Thursday, May 31, 2012

9 months

My baby is getting so big.  And this girl.  Oh, this girl.  She's so happy.

Jury's still out on what color her eyes are.  What do you think?  Hazel? Green? Gray?  I don't think they are brown.  or blue.

She loves to crawl around now.  LOVES it.  She's fast too, even though she won't lift her belly off the ground.  She usually goes for our shoes. 

I still think bathtime might be her favorite time of day.  She loves crawling so much she does it in the bath too.  She gets to take baths with her sister now, which she also loves.  She pulled up to stand for the first time the other day - in the tub.  Little nut.

She likes this car toy a lot now too.  She sits on it and goes...backward.  That'll change before I know it too.

She enjoys eating very much.  We have yet to discover a food she does not enjoy.  She made our whole table laugh the other night at the dining hall when she got tired of trying to pick up the little bits of carrots on her placemat and just put her mouth right down and sucked them up.

That's my girl.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Theme of the Week: Turtles

Cadence asked to learn about turtles this week.  Did you know World Turtle Day was May 23? 

Turtle Splash! Countdown at the Pond by Falwell

In the Small, Small Pond by Fleming

The Turtle and the Moon by Turner

Art: Make an egg carton turtle - except we decided not to use an egg carton, we used a bowl

Rhyme: This my turtle (ah, memories...I used this with my Mr. Turtle puppet at the start of every storytime)

Extra: Go to the lake on campus and look for turtles, Watch Go, Diego, Go!: Save the Sea Turtles (Season 1, Episode 16)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Garden Update

Do you see this?  The sugar snap peas are over my head! (Also, I cut my hair.  Well, not me - the stylist lady.  Piper kept grabbing it and it was too easy to just put it in a ponytail everyday.)

We have so much lettuce I've been practically begging our friends and neighbors to come get some.  I definitely feel like our raised bed gardens have been a success.  I've been freezing lots of spinach and some carrots, in addition to all the lettuce and snap peas we've been eating.

I'm not sure how much longer the lettuce will keep growing well.  I don't think it will like the hot weather that is surely coming soon.  I've put in our "warm weather" plants - tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumber, cilantro, and basil.  Hopefully they will do well too.

Up on the north edge of our yard, we have these pretty wild roses growing.  LOTS of them.  It's very cheery.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Theme of the Week: Bubbles

Benny's Big Bubble by O'Connor
Pop! A Book About Bubbles by Bradley

Bubble Trouble by Mahy

Art: Make a bubble painting - we poured some bubble solution into two shallow containers and colored them with food coloring, then blew them on paper.  The drips and pops make a pretty picture.  Here's ours.

Science: Use a straw to blow bubbles in water and in milk.  See the differences.

Extra: Make a bubble sensory bowl for Piper (like this one here)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Yesterday, we made homemade:

Playdough - recipe from here

Granola - using my recipe, which I apparently have not published here.  I will do that soon.

Yogurt - totally easy and waaaaaay cheaper than the vast amounts of store bought yogurt we (read: Cadence) have been consuming! Slow cooker recipe from here, and thanks to my friend Kat for inspiring me to finally do it.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Stuff NOT to say to new moms

I hang out with a lot of young moms.  They are amazing women who work really hard doing a hard job. Raising little people is a big deal and we could use your encouragment, especially when we have a new baby.  Yet, sometimes people say things to us that just make everything worse. 

Inspired by things that have been said or done to myself or a young mom I know, I've made a little list of some things that you don't need to say to new moms. Ever:

You look tired.
Oh my goodness. Why, why, why would you ever say this to anyone?  Because here's how it sounds in her head - "Oh no.  There are circles under my eyes. I should have put on concealer. I should have done my hair.  Everyone else here has on clothes that match (and fit!) and that don't have spit up or snot anywhere on them. Why did I even bother to leave the house?"  If you think she's looking bad, keep that opinion to yourself.  If you really are concerned about her being tired, say this instead: "What can I do to help you?"  Or even better, "Let me [wash those dishes, make that bed, open that door, play with that toddler, change that diaper, insert other important mom task here] for you."

