Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Daily Peep: Safety Conscious

When LadyKay dropped us off at the Anonyparents' house last night, I brought the carseat in and left it sitting in the middle of the room where we (and Peep's toys) mostly hang out.

She always likes to play with any sitting-around carseat, but today she was obsessed. She managed to buckle the chest clip a few times, after several tries, and wanted desperately to buckle the crotch clip but just wasn't able to.

She also climbed up into it, which was quite a struggle the first time, but later she just hopped right up. And sat backwards in it, playing with the buckles.

(That was a big deal for no-climby baby. After at least three visits worth of "She's going to be climbing on the hearth (stone, beside a terrazzo floor) next visit," she is seriously threatening to actually do it. As in, one foot up, looking over her shoulder at me with that evil little "Are you going to stop me?" grin on her face. But, I digress.)
I finally moved the carseat into another room, before she a> Fell off backward and cracked her head on the floor (at least it's carpetted there), b> Threw a fourth holy conniption fit over the frustration of not being able buckle and unbuckle things at will, or c> Actually figured out how to unbuckle it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Daily Peep: Big Ol' Jet Airliner

Peeper has (finally!) outgrown the baby "bucket" carseat (by height, but not by weight - oddly enough) but the convertible seat is sooooo big that I really didn't want to lug it through an airport and on and off a plane.

I was going to check it, and just suck it up for the beginning and end of the journey, but the Anonyparents were generous enough to buy an identical one to live at the

ir house, so we didn't have to bring it at all!

For the flight itself, Peeper sat in her own seat like a big girl (except when she was in my lap) and wore a CARES harness (except when she stood up).
She tolerated it fairly well, but preferred to be in my lap (or standing up).

When it was time to get ready for landing, there was a bit of an issue because she wanted to look out the window, but then I finally got smart and moved myself over to the window seat and held her in my lap there. Then she nursed and fell asleep - for the last 15 - 20 minutes of the flight.

I had a small problem at first with her unbuckling the seatbelt itself (which goes across her lap, and the shoulder straps hook to it) but then I had a brainstorm. When I purchased the harness, it came folded up all neatly and held in place with a heavy rubberband.

I put the rubberband over the seatbelt and when it was buckled, I slid it up over the flip-up-to-open part of the buckle, and she stayed in.

She's actually a bit below the recommended weight (it says 22 - 40 lbs; she is 20 lb 9 oz) and I think if she were any shorter, the shoulder straps would've been too long, but I think it worked pretty well for us.

And not lugging a carseat worked out great!

And how freakin' cute does she look, all strapped in like that?!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Daily Peep: Big Girl Pigtails

We all got our hair "did" today, before our big trip to Texas. (Did I mention that? Just me and Peep this time; we leave in the morning.)

When we were done, Ms D, the hairdresser, put Peeper's hair up - and did a much better job of it than I've ever done.

By the time we got home and took photos, a few of her curls had escaped, but when she first did it, all of her hair was in the pigtails. I had no idea it was long enough to do that.

It was really cute, but as she was doing it, there was a little part of me that just wanted to yell, "No! Not like that! She's a just a baaay-beeee!"

But, really, she's not so much, is she?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Grill Girl

We finally worked up the gumption to grill again, and Peeper did a great job of staying far, far away from the hhh-hhh stuff.

Other than a sudden, but brief, downpour, just as we put the steaks on, it was a lovely evening.

Luckily, we were under the patio overhang for the most part - well, I was under the patio overhang; Peeper and Shrike were playing in the rain.

First, Peeper helped Shrike to clean off the grill.

Then we put on the steaks and onions.

When the rain stopped, Peeper splashed in the puddles.

While the doggies did their thing.

Peeper provided the musical entertainment.

While the steaks were cooking. Peeper, the dogs and I shared a cheese course. We probably should have gone with slices, rather than shreds.

Finally, the meat was cooked, and we dug in!

(Can you tell which of us was accidentally caught taking a big bite, which was posing like a big dork, and which is just freaking adorable?)

Poo or Poo Not, There is No Cry

Anonymama and Anonydaddy when to visit BabyBro and his family the other day and while they were there, the twins modeled some costumes that their other aunt (TheirLoveyMother's sister) gave them for Christmas. I guess they were intended to be Halloween costumes, but they fit now and will be too small by then, so they put them on and took some photos just for fun.

When she sent the photos, TheirLovely Mother said, "DaNephew was a happier Yoda than DaNiece was a Leia. He really committed to the role."

