm stuffing. But it matters. Trust me on this one.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, P-Pa!!

We didn't get to the store to buy a birthday card for P-Pa, and I felt really bad. What's a girl to do?? Get her three-year-old to sing happy birthday so she can film it and post it on her blog, obviously!



Happy birthday, dad!

Braeden's looking forward to going to the beach next month. But ever since he watched Finding Nemo, he's been worried about sharks. I've tried explaining that the sharks are out in the deep part of the ocean. I think it will make more sense when he's there and sees the waves. Hopefully this is the year I can get him to walk in the surf with me. I think he would have so much fun as the waves roll over his feet and he can feel the sand slide out from under him. I love it! And I want him to love it too!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Random

Emily tagged me to post six random things about myself, so here goes. I'm supposed to tag six more people to answer, but honestly, there aren't any other bloggers in my life to tag! I don't remember what gave me the idea to start blogging three years ago, probably an article in the Times on blogger, but I didn't know any bloggers at the time. All I really wanted was some space on the internet where I could post pictures and tell stories so I didn't have to tell the same story over and over again on the phone. The blog was the perfect way to keep people in the loop. I'm much too lazy to call a bunch of people to tell them that Braeden got a new tooth or learned to say mama.

I think it's great that so many of Emily's friends have gotten into blogging. And I really enjoy reading what they're up to or how their kids are growing. And I read a bunch of blogs of women I will never meet in person, and I feel like I know them so well just from seeing the pictures they post or reading their silly stories. I even enjoy reading posts about absolutely nothing. And it makes me laugh to think there might be people out there reading my blogs and thinking the same thing. So, if you are, consider yourself tagged. :)

My six...

1. I've only met a few famous people during my life. I have no idea what made me think of this, but it is pretty random, so here goes. When I was in high school I took a school trip to NYC to see a show. My friend Dinah and I were walking around Times Square when she grabbed me and hissed, "Look over there!!" She was pointing at a couple who were holding hands. It took me a minute but I realized the woman was Linda Hamilton from Beauty and the Beast. I'm not a Terminator fan so I didn't know her from that even though she was in the middle of shooting one of the movies. Dinah had recognized the man as James Cameron, the director. No one knew they were dating, so this was a pretty big deal. Today someone would snap a picture with their camera phone and send it to Perez, but back then no one seemed to pay any attention. Dinah and I stalked them for a couple blocks before she darted into one of those tacky souvenir shops all over Times Square to buy a pen. We approached them, and they very nicely signed the brown paper bag for Dinah. The only other famous person I've met is Natalie Merchant. And she came to my prom! She was still in 10,000 Maniacs at the time and had a house in Rhinecliff. We chose "These are Days" as our prom theme and my best friend Josh wrote her a letter asking her to stop by. And she did! Crazy, right? She was so nice; she even sang a song for everyone to dance to.

2. I LOVE TV. Gilmore Girls is on ABC Family every day at 5:00 and I record it. I've watched the series from start to finish probably three times. I love it!! The West Wing used to be on Bravo every night which made me sooo happy. For some reason it's no longer on TV. Instead I've netflixed all the seasons and am just a couple discs away from finishing the series. In my opinion, these are two of the BEST shows on TV. Smart and funny. I have more favorite episodes of these two shows than I could even name...I just checked youtube and you can see tons of amazing West Wing clips there including this one from one of my most favorite episodes...



3. I miss my Subaru WRX more than I ever could have imagined. I traded it in for my first Outlander because I wanted a smaller car payment, a car that got better gas mileage, and something that was an automatic because I thought it would be easier with kids if I wasn't distracted shifting. (that one was pretty lame, I know.) I used to blow out Mustangs, Corvettes, and all kinds of stupid guy muscle cars at stoplights. They never knew what hit 'em! It was the greatest thing. And it's one of my big regrets.

4. I love to drive. And I think I'm a great driver. But I can also be a pretty aggressive driver. I like to speed. I definitely tailgate. And I hate getting stuck behind slooow drivers. I get annoyed pretty quickly. Braeden's old enough to understand the things I say and to repeat them back to me, so I've been trying to curb my natural impulses. I find I can't keep my mouth shut entirely. But instead of yelling a bunch of swear words out my window at the moron who doesn't bother to signal or giving the finger to the idiot driving 55 in the far left lane, I try to say something calm and G-rated. It takes a tremendous amount of effort for me! I'm also a big fan of using my horn to let people know when they've done something stupid. But there must be some kind of policy in the South about not honking. I NEVER hear anyone honk at anyone else. And trust me, people drive badly down here.

