Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gwen Sleep Update

Gwen has graduated to being a one nap gal. I had been hoping that when we went to one nap she would go to bed earlier, and she does! She has an actual bedtime now (8pm-ish) and she wakes up around 8am-ish, with a nap 1pm-3pm. Now she is not a robot so does not stick to this exactly. Today she only took a 45 minute nap (AT&T repair man fixing internet prevented me from laying down with her to help finish her nap). And she does not actually sleep from 8pm-8am...she goes to sleep around 8pm, then wakes up usually before midnight, then goes back down and wakes up anywhere from 1:30am-4am and during this witching hour it takes about 45 minutes of me nursing and rocking her to get her to go back to sleep. More often than not I do not have the energy to do this and she ends up finishing the night in bed with us (where she nurses every 2 hours!). While we are happy so is going to bed earlier,we really wish she would sleep through the night! Part of it I think is still teething- she has all her teeth on her top right side of her mouth! And only needs 3 more teeth before she has all her baby teeth.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Seasonal Fun with the FLU!

Just wanted to check in with a quick post. Gwen got a Stomach Bug and was kind enough to share it with us. Friday 12/4 when she woke up in the wee hours of the moring, there was vomit crusted in her hair :-( and she was all pitiful and whiny. Then after getting cleaned up she threw up in our bed after nursing. She had no fever, and little appetite (which seemed to make sense). We assumed she ate something yucky. Fast forward to Saturday and we went out to dinner for quick and dirty Chinese Food. When we got home my stomach ached and I felt bloated and nauseous. Fast Forward to 1:30am when Gwen got up to nurse. I was laying in bed nursing her when I realized I had to go to the bathroom ASAP! And the was the beginning of 8 hours of vomiting and diarrhea (often at the same time)- combined with chills and sweats and a low grade fever. At 2:30am it hit Spencer. We assumed it was the Chinese Food. Gwen had an instance of "change your socks diarrhea" Sunday while our very kind friends watched her (and continued to be very poopy from there on out). As we came out of the fog of nasty bodily fluids it seemed like more than a coincidence that Gwen was vomitty a few days prior. Fast forward to Tuesday and we felt better as Gwen's diarhea became worse and she developed a cough. Tuesday night I was nursing her after she woke up (yes she has not slept through the night in a VERY long time)- and she coughed so hard she through up all her milk on me. Fastforward to our visit with a Pediatrician Thursday who spelled out the symptoms and time lines of Seasonal Flus, including the nasty Stomach Flu which is apparently going around. Starts with vomitting, and as the bug moves down the intestinal track, diarhea which gets worse as the bug is flushed out, and then you are better! With adults, 24-48 hours, with babies 7-10 days.
The moral to the story: wash your hands and practice what you do to avoid getting sick!
Kindly, there are no photos.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

14 months: Look Who's Talking!

Gwen just reached the milestone I think most parents probably dread...she learned how to say- No! It all started with her shaking her head at me, and then a few days later she matched the sign with the word.

Before No! there were many other words and signs (we are doing Baby Sign Language- based on American Sign Language).
-says Hi! and waving hello
-says Bye! and waving goodbye
-says MAMA or MA' MA'
-says Da or dadadada
-Gwen loves our cat Milton and can do the sign for cat and at first said Gath! or Gath? (her official first word) which is now 'itty! or 'itty-at
-signs all done
-signs more (one of her first signs)
-signs bird and says bir
-says plae when she hears a plane
-says ball
-signs food/eat
-signs milk, but until yesterday there were no words attached to these signs. She now enthusiastically says "Eel, Eel, Eel" for Milk.
-signs water She does understand that there are different types of water and signs water for her sippy cup, for my water bottle, and for the lake at the Zoo.
-signs Fish and says 'ish! When we were at the Zoo a Grizzly ate a fish in front of us (very cool) and she did the sign for fish.
-says Doh for dog and does a fancy sign that looks like bird and milk all together
-I just realized she can say nose- sounds like DOH and she points to her nose (or your nose).
-says what sounds like belly button and points to her belly button

Though she does not speak on demand, and sometimes doesn't try to speak or sign (especially if it seems like it should be obvious what she is communicating- like pulling on my shirt to let me know she wants to nurse- we are still working on nursing manners). Gwen says a lot more, and sometimes looks like she is signing (deliberately moving her hands/fingers), but this is all we understand so far. Not too bad for 14 months :-)

Grinch photo link

Click here to see our photo with the Grinch.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Grinch Stole Last Christmas- Not this Year!

The Grinch stole last Christmas, so I thought we would embrace his grinchiness this year and get started early. I took Gwen to have her photo taken with the Grinch at Santa Row in San Jose. I don't like to do Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving, but couldn't pass up this opportunity. It was a a long wait to get our photo taken, followed by another long wait to purchase our photo. But there was live music and I got a free hot chocolate. Gwen was a little frightened by the Grinch, so she got to sit on my lap, and I sat on the floor in front of the his grinchiness for our $10 photo (it turned out ok, but the jury is still out on whether or not it was all worth it). Gwen's 2nd nap got pushed a bit late (like by 2 hours!), but she was a trooper (though my arms are soooo sore from having to carry her). She was very excited with all the festivities and enjoyed dancing to the live music. Next year I will follow the retailers example and be early.

