Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bibbity Bobbity Boo

Well, not quite. But Cyprian does now have command of the B sound. :)

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Sloppy Eating Hilarity

Blame me for showing Teresa how to "eat" play food in the style of Cookie Monster. Then thank me for discovering something that really gets Cyprian laughing!

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And from a different angle:

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And up close (yes, I started tossing food at him):

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Comparing Cyprian and Teresa at 6 months

My mom requested I post some pictures side by side. I'm not sure how to do that in Blogger. But here are two sets to compare our children:






What do you think? Certainly a few similarities, but their coloring and head shapes are so different, in our opinion.

Friday, November 11, 2011

6 months old & 2 and a half

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We took both Cyprian and Teresa in to the doctor's office for well-child visits this week. Here are their stats:


Teresa (2 and 3/4 years old)
Weighs 25 lbs 2 oz (6th percentile)
37 in. tall (62nd percentile)
Long and lean :)

We are so pleased that Teresa is back on the charts, weight-wise (she had dropped to 1st percentile a year ago). Our nurse practitioner encouraged us to continue using bribery (small treats like 2 pieces of candy corn or a few marshmallows) to get her to eat meals.



Cyprian (6 months old!)
Weighs 17lbs 3 oz (45th percentile)
28 in. tall (92nd percentile)
Big boy :)

Our little man is growing well. As you can see in the video, he sits unsupported for minutes at a time. He gets excited to eat a couple teaspoons of sweet potatoes each day. He spins around on his tummy, pushes up high on his arms, and scooches backwards. He loves to "eat" ribbons, straps, and strings. He rewards Teresa for entertaining him endlessly by pulling out her hair (ouch!). He gives David the biggest grins and excited arm flaps when Papa comes home after being away for a while.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

October video roundup

Cyprian loves his Jumpster...especially when someone is watching him jump.

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Supported sitting around 5 months

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Peekaboo fun

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Playmat fun

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Exersaucer fun

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Teresa surprised me with her mouse skills at 2 and 3/4 years old: I put a piece of tape on the spot where you click and she started zooming and clicking away! Here she is playing on Starfall.

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I love it when David holds both the children. Teresa "fishes" quite well with her magnetic puzzle. Cyprian would like to eat the fish.

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Eating a Cyprian pizza

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All Saints costume (borrowed from Katherine L.)

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Rearranged

Cyprian has been sleeping terribly for weeks. He wakes 5 or 6 times every night and either really needs me (nursing or diaper change) or can't settle himself back to sleep. We wondered if perhaps sharing our room was disturbing him frequently (he seems to be a light sleeper), so we decided to give him his own space.

Yesterday David spent a couple hours moving no less than 8 pieces of furniture from room to room and now we have:

1. A nursery (picture above), complete with crib, glider, dresser, and changing table. The room will still serve as storage for office/craft/school items as well. We can easily access the hall bathroom from the changing table (which is necessary with cloth diapering).

2. Teresa's room. It now has her bed (still just mattress and boxspring on the floor) and the guest bed, as well as a bookcase, toy/game cabinet, and dresser.

3. Master bedroom. It now has so much more space...enough for me to create a quiet corner with chair, table, and lamp. Perhaps this will help me sanctify my days with prayer more faithfully. The prayer corner brings me great joy...as does being able to get in and out the side of my bed!! (I've been crawling back and forth from the end of the bed since the cosleeper or crib was previously stationed at the side.)

So, how did Cyprian sleep in his new digs? Same old, same old. I was up with him 5 times between midnight and 3:30. Then he slept until about 6 am. I think his teeth (still under the gums) are hurting. Sigh.

And how are we going to accommodate our regular guest, David's dad? Tonight we're going to try having him sleep in Teresa's room (on the guest bed) and drag her mattress into our room. We'll see how it goes!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Voicing his complaint

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Today Cyprian's fussing took on a kind of complexity.

