Monday, June 29, 2009


A few pictures...

Here's Gagey in the other diaper I tie-dyed with Emily.

On the Saturday before Father's Day we went to Trader Joe's in Chapel Hill. Mat definitely wasn't impressed, but Braeden and I had a good time. They had a bunch of different kinds of cookies--chocolate animal crackers, regular animal crackers, cookies shaped like cats--but Braeden picked out these cinnamon cookies shaped like letters. I wasn't very excited about them when we bought them, but wow! They were so good! We ate them every night after dinner until they were gone. Braeden loved that I spelled out his name. I love seeing both kids' hands in the picture reaching for more cookies.

This one is just classic...this is what Braeden wears to the pool! He made his visor at school by glueing foam letters and animals on a plastic visor from some conference or something. Flip flops, sunglasses, last year's swimmy trunks (because this year's 4T pair are too big!), and an old tee shirt. Is he stylin' or what??

18-month appointment

I think Gage woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning! Instead of his usual cute sounds, he was up in his crib screaming until Mat went to get him. I'm pretty sure he cried through the diaper change. What I'm certain about is that he was crying when Mat carried him to me in bed to nurse. When he's like this, he needs a few minutes to calm down on his own. Hearing all the screaming, Braeden came in to see us and I think he's the reason Gage finally calmed down. When he did, he REALLY wanted to nurse.

Mat took Braeden to school and I took Gage to the doctor for his 18-month appointment. He was great in the waiting room, a little subdued, but quietly happy. As soon as I took off his clothes for the weight check, he started crying. And he barely stopped during the hour we were there. Not that I blame him given what happened at the appointment, but it was pretty out of character for Gage.

The positive news is that he's gained two plus pounds since his last appointment and now weighs 20 lbs 13 oz. He's still in the 3rd percentile, but the doctor is happy with the amount of weight he gained in the last three months. And he's 31 inches long putting him in the 20th percentile.

After the weight check, the lab tech came in to draw blood for a repeat CBC to check Gage's iron level. Not fun. As soon as I put him down on the table, he started crying. The tech was pretty quick, and I scooped Gage back up again but it was a few minutes before he stopped crying. The paper on the table was soaked from his tears. So sad.

Gage was hot and sweaty from all the screaming; he wouldn't let me put him down. And he didn't like it when I tried to sit down and hold him, so I just stood there rocking him and singing to him. He had just settled down when the doctor came in to do the exam. We talked about his measurements and percentiles. Then she told me that his hemoglobin was finally in the low-normal range (yea!) but that she wanted us to keep giving him iron for another month. I actually didn't mind hearing this since we had just filled the prescription again and I hated the thought of wasting that money. After one more month of the iron, we need to switch over to poly-vi-sol which is an iron and vitamin supplement. Since he's now in the normal range, she said we don't need to check it again until his two-year-old appointment.

She wasn't concerned that Gage only says a few words and was glad to hear he understood us and followed directions so well. Everything else checked out fine.

When she left, the nurse came back in to give Gage two shots. He'd barely stopped crying after the exam, so getting put back down on the table was a rough moment for him. The shots are quick and then it was back in my arms. When he stopped crying so much, I got him dressed. I thought he might see that as a good sign and realize it meant we were leaving. He did stop crying, but he wouldn't lift his head off my shoulder. And he was in no mood to make nice with the woman who scheduled his next appointment. And she is a very sweet woman that I enjoy seeing when we leave (even though she always calls me Ms. Gendle).

I set up his next appointment and Braeden's for the same morning, so we can take them together. We did that last year and I thought it worked pretty well.

I dropped Gagey off at day care even though I really just wanted to take him home with me. He seemed fine. Quiet. But he toddled off to play with a scooter and didn't cry when I left.

Then, because I had promised him I would, I went down the hall to say hey to Braeden. I was looking forward to meeting his other teacher too. The kids were sitting a circle and his teacher was picking kids to start in different centers. When the kids were all at their own stations, I went in to say hi. Braeden was doing art, painting a picture of fireworks. He was VERY happy I was there and kept begging me to stay just one more minute and asking if I wanted to see him make his fireworks. And of course I did! Braeden played with my car keys and very proudly showed them off to his teacher and friends. He loves my VW push a button and the key pops up from the clicker like a switchblade. He talked practically non-stop the whole time I was in there. Just like at home. :)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Cat got your tongue??!!

We've been making a lot of jokes about our non-verbal second kid lately. Mostly we laughingly agree that Gage doesn't stand a chance of getting a word in with Braeden around. That kid is always talking and always in motion! I like to point out to Gage that if he doesn't like his dinner or his outfit, all he needs to do is tell me. I'd be glad to give him cookies for dinner if he would just ask for them. :)

Sometimes we joke to cover up our nerves...Mat comes home and tells me that so-and-so's kid is talking or I get an e-mail from babycenter saying that the average 17-month-old can use six words regularly...

