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Monday, October 06, 2014

Ree at Three Months

Ah, second children.  They don't get baby books, the stereotypes go, they don't get as many photos taken, and you may not even notice them reaching all those little baby milestones.

Of course, I didn't do a baby book for Nell either.  Just thinking ahead, so future children wouldn't feel gypped.

Still, blogging Ree at three months two months late, when she's almost five months old... that's pretty ridiculous even with my track record.

I jotted down all these little memories two months ago, snapped some pictures, and am just now getting around to blogging it... voila!

At three months this little cutie started finding her hands, and usually had her fingers in her mouth - three or four at a time.  And she drooled a lot.  Oh, did she ever drool.

She became quite complacent for diaper changes, clothing changes, and even baths.  Less screaming, more contentedness, her first chortle, and smiles!  SO. MANY. SMILES.  Big, dopey, open-mouthed grins with drool streaming out.  Really, is there anything better in all the world?

{Naturally, she didn't grace my photo shoot with any magnificent smiles, but she did allow this small one to slip in.}

She started sitting in her swing and her bouncy chair pretty happily at times, or would lie on the floor content to watch the chaos unfold around her.

Both my babies always got lots of comments about being strong for their ages, holding their heads up well, and being very alert.  Maybe people say that about all babies?  In any case, by three months Nathan would hold Ree up horizontally, and she would hold her head up high, keeping her body straight, while Nell shrieked with glee, "Baby Wee airplane!  Baby Wee airplane!" and Nathan would oblige with a small and gentle zooming around.

I spent some quality time worrying that Ree would be the underprivileged one, since - due to the tyranny of everyday life - she seemed to get less snuggle time and babywearing time than Nell did at that age.  Oh, she still got her fair share, but since she has shown a preference for being swaddled and in a quiet room for her naps, and that frankly makes my life easier, she has fewer Ergo naps than Nell did.  I wish I had more time to snuggle with her, but I also think we'll both survive.  She even appears well-adjusted so far.

Speaking of sleep, at three months Ree was going to sleep around 7 pm, and sometimes sleeping as long as 9 hrs at night without waking!  I know, don't hate me.  No, really -- don't -- because she's not doing that anymore, anyway.  Sleep and babies is such an ever-changing phenomenon as they grow.  I remember with Nell that she became a more predictable sleep-through-the-nighter around the age of two, sooo... in another year and a half or thereabouts, I should be able to count on getting a good night's sleep again.  Keep your eye on the prize, Sarah.

Also, word to the wise, if you tell someone your baby is a pretty good sleeper, said baby will undoubtedly wake up at least three times the following night.

I started getting the hang of putting Marie down for naps with a big sister in the next room, keeping one ear open for Nell's activities while nursing the baby down on all the times when she wasn't inclined to fall asleep without some mama time.  Yes, it really was all getting easier by three months, and the things that seemed impossibly difficult at one month started to seem downright mundane by three.

Marie was solidly into her 3-6 month clothes by 3 months, with even some of those getting a little small on her.  She's a long one, this girlie.  She gets it from me.  KIDDING.  She gets it from her 6'3" father, not her 5'4" mother.

Want to know what she gets from me?  The world's longest tongue:

From an early age, this babe was a bit burpy and gassy and fussy and had a particular pterodactyl-esque scream she reserved for those moments of extreme discomfort.  I gave up dairy for a while and it seemed to help noticeably, but around three months seemed to be able to have a bit of half-and-half in my coffee without adverse results.  Thank you, God, for coffee and for cream.

And that was Ree at three months.

* * *

Nell wanted to be in some pictures, too.

She was very intent that baby Ree ought to hold her hand:

Success!  And pretty smug about it.

Ree: "Large human, what are you doing to me?!"

Thursday, October 02, 2014

a post of no significance whatsoever

The purpose and meaning of this post may be hard to discern.  I'm not sure I can think of one, myself.  But I've never let a lack of content stop me before, so here goes.

Once upon a time, by which I mean yesterday, I dressed Nell in the following outfit.  I chose it 90% for the cuteness factor, and 10% to get a rise out of Nathan.  Okay, maybe it was 50%/50%.

Nathan thinks that wearing shorts with tights is among the most absurd things a person could possibly do.

So naturally, I took pictures with which to taunt him.

{the above is her "funny face."}

{and that one is her "camera face"}

Then, since it was 10:00 am and I had already started a fresh batch of kefir, started two quarts of yogurt culturing, bathed and dressed myself and both kids, nursed the baby twice, and fed Nell breakfast...

-- in other words, it was an unusually productive morning, in that I wasn't still wearing my sweat pants and rubbing my eyes while Nell ran around in underwear and a pajama top --

...I decided that we shouldn't let a morning with all three of us wearing actual clothes go to waste.

So we went to the mall, for the first time since early August, I think.  We are pretty much keeping that place in business.

Naturally, once we were in the car, it started pouring.  And I had left my umbrella at home.  So, any sense of victory I had been experiencing over my highly productive morning was quickly squelched.

I did witness a flock of geese just hanging out in the parking lot, though, and they were cute.

We were sucked in by the lure of H&M and their surprisingly adorable kids' clothes, freshly marked down with $3 items everyone you looked.  I decided to take the opportunity to fill in some gaps in the girls' wardrobes with a couple of fall sweaters and other such necessities.

Then I felt guilty because everyone knows H&M is probably underpaying their poor workers in Bangladesh and Cambodia and such places.  And that reminded me why I usually shop at thrift stores.