Here's a gift for your baby!  She has to wear it on Easter.  And you just have to have pictures made of her wearing it.  And send them to me tomorrow.  And save this gift in a special spot for generations, because it's going to be an heirloom.
By adding obligations to the gift, you just made it about you, not the baby and definitely not her.  For most young moms, it's a struggle to get everyone in the house fed and clean, and a bigger struggle to keep the house in order.  She's already feeling inadequate because of something she's not getting done - losing the baby weight, writing in the untouched baby book where she's supposed to be recording every joyful moment, or teaching her baby Chinese because her friend's baby is already bilingual!  Don't give a gift with obligations.  Just don't.  Adding a task to her To Do list is not cool.  NOT. COOL. 

Wow!  That baby sure can scream!
What's that you say?  My baby, the one I'm holding in my arms while desperately trying to rock him/give him a paci/sing him his favorite song, is crying?  Thanks for telling me about those ear-piercing shrieks!  I'll get right on that.  Seriously, if she's not in the vicinity of her child or is truly unaware, you can say something - nicely - but, there's no need for you to point out that "someone sure is unhappy."

Oh, that baby needs a nap.
Think long and hard before saying this one.  Because that mama knows her baby's schedule and that he just woke up from a nap before you saw him.  What he needs now is a diaper change...

Oh, that baby needs to nurse.
See above.

You used to be so skinny.
That's just mean.  Even if it sounded nice in your head, it's just mean. Having a baby, whether birthing her or adopting her, means things are a little different now and we all need to work on being okay with that.  Mmmkay?  You can help by finding something to compliment her on.  Also, I bet you used to be skinnier too.  We're not 19 anymore.

Have you been eating strawberries?  Because that's what's giving your baby acne.  And making her hair fall out.  So you'd better not be eating strawberries!
Unless you are a medical professional or can present compelling (and current! current!) medical evidence, you really shouldn't be giving advice on how someone else's baby should be sleeping, or eating, or whatever, unless the mother just asked you for your opinion.  Sometimes, it might be okay for you to tell a brief story about what worked for you and your baby.  Sometimes.  Be sensitive to her eyes glazing over (that's when you volunteer to do the laundry while she lays down) or tearing up (that's when you give her a firm hug and tell her she's doing a great job because she's about to lose it).  And seriously, strawberries are giving my baby acne?  How does that make sense?

Your baby needed a haircut/her ears pierced/a puppy/to try peaches so I did it for you.
This is one the grandparents are especially guilty of.  (Not my kids' grandparents though. They're pretty awesome.)  That baby is not yours, no matter how much you love him, and the parents are the ones who get to decide about haircuts, ear piercings, puppies, and peaches.  The mama is putting in the hard work of night feedings and blowout diaper changes, so she deserves to be in on every single new moment.  Never do anything that could be remotely sentimental or picture worthy or a "first" OR remotely objectionable without the mama!  Unless she told you to go give that baby peaches while she took a nap.  Then it's all good. 

My baby woke up every two hours every night until he was 18 months old.
My baby slept through the night as soon as we brought her home from the hospital.
To the mom of a new baby, both of these statements are pure torture.  You may not remember, but sleep is more precious than gold when a baby is new, and a sleep deprived mom is not functioning very well.  The first statement sounds like she's never going to feel human again, and the second sounds like she's doing something wrong because her baby wakes up at 2 am and wants to socialize.

So...don't say this stuff or anything similar to the new moms you know.  Be the person who gives her grace when she says something awkward or forgets your birthday because she only got two hours of sleep.  Be the person who tells her she's looking awesome and her baby is too.  Be the person who quietly tells her there's spit up on the back of her shoulder so she can get it off before anyone else notices.  She'll be a better mom for it, and she'll always think of you fondly for your kindness.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

{this moment}

Inspired by SouleMama, {this moment} is a single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Theme of the Week: Food

We're reading some great books about food this week!

Reading: Blueberries for Sal by McCloskey, The Seven Silly Eaters by Hoberman, Eating the Alphabet by Ehlert, If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Numeroff, The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR by Wood, Jamberry by Degen, and Eat Your Peas, Ivy Louise! by Landry
Letter Awareness: F for Food

Sign Language: Eat

Art: make a collage of good food with pictures from magazines

Bible Verse: God gives food to us. Psalm 136:25

Math: Help measure ingredients to make cranberry nut bread for playgroup

Extras: Some Blueberries for Sal printables from here, Watch Cafe Blue (Blue's Clues Season 3)

Sunday, May 06, 2012

{this moment}

Inspired by SouleMama, {this moment} is a single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.