I'm not much of a worrier. I honestly believe that things work out. Maybe I've been living a charmed life, or maybe I'm just getting it right most of the time, I don't know. I do know that I don't worry about the boys. When Braeden was a baby, I read a lot of different books about schedules, parenting styles, and sleep issues. And everything I read confused me, annoyed me, or struck me as utterly ridiculous. My parenting style boils down to common sense, instinct, and listening to/empathizing with my boys. The books make it seem so complicated which, I guess, is really an incredibly successful marketing tool to sell more books.

Even with all that said, Mat and I have had a niggling concern about Gage's language development. But then I reread this post from Braeden's blog from mid-June 2006 when he was 17 1/2 months old and I felt 100% better!

Gage doesn't talk much. He can say momma and daddy; he just chooses not to say either one very often. He's starting to say diaper. How cute is that?? He also points to the cat and say caa. Otherwise he's the master of non-verbal communication.

When he wants you to pick him up he stands in front of you with his arms up. When that doesn't work, he starts pushing you until you finally do pick him up. It's annoying when I'm cooking, but cute as hell at the same time. His new thing is wanting to sit on the chair-and-a-half in our living room. I've seen him climb up on it all by himself, but most times he stands in front of it with his arms up whining. The whining escalates into shrieking if we don't respond quickly enough. And if I'm eating something, he has no shame about standing right at my side with his mouth open until I feed him. If I'm not getting the food to him fast enough he'll slap my leg or push on me.

He's also incredibly good at following directions. He loves to help pick up toys and can always be counted on to throw something away if you ask. He knows to go to the stairs when you say it's time for bath or a diaper change. His new thing is to run into his bedroom and to his crib after bath. Half the time he runs right into the crib he gets so excited! He reaches for his lovey which is usually hanging over the edge of the crib and waits for me to pick him up. Once he's in his crib, we play our little good-night game. He sticks his foot through the slats of the crib and I tickle him and tell him to get his foot back in the crib. I start to leave then turn to look back at him, and he always has his foot sticking out again. So I go back and tell him again to stick his foot back through. He gets laughing and so do I. We do this a few times before I finally shut the door. Gage gets this sly little smile on his face (behind the paci) during the game, like he thinks he's pulling one over on me or something. I just love those few minutes with him.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

What a great way to spend an hour!!

I had the best time at lunch today updating my etsy faves! If you've never noticed or haven't stopped to look at them in a while, check out the sidebar on the right. Clicking on a picture will take you to that item at a particular etsy shop.

I wish I could remember what first tipped me off to etsy...I do know that the first thing I bought off etsy was this amazing wristlet with a wallet and zip change purse built in. I bought it while I was home with Gage. It was way too hard to carry a purse, diaper bag, and a 7-pound baby in a 9-pound baby carrier. Something had to give, and I decided it was the purse. I searched for wristlets on etsy and after spending hours (literally) looking at all the options, I settled on one from a shop called blissful. After it came, I started reading Quenna's blog and learned she was experimenting with a wristlet/wallet combo and I started having buyer's remorse. I e-mailed her and she very graciously agreed to take back the wristlet I bought and send me a new one with the wallet inside. I HATED sending back my new wristlet but I knew the new one would be soooo much better. And now, almost 18 months later, that wristlet is one of THE BEST things I've ever bought!

How about a quick tour of some of my other fave purchases??

I bought this cute desk calendar for my mom for Christmas. It stands upright on a CD case which also holds the pages not in use. How clever is that??!!

This adorable felt ornament was featured on the main page of etsy one day, and I fell in love with it! I had an immediate reaction to it...I still can't explain it except to say that it's perfect. And it hangs in my kitchen from one of the knobs on my buffet. I see it every day and I love it as much today as I did when I bought it just after Christmas.

I've already blogged about my leaves...I bought them to go in a great (cheap!) white vase I bought at IKEA when I went with Emily and Jenny.

Last but not least, I bought something absolutely amazing for Braeden! He likes to pretend he's fishing. He uses yarn, scarves, my yardstick, anything long that he can dangle into the "water" from his "boat". So I bought him a fishing pole and magnetic fish! And he LOVES them!!

So, I hope you'll check out my favorites and take a little time to explore etsy and find your own faves! And if any of my faves should end up in your shopping cart on their way to NC, I would be ever so grateful! I'm going to try to do a better job of keeping that list up-to-date, so take a quick peek at it every so often. You might find something you can't live without!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Look at that diaper!