Cyprian tries rice cereal

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Cyprian has been grabbing at our food with excited vocalizations and facial expressions for a couple of weeks. I was going to wait until he turned 6 months old to have him try food (beyond an occasional lick of apple, etc.), but we decided to let him go for it at 5 and a half months old.

For convenience's sake, I fed Teresa boxed cereals and jarred purees her first few months of eating. This time I'm more committed to making baby food at home. It helps tremendously that my friend loaned me her Baby Bullet. Yes, it's gimmicky (a regular blender or food processor could probably do everything it does) but it's also very helpful. Making baby food with it is straightforward and easy thanks to its guide book.

First I ground organic brown rice to a powder, cooked up a batch of cereal, and froze it in tiny portions. I put a smidge in a little jar, watered it down, and gave some to Cyprian last night.

As you can see in the video, he seemed excited and pleased by the experience. We're not sure whether he liked the cereal so much as the spoon and the jar. I don't remember Teresa guiding the spoon to her own mouth right away. Cyprian WANTED THAT SPOON! But he consistently let go of it so I could put more cereal on it.

About an hour after the eating adventure, Cyprian spit up about as much as he seemed to have taken in. We'll see how it goes tonight!





Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Daily Feats

A $10 Starbucks gift card arrived in the mail today, and I did a happy dance.

A post on MoneySavingMom.com prompted me to join DailyFeats on August 25th. After registering you can "check in" various "feats" you accomplish each day. Some examples: caring for your baby, eating fruits and veggies, taking a walk, cooking a meal, cleaning the bathroom. I spent 20-30 minutes on the site each day for the first 3 days, figuring out how to use it efficiently. After that, I logged in for 10-15 minutes about 4 days each week (usually just before falling into bed at night) to log my accomplishments and rack up points.

On October 7th, I had enough points (5,000) to redeem for a $10 Starbucks gift card (my prize of choice - I like to treat myself to peppermint mochas once a month when I have gift cards). And today (less than 2 weeks later) it came. It really worked, I thought.

Hours of time on a website for a measly $10 gift card? you might be thinking. I really do try to be efficient with my time, so my efforts on DailyFeats had to be worth more to me than just the monetary/coffee reward. Here's why they were: logging my daily activities on DailyFeats made me feel like my efforts at home - the little stuff of my vocation as a stay-at-home mom - were being recognized and rewarded. I was earning points; I was working toward a greater goal and every bit added up! I began to want to do more...I found myself motivated by the prospect of getting to log in my accomplishments.

Yes, I will eat salad with lunch so I can check in !leafygreens.
I'll let Teresa help me make supper so I can check in !cooktogether.
I won't splurge at Target so I can check in !thinkb4buying.
I will prayerfully meditate on today's Mass readings so I can check in !dailyreading.
If I run that load of diapers I can check in !laundry.

When I participate in "challenges" on DailyFeats I am pushed to do more so I can earn extra points. And the activities are all really good for a person and/or her community: practice mindfulness, donate to charity, include someone who seems left out, express love, go on a date night.

I am not sure how long I will continue to use DailyFeats, but for now it's really working for me. I have struggled with the thanklessness of my vocation (and I have a very appreciative husband!) - I really miss the recognition I received in school and work. I know that, ultimately, I should strive to do everything for God alone and find contentment in seeking to please Him in all things. This is just a step toward that goal. :)

PS If you decide to try DailyFeats and like it (or if you're already on it!), let me know and we can be teammates.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Grandma Rita's visit

My grandmother came to visit us for 5 glorious days. Although the weather turned a bit chilly and everyone in our family fought colds, keeping us on the down low for most of the time together, we thoroughly appreciated her company. I would have been a wreck without her here: Teresa was miserable from her cold, Cyprian was waking every 2 hours or less at night and crying in pain (cold or dairy sensitivity, we're not sure yet), I was exhausted and cranky (from the waking, cold fighting, and abstaining from dairy), and David worked the full weekend. Oh, and our dishwasher is broken, so we have to wash everything by hand.

