Saturday, April 10, 2021

april flowers

Spring is in full swing here, and colorful flowers are popping up all over! It's drizzling rain outside right now, but we've thankfully had several beautiful days recently. We are trying to take full advantage of the nice weather before it gets too hot. And before we get swarmed by cicadas (ugh). The cherry tree grove near our house was in full bloom by the end of March. We walked there after work and it was swarming with (socially distanced) people taking family pictures. Colin was in a MOOD, but I took possibly my favorite picture of Mae EVER!
Last weekend we celebrated Easter. Mom, Dad, Kelsey, and Kevin came for a visit on Saturday. We dyed eggs, colored a giant coloring page from Auntie Em, and visited the cherry trees again.
We had a quiet Easter Sunday at home. I realized Saturday evening after putting Mae to bed that I hadn't mentioned the Easter Bunny AT ALL leading up to Easter this year. I wondered if Mae even remembered about her Easter basket. When she woke up in the morning, not only did she remember the Easter Bunny, she remembered that he had hidden her basket in the closet under the stairs last year!
In the afternoon, we had an egg hunt. Mae found all the eggs, and then we took turns hiding them all again with varying levels of difficulty. I think the egg hunt was Mae's most anticipated Easter activity. They didn't even have candy in them; she just wanted to hide the empty eggs over and over!
I snapped a bunch of photos of Colin while Mae was hunting eggs. I think this is the only one I got where he didn't have a plastic egg completely crammed into his mouth!
We also managed to fit in a zoo trip this week to see all the tulips! I've tried planting tulips in our yard a couple times, but they always get eaten by deer and squirrels. I'm glad we were able to enjoy all the blooms at the zoo!

Sunday, April 4, 2021

wizard of oz crib mobile

Christopher and Emily welcomed a sweet baby girl, Lillian Paige, to their family exactly one month ago! We haven't met her yet, but we are hoping to visit soon. She just looks so sweet and snuggly in all of her photos with her tiny mouth and her big eyes (and her even bigger bows).
Of course a new baby means a new crib mobile! I had so much fun making the Harry Potter and Avengers mobiles for my nephews, and I was really excited when Christopher and Emily chose The Wizard of Oz for their nursery theme this time.
I decided to make four characters: Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion. I considered adding the Wicked Witch or the Wizard in the center position but ultimately opted for a little rainbow. On the last two mobiles, I added a little felt star above each character. This time I got more creative and made Scarecrow's diploma, Tin Man's heart/clock, and Lion's badge of courage. And of course Dorothy wouldn't be complete without her little dog Toto!
I really struggled with selecting a cohesive color palette for these characters. After many hours trying to find the perfect combination of felt colors, I've decided that I'm going to blame the original costumer from the movie for my struggles. DON'T HATE ME. Dorothy's costume is perfect: the blue gingham, red shoes, white accents are absolutely iconic. However, the scarecrow is kind of a muddy mix of brown, green, and beige. Same for the lion. His movie costume was made from a real lion pelt... how cool (and/or cruel) is that?? But again, it's beige! So, I took a few creative liberties with the scarecrow's hat and patches to bring in a little more color. I love how it turned out.
I ordered the plastic mobile and music box from Amazon. Colin let me borrow his crib for a photo shoot of the assembled mobile.
I tried to think of a way to make Dorothy's dress from felt, but couldn't come up with any way to replicate the gingham besides embroidering an allover check pattern. Instead, I ordered a swatch of 1/8" blue gingham and sewed a teeny tiny dress with gathered skirt. I hand-stitched the dress to her white felt bodysuit.
Emily even sent me an action shot of Lillian enjoying her mobile. Isn't her nursery SO CUTE? The letters over her bed are sparkly like the ruby slippers, and they even have a "yellow brick road" wall. Plus, those gingham sheets are just perfect!
I wanted to make sure that this gift and our huge pile of hand-me-down baby clothes were delivered to Emily before the baby arrived, so Mom, Dad and I met at a little park half way between us to make the hand-off on a sunny day at the end of February. They brought Oliver and Archie juuuuuuust in case Emily went into labor that day! Dad and Archie were able to open their birthday gifts, and Mae enjoyed the brief visit with her cousins. We can't wait to meet the newest cousin now!!