I put one of Gagey's new tie-dyed diapers on him today for the first time. Then I tried to take pictures. He just wasn't in the mood to sit still for me, I guess. Most of the pictures I took turned out blurry, so here are the few that aren't.

Braeden's a ham. He couldn't stay out of the pictures. :)

Braeden being Braeden

Remember the Danimals Crush Cups story? Well, here's some video of Braeden crushing things in the living room. Of course he's just wearing his underwear because that's all he's wearing in all of the pictures I take.

When he asked if we would buy him the yogurt, I wanted to run right out and buy them for him. How could you say no to that oh-so-earnest face?? We did, but it was tough. :)

So this next video...I hardly know what to say. Braeden showed me how he could put a can under the lid of the tub we store his play food in then jump on one end of it to shoot something that was resting on the other end high up in the air. Mat would have just said a fulcrum, but why use one word when you can use 25?!

Did you catch that he learned how to do this from watching Shrek?? Cute, right?

And yes. Just the underwear again. :)

Monday, June 8, 2009


Braeden and I were snuggling in my bed tonight. He decided I should fall asleep and he would be my rooster who woke me up. He cock-a-doodle-dooed and I pretended to hit the snooze button. He didn't like that I ignored my wake-up call.

He looked at me and said, "I crush you!"

I burst out laughing and asked him where he'd heard that.

Danimals crush cup commercial!

And that only made me laugh harder. You see that commercial is on some nights when we're watching Spongebob or Penguins of Madagascar (my new favorite cartoon!). Braeden even made the little finger crushing motion and scrunched his mouth up like the boys do on the commercial.

Once he knew I thought it was so funny, he couldn't stop doing it. He crushed the chandelier, the clock, the TV, his name it, he crushed it!


During the month of May I found something to distract me from knitting. Most nights I was glued to my computer hunting for diaper icons thanks to the Great Cloth Diaper Hunt. It is so addictive! This is my second, or is it third, time hunting. It's been fun each time, but this one was the best so far. Basically you visit a bunch of work-at-home-mom sites who make and/or sell cloth diapers, baby clothes, and all-natural products for mamas and babies looking for an icon. Find a certain number and you qualify for prize drawings. I found enough this time to reach the grand prize level. I thought I was done...that I had rocked the GCDH. And then they threw me a curve ball and told me to find 25 more to qualify for the ultimate grand prize. Well, I was done.

But on a few of the sites I kept coming across these great bamboo fitted diapers. Dying them didn't void the warranty, so...

Emily and I both ordered them and the dye and made plans to get together. She and Will came over to the house last weekend and we started practicing with the dye using prefolds and cheap white tees for the boys. We were much too afraid to just dive in and ruin our dipes. So worried we didn't even touch the dipes last weekend. But then I got better dye, and we got our nerve up, and here you go!

Make sure you check out Emily's blog to see the pictures of her tie dyed dipe!

And this is what happens when I take pictures around Braeden...

Here he is making his happy face:

And his surprised face (one of his newer faces):

His sad face:

And his mad face:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wash your hands

After the day at day care when I watched Gage washing his hands, I told Mat about it and we decided to make that part of the routine when the boys come home from school. Braeden already goes in and washes his own hands, and now Mat is helping Gagey wash his.


The day care held a graduation ceremony for the four-year-old class last week. They'll be headed to kindergarten next year. Braeden's class did the opening ceremony and sang two songs before the four-year-olds processed in wearing their white caps and gowns.

For the opening ceremony, Braeden's class walked in down the center aisle of the church each carrying a small American flag. They lined up along the front and said the pledge of allegiance. Then they chant USA a few times and cheer. It's pretty cute even for cynical old me.

When they finished up, his class was supposed to walk to the other side of the church to sit together. I was near the front on the end where Braeden could see me. As they got ready to walk to their seats I heard Braeden ask his teacher if he could go sit with me. So sweet.

The three four-year-old classes got up individually next to do little skits they'd been practicing. They were so cute to watch. Some of the kids loved being on stage and were very confident with their parts, some shouted whatever they were supposed to say, but there was one little girl who refused to speak. She wouldn't take the microphone either; she just stood there with her head down the whole time.

When they finished their skits, they headed in the back to put on their caps and gowns and Braeden's class came back out to sing their songs. They were lined up in the colors of a rainbow. Braeden was orange. We couldn't find a plain shirt so I bought one that could be turned inside out. Apparently his teacher didn't like that idea and gave Mat a hard time about it. This is the same teacher we struggled with when Braeden was a baby in her room. Whatever.

I think I did an amazing job with the video considering I was crying throughout the songs. Seeing Braeden up there singing so confidently and looking so happy just made my heart burst with pride. These are the moments when I realize he's not a baby anymore.