5. I was a cheerleader in high school. I LOVED it! It was so much fun. Our coach took us to a bar one Sunday afternoon to meet a guy who taught country line dancing. It was something she did and she thought it would be a bonding experience for us. We had such a great time we decided to incorporate the line dancing into our halftime routine. Remember this song?? There's a line dance just for this song, and we used to perform it sometimes at halftime. Wearing cowboy hats. We had such a blast! What made me think of it? On my way home from the grocery store last night, I heard the song on the radio. I haven't heard it in probably 12 years. I cranked the radio and sang along as loud as I could. :)

6. Random was a HUGE word when I was in college. Everything was random. You couldn't have a two-minute conversation with a friend without one of you saying something was so random. "I ran into Mike last night at the cafe. It was so random." Or "My English professor mentioned a poem we read in high school. How random was that?" I'm really happy to say that I hardly ever use the word these days, and when I do, I use it to refer to something that is truly random. :)

And that's that. Six ridiculous, random thoughts...hope you enjoyed them. :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Slow down!

It's too soon! I just got used to the idea of my baby crawling and now this.



Gage can pull up and stand if he's holding onto something! I am SO not ready for this!!!


He started doing it last Thursday while I was home with him. He had woken up that morning with a temp of 102. After his morning nap his temp was normal and it stayed that way the rest of the day. I guess the little faker just wanted to stay home with mommy! And who can blame him?!

I will say he's a very considerate kid...every time he starts something new, he's done it while he's home with me instead of at day care for someone else to see first. Sweet, right?

In the video he braces himself on a toy box to stand up. When he pulls himself up using something taller like a bookshelf or my hands, he can stand straight up. It's really amazing. But too soon for my taste! This is my baby and I want him to act like it, damn it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

MIA

It's been a while. Even without Emily's not-so-subtle reminders to post, I knew it had been too long since an update. In our defense, we've been sick. Not Braeden. That is one healthy kid. He never seems to get sick. Knock wood. But the rest of us were sandbagged by a cold Gage brought home with him. For him, it's been mostly just runny noses, fussy attitudes, and wakeful nights. For me, it was a temperature, brutal sore throat, painful cough, and congestion. And poor Mat has almost no voice which is kind of a requirement for his job. Classes started Tuesday!

This was my first year having Labor Day off. What's great is that the day care is always closed and usually either Mat or I have to take the day off. So I was excited to have the day off. But then I was sick. So Braeden and I mostly spent the day cuddling under blankets on my bed watching cartoons and tennis. Not a bad way to spend the day but I would have rather gone for a picnic somewhere or baked something yummy.

In addition to being sick, I've been watching a lot of tennis. A LOT of tennis. I LOVE the US Open. It's my favorite of the slams. Roddick, one of my faves, has been playing amazing tennis. Until tonight. He's sucking wind against Djokovic which is pissing me off. Tonight's tough for me because I'm flipping back and forth between the Open and the Giants' season opener against the Redskins. That's going a whole lot better for my guys who are up 16-7 at the start of the fourth quarter. My dad called tonight and pointed out that the Giants were undefeated in Gage's lifetime. I like that. We think that maybe Gage is like the second coming for the Giants. That ought to get us seats at home games, or a luxury box. :)

Braeden and my parents had a great conversation tonight. He's never really understood that my parents can't see what he's showing to the phone or can't see him when he nods instead of answers a question out loud. But tonight Braeden was answering questions and telling them things. It was nice to watch. And nice for me not to have to do as much work helping to keep the conversation on track.

Mat took Braeden to Barber Dan this morning for a haircut. He was originally worried about taking both boys out Saturday morning since we were in the path for Hanna and they were projecting a lot of rain and wind. I have to work all day Saturday for an alumni board retreat. I'm not happy about it! But now the projections have Hanna hitting further east, so I guess that means no rain and some wind. I don't really pay attention, so I get all my updates from Mat or people at work. And it seems like no matter where I work (Cornell, Ithaca, Elon, or UNCG), people are crazy-stupid about weather. Maybe they all listen to the same crappy, alarmist, "the sky is falling" weatherman. Anyway, Mat took Braeden this morning and Barber Dan wasn't there so another guy cut Bray's hair. It's shorter than usual, but soooo cute. I'll have to take a picture.

Here are another video I just took off the camera. This is from November 2006 which means Braeden is almost two. We've put him to work waxing the car!



In case it's not obvious, I get ranty when I'm annoyed. And I'm incredibly annoyed at the crappy level of play Andy's giving us tonight. He lost the first two sets but might be starting to turn things around in the third which means for him to win, we're in for a long night! But at least I've updated one of the blogs. :)