We arrived home looking like drowned rats.

And that reminded me why I like to stay home in the mornings.  In my sweat pants.

The end.

P.S.  If you ever want to get lots of comments / compliments on how cute your kids are, hit up the mall in a weekday morning.  It's prime Elderly People At The Mall Time.  And they will all stop you and admire your children.  Every last one of them.  Totally made the trip worth it.

Monday, September 29, 2014


One of the things I'm loving about this age for Nell right now is the language development.  Since turning two in May, her language has really taken off, with two-word 'sentences' quickly turning to three- and four-words, and now, she can pretty much say anything she wants to say.

At the same time, some of the sweet little misspoken words and phrases are still lingering, and there's always a tinge of sadness when each one vanishes.  Like the way she used to say "huh" instead of "yes," and then one day there was "yeah" and then "yes," and now that funny little "huh" is virtually a thing of the past.

Just a couple of days ago it was, "I yowwy, Mama," and now it's "I'm sowwy." {And I'm almost missing the "yowwy" version of "sorry."}

A month ago, shoes were - inexplicably, perhaps - "vah."  And now she's saying shoe.

A week ago, banana was "numanuh," and now it's "banumanuh."  What's next, a degree in linguistics from Harvard?  You're getting this whole language thing too fast, girlie.

Her version of "It's okay!" is "Gah-gay!"  This usually comes out in the context of, "Gah-gay, Muh-wee!  Mommy come get you!  Wight heew!  It gah-gay!"  And occasionally, if she thinks I am upset, "It gah-gay, Mommy!"  So sweet.

"Uhbuh one, doo," means "another one, too," and is uttered if she is handed one bite of something but immediately wishes another as well, such as a plantain chip for each hand.

Peanut butter is "peendaduhbuh," the baby monitor is the "momanuh," and turkeys say, "boggle boggle boggle."

When I put my hair up, this bossy little control freak exclaims, "No hair tie!  No hair tie!" and has a breakdown that I can't quite understand.  Same goes for putting on my glasses in the morning instead of putting my contacts in: "No gagiss!  No Mommy gagiss!"

She's always had a curious way of picking the ends of words, where most kids would pick the beginnings, and using them - even if they're the hard part to pronounce.  Noodles are "llll," (yes, just the L sounding part, that's right), cheese used to be "yuh" (as in "chee-suh," we eventually figured out), and the aforementioned "vah" might have been her attempt at "shoo-wuh".

Nell is a great mimicker, and mimics Ree quite expertly in every little gurgle and expression and babble.  And, after mimicking her, Nell exclaims, "Baby Wee do dat!" - usually while laughing hysterically.

Every smile from Ree elicits the proclamation: "Miyul!  Baby Wee miyul!"  And then, when Ree continues to smile {because she adores seeing Nell}, it's "Mo miyul! Mo miyul!"  ("More smiles!")

These days, Nell's sentences are filled out with gibberish babbling, a recent change that makes me think she's aware that she wants to use more than just the words she knows, and that sentences have more than pronouns, nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs.  She'll often repeat me word-for-word, too, including the little words, and she's started using contractions and plurals where applicable.

It's probably worth mentioning that I'm the only person that can understand 99% of what she says.  Auntie Cara and Aunt Hannah get a lot of it, Uncle Andrew gets some, her new babysitter Sami is getting the hang of it, and Nathan is coming in at a strong 25% or thereabouts.


Oh, Nell, we love you so.

Monday, September 15, 2014

the DIY ring sling

After bringing you a post like the last one, it seems I should try to offer the world something of beauty too, and not just the crazy and the chaos and the mess.

Something of beauty being, of course, my kids.

And the ring sling I sewed to carry them around!

I made it with Ree in mind, for as much as I love my fabric wrap and my Ergo {and Nell always loved them both, too}, Ree wants to see the world, and is not as content to sit pressed up against my chest unless she is really tired and ready for some serious sleeping.  Awake and alert, she wants to face out.

It seemed like everywhere I looked on the blogosphere, mamas were carrying their babes in those gorgeous Sakura Bloom ring slings.  I did not, however, think I would be able to sell my husband on the idea of spending $100+ on yet another way to carry the babe around.  The solution, of course, was to make my own.

A lengthy cut of pretty grey linen, sturdy rings from, a tutorial from Jan at sleeping baby productions and a little extra info on doing a gathered shoulder, and I was in business.  Easy-peasy.  And I saved myself a lot of money.

Following the one-size-fits-all approach from the tutorial yielded a sling that is definitely longer than I need it to be, so I'm planning to trim and re-stitch the hem on the tail soon, but aside from that I'm quite pleased with it.

Ree is so snug and cozy in it, and can look around when she wants to or snuggle in close and doze when she gets sleepy.  And as it turns out, Nell loves it too!  She has a way of asking for "Mommy hugs!" just when I'm trying to slice oranges and scramble eggs for breakfast or put the finishing touches on dinner, and being able to pop her in the sling is the perfect solution: Nell feels hugged and close to me and is happy as a clam, and I still have my hands free to do what needs to be done.

Oh, and since the sling kind of disguised the all-important fact that the girls wore matching corduroy dresses to church on Sunday:

{A consignment find I'm pretty pleased with.  Every mother gets to inflict this kind of matchy-matchy scenario on her daughters at least once, right?}

Ree was kind of unimpressed by the whole phenomenon, but don't try to tell me your day hasn't been made.