DaNiece with Anonygrandma

DaNephew with HisLovely Mommy

Both babies with TheirLovelyMommy

And one in their street clothes, with Anonygrandma.

Daily Peep: Panda Pics - 20 Months (86 weeks, 6 days)

And a few bonus, non-panda shots.

Twenty Months

Dear Peeper:

You are twenty months old today, and oh jeez, this is about the time people are going to start saying, "Oh, so you mean she's almost two?" isn't it?

I've even almost started thinking of you in terms of "almost two" rather than "one" (which is accurate, I suppose, since you're more than half way there) because you are just become such a little person - more and more so every day.

You know the sounds made by the following animals (Or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that you "know" the "sounds" made by the following "animals."):
  1. Cat - "eee-oww-eee-oww"
  2. Dog - "da da da" (or are you saying "dog?")
  3. Elephant - "aaaaah"
  4. Monkey - "ah ah ah"
  5. Sheep - "daaaaah"
  6. Cow - "caaaaaooow"
  7. Wolf - "ah-oo ah-oo" (Not "ahooooo" - very short and clipped)
  8. Owl - "ah-oo ah-oo" (She has this book with the wolf and owl next to each other. . . . )
  9. Pirate - "arr"
  10. Fonzy - "aayy" (She was making this sound, so I taught her the Fonzy part. Is that wrong?)
  11. Lion/Tiger - "raaah!" (With paw-batting motion.)
  12. Duck - "kak kak"
  13. Seal - "ar" (sometimes)
You use the following words on a fairly regular basis (in addition to several others that I've "given you credit for" but you don't say often.):
  1. Mama - "mama" or just "ma" (This now specifically refers to me, rather than both of us, because....)
  2. Mommy - "me- me" or just "me" (On rare occassions it actually sounds like "Mommy.")
  3. Dog - "da da da" (Maybe you're just barking.)
  4. Up - "uppa uppa!" (You sound like a little old Italian lady.)
  5. Hot - "haa haa!"
  6. Baby - "bee beeee"
  7. Apple - "haa-puh" (Usually kind of whispered.)
  8. Ice Cream - "hhh chkchk" (This is absolutely unspellable; very gutteral.)
  9. Target - "tsch" (Also very gutteral, much like "ice cream.")
  10. Tickle - "tika tika tika" (Sometimes there's a "L" on the end.)
  11. Grandma/Grandpa (or Pappy) "pahpuh pahpuhpuh" - any of your grand / great-grandparents or anyone with gray hair!
  12. Dead - "deduh" (You're mimicking us mimicking DoulaK's 3 year old.)
You can identify the following body parts (the ones with question marks are kind of hit and miss), on yourself, other people, the cats and dogs, or your dolls (you usually insist on pointing them out on everyone around):
  1. Head
  2. Hair
  3. Eyes
  4. Ears
  5. Nose
  6. Mouth
  7. Tongue
  8. Cheeks (?)
  9. Chin (?)
  10. Neck (?)
  11. Teeth
  12. Scar
  13. Breasts/Goodies/Nipples
  14. Heart(?)
  15. Tummy
  16. Bellybutton
  17. Booty
  18. Vulva
  19. Arm
  20. Hand
  21. Elbow (sometimes confuse with knee)
  22. Shoulder?
  23. Wrist?
  24. Leg
  25. Knee (sometimes confuse with elbow)
  26. Ankle (?)
  27. Foot
  28. Toes
  29. Tail (on the animals - and when we talk about their tails you point to your booty)
Plus, you have - (hmm, let me go count them . . . ) WOW - more than eighty signs in addition to these. If we count all the body parts as signs, you have well over a hundred!

One of your latest tricks is to spin around in circles, which you do spontaneously, or when we say "Go 'round and 'round!" You don't go very fast, but sometimes it's fast enough to get dizzy, which you think is pretty funny.

Now that it's fully summer, you are loving playing outside, especially in the evenings when it cools off and we go out for the nightly firefly show. They are just amazing, and you really seem to enjoy watching them and trying to catch them. You've come very close a few times, actually, plus the ones that have landed on you of their own accord.

I know that you won't remember these particular evenigns, but I hope to make a point of letting you watch them every year as you get older, and when you're forty years old and June rolls around, and the twinkling begins, I hope that you will remember watching them with your Mommy and Mama when you were a little girl.

You're really starting to play more like a kid than a baby, with more and more imitative play every day. When we started watching BabyJ, you suddenly got very interested in one of your baby dolls (of course, it's the dirty, naked one) and you play with her quite often, and we've even had to take her with us a few places.