Friday, March 26, 2021

nine months of colin

Happy nine months, Bud-bud! First the biggest news from month nine: I'm happy to announce that, after many months of drool and chewing, a tooth has finally emerged! The bottom left tooth poked its ridgy self through on pi day. No news yet on its neighbor, but I'm expecting it to emerge any day now.
Colin easily pushes himself into a sitting position now. He loves pulling up on the play kitchen and pushing a walker around. He can easily crawl on his hands and knees, but he reserves that method for when he's on rough surfaces like carpet or grass. On wood floors, he prefers to slither on his belly because it's faster. He sleeps from about 7pm to 6:30am with two naps during the day. He settles himself to sleep in his crib by sucking on one pacifier and cuddling the other. (Or chucking them both out of the crib and screaming just to get one more glimpse of our faces before bed.)
It's kind of hard to tell when a baby says their first word. He says dadadada all the time, but does he really associate it with Dad? As far as I can tell, "ha-da ha-da" just means, "I'm going about my baby-business," and, "DADADA" means "GET ME OUT OF MY @$%@#*$%@ CRIB!!" The one word he's definitely figured out is, "hi." When he sees us, we get an immediate, "haa!" and a vigorous, floppy-wristed arm wave. Therefore, I'm officially declaring that Colin's first word is, "Hi." He also clapped for the first time this morning!
We've introduced a few new foods this month including melts, strawberries, rice, and teething biscuits. Big fan of everything. The first time Mae tried rice, she gagged on one grain for about 10 minutes, so I was cracking up every time Colin smiled up at me with a big, open mouth full of rice and drool.

Colin is just starting to have an attention span for books. He loves the flaps in "Dear Zoo," the animals in "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" and the little owl finger puppet in our "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" book.
Colin's spitting up hit an absolute peak this month. He was up to about 15-20 spit ups per bottle. Yeah, per bottle. It's A LOT. Per the doctor's advice, we've started thickening his formula with rice cereal. Thankfully, the spitting seems to have subsided over the last two weeks, so hopefully his weight gain will be back on track at his next appointment.
We were excited to have a weekend visit from (fully vaccinated) GranE and Aunt Colleen this month! Colin took a few minutes to warm up to the idea of having people in his house. When they arrived, Mae was so excited and surprised, but Colin's bottom lip was very wibbly for a few minutes. After that, he loved the attention from our visitors!
Looking forward to another exciting month of baby milestones!!

Friday, February 26, 2021

eight months of colin

Happy eight months, cute baby!
This has been a big month for Colin! How did he go from "can sit unsupported briefly" at seven months to "pulls up to standing and OH NO HOW DID YOU CLIMB ON TOP OF THAT?!?" in just one month?
He still crawls on his belly, but he is shockingly fast now. Especially if you have the fridge door open. He'll be on the other side of the room when you open the fridge and inside it by the time you find the ketchup. He is desperately trying to climb the stairs but can't quite get his knee up high enough. He contantly pulls himself up on the kitchen drawer handles like they're a rock climbing wall.
His favorite activity this month was... laying in drawers.
He also enjoys shelves.
And sometimes, just to mix it up a bit, he likes to wedge himself under furniture.
There's really never a dull moment. I must say, his cutest milestone this month was learning to wave. I held him up in front of the mirror one morning and waved, "Hi!" and he gave me a big smile and waved his whole arm back at me like a Chinese lucky cat. He loves to wave now!
Our biggest problem this month has been an increase in the amount of spit up. He spits up about 10-15 times per feeding. Bottle, food, whatever is in him just comes back out constantly. Somtimes it feels like all we do is follow him around the house, cleaning up the mess. It's pretty frustrating. He can't really be in any carpeted rooms, on any furniture, or in our bed. We mostly keep him in the kitchen. It doesn't seem to bother him, doesn't seem to be isolated to a specific food, and the doctor doesn't seem particularly concerned. We're just sick of dealing with it. He eats all sorts of baby food and we introduced puffs, eggs, and cheese this month.
The biggest transition this month was moving Colin to the crib in his own room. Sometimes he wakes every few hours and needs to be settled back to sleep, but sometimes he makes it from 7pm to 5am without waking. That's a big improvement from last month. He also naps in his crib now, which is much more convenient for me than having to keep an eye on him in the swing.
Mae loves entertaining Colin. He loves watching her silly song and dance routines but has less patience when she tries to read to him. However, if he crawls towards her, she lets out a shrill scream and runs for high ground like a stereotypical woman seeing a mouse. I think she's doing it as a joke, but we might have to work on some baby immersion therapy for her. He mostly tries to communicate with her by blowing raspberries.
Looking forward to month nine! Send me your tips for getting spit up stains out of... well... everything.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