I lost my patience frequently and barely got us to Mass on time on Sunday, but things would have been far worse without Grandma Rita (as David dubbed her for Teresa) here to hold and soothe the baby, play with Teresa, wash and dry dishes, fold diapers (three loads worth!), and all sorts of other things. She even enabled me to get an occasional nap!

Grandma discovered that bouncing Cyprian while letting him look out the door at the sunny yard and passing cars eased his suffering.

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In honor of Grandma's visit I planned a tea party with our neighbors as guests. Grandma hosted so many tea parties for my siblings and cousins and me over the years...fond memories. In honor of it being Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19th), we made it a Pirate Tea Party. Argghhh!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mouths of Babes Monday

Yes, we have a rubber chicken toy. He (yes, our chicken is a he) squawks when you squeeze his tummy, so we dubbed him Squawky Chicken. Teresa has been playing with him daily recently. Her musings from bed one night:

"Squawky Chicken has a vitamin on his head!"

Why, yes. His comb does kind of look like one of her vitamins!

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Scene: Teresa is sitting at the dinner table, picking at her toes.

Mama to Teresa: "Don't play with your feet at the table."

Teresa to Mama: "Eat your bread. You'll feel better."

Reminded me of her earlier "calm down" - just more sophisticated now. This observant child knows I am easily bothered when I'm hungry.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Orleans spirit


Cyprian has been sporting some Fleur-de-lis in honor of Papa's hometown (thanks, Jenny and Theo!)



Video clearout: get your Cyprian fix here

Uploaded from the camera today (from the past 2 weeks):

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Cutting practice

I did it. I gave my 2-year-old scissors!

When I want to keep Teresa occupied help Teresa build skills, I let her do one or more of the following tasks at the kitchen table:

1) Color with crayons (on blank scratch paper or in coloring books)
2) Play with playdough (she can choose from 3 colors and use a plastic knife with it)
3) Paint with water (she can do one page from a paint-with-water book each day)
4) Practice cutting with kid scissors (she can cut circulars from the recycling bin)

Having read and heard many stories of preschoolers (and even older kids!) using scissors to cut their own hair (or a siblings'), I was wary of letting my little one use them. But others believe it is a skill that children can work on from a young age, and I figured letting Teresa try cutting with supervision (and giving her plenty of instruction in what we do and do not cut) would be best.

After just a few practices, I'd say she's doing pretty well:

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Monday, August 22, 2011

"From the Mouths of Babes" Monday



I'd figure I'd chime in a bit with some posts. Here are some good quotes from Teresa this week:

Teresa stood over the opened board game, Sequence for Kids, with over sixty multi-colored chips strewn about the guest bedroom floor. "I made a big, beautiful mess."

Frances, Teresa, and I were sitting at the table eating dinner, and I was holding Cyprian in my lap. After I finished, I moved my plate away so I could place Cyprian on the table. He has been holding up his own weight a bit better as he wobbles on his plump little legs while holding our hands.
The second his feet hit the table Teresa said, "No feet on the table."
I looked at her and said, "You're right Teresa, I'm sorry."
She smiled big. "It's okay, I forgive you."
She's catching on quick.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dancing with Papa

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Good tummy time

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Giggling boy!

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Lunch table talk

Lately I've been putting Cyprian up on a chair (in the Bumbo) when we eat meals. That way he can see our faces and feel included. Today he thanked us with lots of chatter.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bumbo!



At Cyprian's 2-month well baby visit, he weighed 13 lbs, which puts him over the 70th percentile for weight. He is also quite long, although I don't think their measurement was entirely accurate. Overall, he is in great health and developing excellently. The only concerns from the visit were persisting thrush (which has since improved) and a mild case of head flattening. I asked our nurse practitioner whether she thought it was problematic and she said it was apparent but not too bad. She highly recommended positioning Cyprian's head when he sleeps by rolling a towel or blanket and placing it behind him to prop him in one direction or the other. She also mentioned that, as he gains greater head control and spends more time upright while awake, the flattening should decrease.