You hold her, and rock her, and ask us to put a "diaper" on her, and share your food with her, and wear her in your sling.  It's very sweet.

Speaking of BabyJ, we've been watching her for the past month, and you are very interested in her, and like to help with her, but I think you're also getting a little bit territorial about us holding her and feeding her. You pretty much want to be held by whomever is holding her at the moment, and if she's getting a bottle, you usually want to get goody.

I've spent a lot of time holding her in one arm and her bottle in that same hand, while you are nursing on the other side.

You're also starting to take her bottle and binky away from her, and you're not always so good about giving them back. You often "threaten" to put them in your mouth - always with that little "I'm not supposed to do this. What are you going to do about it?" little grin on your face.

But other than that, you are very sweet to her. You still help us burp her by patting her booty, and you help with diaper changes and you kiss her goodbye on her toes when she's ready to do home.

(The toe kisses were my idea - I didn't think her Mommy would appreciate a big slobbery toddler kiss on her mouth.)

We're only going to be watching her on a regular basis for about another month, and while I'm sure you won't mind having your moms all to yourself again, I know you'll miss her. We'll have to be sure and invite her over to play pretty often.

When you're not watching fireflies or spinning in circles or playing with a baby - real or toy, one of your favorite pasttimes these days is watching YouTube videos, mostly of doggies. First, Mommy found a bunch of dog dancing videos (it's amazing what those pups can do!) and more recently, we've been watching puppies being born and getting goody. You get very excited about the goody part, and sign it to me, over and over, with both hands. Then, you're usually inspired to have some yourself.

A couple of weeks ago, you and I were at the local hardware / pet store, and we saw some baby rats getting goody. You thought that was pretty cool, too. Today, we went back with Mommy and showed them to her. We also saw kittens, bunnies, turtles, lizards, birds and fish.

Since Mommy is off work for three days, we'd actually discussed the possibility of taking you to the zoo this weekend, but you know what? You were probably just as impressed with this, it's two minutes from our house, and air conditioned. Good enough for me.

Actually, we could probably convince you that our house is zoo, what with the dogs and the cats and the birds in the yard, and the bugs in the house. Speaking of the bugs - I'm finding myself in a tough spot between wanting you to know that dead stinkbugs and June bugs are "yucky" and you shouldn't pick them up, but not wanting to pass my bugophobias on to you.

As much as I really really really hate when you try to pick up those yucky ones, it bothered me almost as much when you looked at a dying mosquito hawk the other day, told me "yuck yuck yuck," wouldn't go into the toy cabinet that it was lying in front of, and turned around and crawled in my lap for a hug, to get away from it.

I guess it helps that Mommy is much more chilled out about them, and is willing to do the bug removal (or killing) for me, so maybe she can be your role model instead.

I'm also trying to tell you about "good bugs" (both of the helpful and the pretty varieties: mosquito hawks, fireflies, butterflies, spiders - yes, I know they aren't bugs, and so forth) and "yucky bugs" like flies, stinkbugs and such.

I guess it helps that Mommy is much more chilled out about them, and is willing to do the bug removal (or killing) for me, so maybe she can be your role model instead, and you can develop a healthy "ick factor" about certain bugs, without actually being afraid of them.
Speaking of Mommy, I'm really glad we've got some bonus time with her this weekend, because on Tuesday, you and I are heading to Texas to visit Grandma and Grandpa and the whole gang, and I'm really looking forward to that.

If I were telling you this outloud, this is the point at which you'd interupt me and say, "Pahpuh Pahpuhpuh!" which (evidently) means "Grandma/Grandpa" - or "grandparent" - or "senior citizen." You say it about pretty much every gray-haired person we meet or walk past in our daily adventures (as well as photos in books).

You also tell me who has a hat, and who is a baby, and who is eating, and who has glasses, and who's riding a wheelchair or scooter, and lots of other things.

Of course, you're signing most of that, so they don't know what you're saying, and even when I confirm that "Yes, honey, he is wearing a hat," it's all quite innocent and non-offensive (Except perhaps "Yes, honey, is probably is somebody's grandpa." - which I usually say quietly.) and (I think) rather impressive and damn cute, but I wonder if maybe I should start talking to you about "It's not polite to shout out our observations about people," before we get much further with this?