snow day

Last Thursday morning, we woke up to a blanket of snow! It was killing me that we finally got a decent amount of snow, and I had to go to work! I decided to go in a bit late, so Mae and I got to spend an hour sledding on the driveway. I taught her how to bail out of the sled before you crash into something. Important life skill. We also made snow angels on the driveway.
The snow plows must have been as surprised by the snow as we were, because the roads hadn’t been treated. I was glad I waited a while to commute since there was a big car accident not far from our house. Dan decided to avoid the roads entirely and just work from home. He also had some time to take Mae sledding at a couple locations near our house. It was easier for me to go to work, knowing Mae would have some time to enjoy the snow. They visited a new-to-us sledding hill with a nice long run and some good speed!
They also tried out a small hill at the playground. Even Colin got to try sledding for the first time! (He was unimpressed.)
Some of the snow stuck around for our walk on Friday. Mae had fun taking icicles off parked cars and using them to write in the snow. We called them “pencicles.”
I felt so cheated by the lack of snow last winter. I don’t think we even got to sled! I hope we get a few more good snowfalls before spring arrives!

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

seven months of colin

Check out this cute little seven-month-old!
Colin favorite activity this month was probably bath time. (Which is good, because he's getting a lot more baths to wash off all the day care germs.) He's just starting to sit up in the bath and is discovering the joy of splashing. He can soak the entire bathroom in a matter of minutes with his spirited water-smacking! He also thinks trying to grab a stream of water is the height of comedy.
His army crawling technique improves every day, and he's quite fast now! Sometimes, he gets up into a hands and knees pose and rocks back-and-forth a few times before resorting to the army crawl/leg kicks to propel himself. He can sit unsupported very briefly. He loves bouncing up and down in the jumper so much that sometimes he bounces himself to sleep in it! (I love his dramatic pose in the jumper photo below.) While his nap timing is consistent, the duration is not. Sometimes a nap is 10 minutes and sometimes (rarely) it's 2 hours! It makes planning our day a little challenging, but we're not going anywhere anyways so it doesn't really matter.
He is generally a pretty happy baby unless he is hungry. Then he gets MAD. If he's crawling around exploring and decides that it's time to eat, he crawls over and pulls on our feet or pants until we pick him up. If we don't respond right away, he can get really loud, really quickly! He likes all the foods we've introduced including cereal, peanut butter, pears, apples, bananas, sweet potatoes, carrots, prunes, and green beans (though he likes those better if they're mixed with fruit). He still has no teeth... but plenty of drool! He has discovered his tongue this month and is constantly sticking it out at us like a little snake.
He's back to a reasonable sleep schedule after several bad nights followed by a few nights of sleep training. When he wakes at night, I can usually settle him to sleep by popping the pacifier back in his mouth and holding his little hand. Unfortunately, he's now out of arm's reach since I had to lower the Pack N' Play mattress! I caught him (almost literally) climbing over the edge last week! He has also been pulling up on the bottom stair and even crawled on top of a small toy bin and got stuck like a turtle.
Colin adores Mae. He thinks everything she does is hilarious. She finds him equally entertaining (unless he manages to get a hold of her hair or one of her coloring pages). I just love seeing them interact! They are so cute with each other!
Happy seven months! I wonder what month 8 will bring. Teeth? Puffs? More baby gates??