Shortly thereafter, I got the Bumbo down from the attic. I had intended to wait until Cyprian was 3 months old to try it, but he's so big and seemed to tolerate being sit up well...so I let him try it out at 2 1/2 months. Here's the very first time I sat him in it:

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Not bad! I let him build up neck strength with a few short sits each day and now he enjoys up to 20 minutes there maybe 3 times a day.

Teresa loves having him accessible, down on her level. "Mama, I'm tall!" she says, standing beside him.


She covers him with affectionate touches and head-bumps, talks to him, brings him toys, and generally just entertains him by being herself when he's sitting there. Oh how Cyprian loves to watch his big sister!


Our little king on his throne!

Standing and vocalizing

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Cyprian plays footsie

Because I haven't posted something in a while, here's a video to get the ball rolling:

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Friday, July 8, 2011

Cyprian smiles and coos


I'd been trying to no avail to capture some of Cyprian's smiles and coos on camera for over a week. Today I hit jackpot! For your viewing pleasure...


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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Carowinds


We live less than 10 minutes away from Carowinds amusement park and pass it almost every day driving to and from the highway. I have been a long-time lover of roller coasters and other wild rides, and it seems Teresa is equally attracted to them (even though she won't be able to ride the big rides for several more years). David is eager to get Teresa comfortable in the water so she can pick up swimming skills. All of these factors contributed to our decision to purchase season passes to Carowinds again (only David and I need them, as Teresa is still able to get in free).

David has made great use of his pass already this spring and summer, taking Teresa to ride the kiddie rides or play in the water at least 4 times. She can't stop talking about her visits to the park or how much she wants to go again; it's often the first thing she tells strangers who make the effort to chat with her. "I go Carowinds!" she smiles. "I ride in boat!" (They have a boat ride for the little ones.)


We decided at the last minute (as usual) on Monday morning to go to Carowinds as a family for the first time since Cyprian's birth. I worried about all sorts of things that could go wrong (mostly about the baby being too hot) but tried to remain positive. In the end, we all had a great time. We set up in the shade, where Cyprian slept for most of the visit. David and I took turns being with Teresa in the water at Kookaburra Bay, and he took her for a ride down the lazy river. I sat with Cyprian and soaked up all his smiles (unfortunately, none made it onto the camera). I even nursed him without trouble while wearing my swimsuit. When Teresa took a snack break, David and I took turns going down one of the water slides. And on our way out of the park David insisted I do one ride. So I gave the Intimidator another try and found it thrilling. Nothing matches that experience of weightlessness!

Garden to table

In the last month and a half of nursing Cyprian, I've gone through 20 or more magazines, effectively clearing out my backlog. I've enjoyed reading about children, parenting, money, faith, and food (I receive quite an assortment of periodicals, including Cooking Light thanks to David's sister Jenny). The July Cooking Light contained an appealing recipe for which I already had most of the ingredients, so I tore it out to try.

Baked Ziti and Summer Veggies calls for fresh yellow squash, zucchini, tomatoes, basil, and oregano, all of which I had ready from my very own garden!


Someday I might also grow the onion and garlic the recipe calls for (this lovely head of garlic came from my friend Hunter's garden). And years from now I hope to get eggs from our very own backyard chickens (I will wait to pursue this when I have a child old enough and interested in tending them herself).

I followed the recipe except for two alterations: I used fun, colorful Wacky Mac pasta and omitted the ricotta (just subbed in a bit more mozzarella). The resulting casserole was delicious!


The real test was whether Teresa and David would eat it, too. I served Teresa a small portion. At first she pushed it around with her spoon and declared, "This yucky. No can try it." But she did try it and ate a few bites herself. When I helped her eat some more, she received it gladly and even said, "This very good!" She finished her portion!

David ate all of his serving, too, although he did feel it had too many veggies and not enough seasoning. I think I'll be making this again!