I so hate to dampen your enthusiasm for reporting back to us on the things you see around you in the world, but I worry that we're just a few months worth of language skills away from "Hey, that man doesn't have any hair!" and "Wow, that lady sure is fat!"

Ayiyi, maybe I should be just as glad that you're not doing so much talking yet!

Oh, that reminds me, in addition to your "real" words, you also mimic us when we use non-words, like "Ayiyi" or "uh-uh" or "ah-ah-ah" (as in "Don't you even think about it, little girl!").

Which we say quite a bit, because you know damn well what you are and are not allowed to do around here, and those that you're not allowed to do are definitely the most interesting and exciting to you.

One of your latest obsessions is trying to touch poor BigGaloot's feet. As with most dogs, he hates to have his feet touched. He'd really rather we not even look at them. But you - argh - you walk up to him, with our little hands outstretched and an eye looking back at us to see if we'll stop you and that evil little grin on your face.

He might be a galoot, but when it comes you to, I tell you, that dog has the patience of a saint.

Maybe he can give me and Mommy lessons.

Luckily, you don't usually try our patience too much. You are still a pretty happy kid most of time, and pretty easy-going. I'd like to think that has something to do with us, but I suspect that, as much as anything, it's just your personality.

Whatever it is, we sure do like it.

And we sure do love you.

Happy twenty months, my little Roodle-Doodle-Doo.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Daily Peep: Life Is Good . . .

. . . when your kid sleeps through the night!

After months of lay-down-nurse-sleep-at-perfectly-reasonable-(for us)-hours sleep, Peeper's had some crazy sleep patterns over the past month or so - mostly involving the vicious cycle of  seemingly early-to-normal bedtimes that have turned out to be late naps, followed by 3 am actual bedtimes - followed, often, by 8 am wake-ups for Mama or Mommy to greet BabyJ, while Peeper sleeps in, leading to a late nap, leading to . . . well, you get the idea.

But, last night she slept 10:30 pm - 10 am, and tonight she went down around 10, nursed back down around 11:15 - 11:45 (yes, it took a loooong time to get away - but I didn't push it; that's been my mistake on some of the previous nights) and - knock wood - may stay down all night again.


BabyJ Update

I should've posted an update about BabyJ a couple of weeks ago, and another a week ago, but I shall get all caught up now.

Previously on The Adventures of BabyJ:
Birth Weight (3/24) - 7 lb 12 oz
Low Weight - 6 lb 14 oz
2 Months (5/24) - 7 lb 14 oz

She went back to see her family doctor two weeks ago (6/11) and weighed 8 lb 9 oz, which was a gain of about 2/3 ounce per day. That sounded really good to both me and DoulaK, (when Peeper was new, her doctor wanted to see her gain 1/2 - 1 ounce per day) but the doctor was concerned that she was "still gaining slowly" and "not gaining muscle mass," so he wanted her to see an actual pediatrician.

Last week, she saw a doctor at the same practice where we take Peeper and she weighed 8 lb 5 oz (but I don't trust any comparison between two different scales). She had blood and urine tests to rule out any metabolic problems (which came back fine), and  was given a high calorie formula, that's often used with preemies, to offer after she nurses.

MommyA said that she's sometimes taking a few ounces of that, but not after every feeding, and she's only getting it when she nurses, not when taking breastmilk by bottle, since if she's not full then, we can thaw another bottle. I also have some on hand to give her if we run out of breastmilk. So far this week, we've had enough.

When she came here on Wednesday, we'd not seen her since last Thursday, and could tell that she had filled out a lot. Her arms and legs looked fuller, with no "saggy baggy" skin, and she's even starting to get some little butt cheeks! She feels heavier, and just a lot sturdier and less fragile.

She went back to the doctor today and the great news is that she weighs 9 lb 9 oz, and the doctor doesn't need her back for a month, when she has her four-month well-baby check!

The not-so-great news is that the doctor heard a heart murmur, and will be scheduling her an appointment with the cardiologist (I assume the same one Peeper sees) to check that out, probably some time next week.

As I reminded MommyA, the vast majority of murmurs are either nothing or resolve on their own, and very few actually require any kind of treatment or repair, but of course, I know that she (and we) would appreciate a heapin' helpin' of healthy-heart mojo.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Daily Peep: Little Architect

She built this all by herself, I promise.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Daily Peep: "Gardening"

First, I mowed the backyard while Peeper and Mommy played on the patio, then Peeper and I prepared her little gardening kits for planting. This was supposed to involve pouring some water into the cups to wet down the peat pellets. It actually went more like this . . .