Gwen really loves to dance!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Riding our Bicycle

We bought a bike trailer a few weeks ago ad have been going on Saturday morning rides. Gwen surprised us by loving her helmet. She is not a huge fan of the trailer, but doesn't protest either. This last ride was our 3rd one and I pulled the trailer. It felt like someone was pulling my back, but once you get going it isn't too bad. On our ride I heard some music and it got a little tune in my head. I started humming one of the songs from our Music Together class...then I realized the music was Gwen singing to herself. It was sooo cute!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I Pee, You Pee, We all pee for Pee Pee!

I just had to share that Gwen peed in her new potty last night for the first time!!! I just got her a potty day before yesterday and am introducing the idea (letting her sit on it when I go potty, since yes she hangs out with me when I use the bathroom). I thought if she needs a diaper change anyway I might as well take her diaper off and let her sit naked on her potty. We did that a few times yesterday, and the last time before bed it worked! We will see if it happens again ;-)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

13 months and Halloween

Gwen and I went to a pumpkin patch in Half Moon Bay to look at pumpkins and be festive. She enjoyed running around from pumpkin to pumpkin.

Our playgroup had a Halloween party last Friday at a local park and it was so cute to see all the babies (I mean toddlers!) in their costumes. Gwen enjoyed wearing her costume and its extra padding proved helpful on the playground.

On Halloween we went to downtown Sunnyvale to trick or treat at the shops on Murphy Street. Gwen was a little confused at first, but got into it when she realized that people were loving her costume. Someone told her if there was a costume contest she would have won. Her choice candy was lollipops (I think they were more interesting to pick out of the candy bowl with their sticks poking up). One of her favorite things to do is to pick up stuff and put it in bags, so she really got into the whole trick or treating thing. Palace Cafe gave her a ghost shortbread cookie and that was the extent of the sweets she had (yes we ate her candy!). We also dressed up, me as a cow (since I am still nursing I thought this would be hilarious), and Spencer as a pig (going with the whole farm theme). We had such a lovely and fun evening and look forward to many more Halloweens.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Our good friends Brian and Cheri live in Memphis, and when they invited us to join them on their family vacation in Orlando we jumped on the opportunity. We went to the Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom, and spent a lot of time at our vacation home rental swimming and relaxing (relaxing!). Gwen did so well and was such a trooper. It was super HOT- in the 90's with humidity making it feel like 100. The Animal Kingdom was probably our favorite- there was an animal safari that was really cool and a petting zoo. Gwen was amazing on the flights and I think it was because we had a stopover and the flight times were pretty much during her nap time (perfect!). We had a great time visiting with our friends and can't wait to see them all again.
Brian and Cheri's daughter Amber (5yrs old) was so cute- we hadn't seen her since she was around 2 yrs old. My favorite part of the trip was one morning when Gwen had just gotten up and I was nursing her in bed, Spencer was still sleeping. I hear a little knock on the door and I tell her she can come in. Amber crawls right up on the bed between me and Spencer and snuggles in next to Gwen who is still nursing. We had the sweetest conversation about how she was hungry and what we should make for breakfast and why babies drink Mama's milk. she told me Mama's need to drink lots of milk to make Mama's milk. So sweet!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Gwen's Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe

I modified a recipe from May All Be Fed: A Diet for New World, by John Robbins. The actual recipe is for Ginger Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze. I thought the orange made it taste reminiscent of a nasty fruit cake so I used lemon to brighten the flavors. And since this was for Gwen I didn't use fresh Ginger since I was going for a more mild flavor. Since this was a Birthday Cake I made a real cream cheese frosting, making the final product not vegan.

Gwen's Vegan Carrot Cake Recipe
3/4 cup unfiltered apple juice
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups golden raisins
1/2 cup maple syrup
zest of one lemon
1 1/2 cups carrots
2 cups flour (original recipe calls for whole wheat pastry four)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger (powdered) (original recipe calls for 2 tsp fresh ginger)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
(original recipe 1 cup chopped walnuts)
  • Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil and powder with flour 8 inch cake pan
  • Put apple juice, oil and raisins, maple syrup, and lemon zest in a blender and blend until smooth
  • Add carrots and blend to desired texture (I blended real smooth).
  • In a large bowl mix dry ingredients.
  • Add the wet mixture and mix until blended (use as few strokes as possible).
  • Fold in nuts if using them.
  • Put batter in pan and use spatula to spread evenly.
  • Bake until toothpick comes out clean, about 35-45 minutes.
*Note about raisins. Original recipe calls for regular raisins, but I found the golden raisins blend in better to produce a more cake like result. Also, it calls for setting aside 1/2 cup of the raisins to fold in with the nuts, but again, I think blending them calls for a more cake like result.

From The Tassajara Bread Book:

Cream Cheese Icing
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup sweet butter at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Cream together cream cheese and butter.
  • Slowly sift in powdered sugar (I don't bother with sifting :-)
  • Beat until mixture has no lumps.
  • Stir in lemon and vanilla.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Celebrating One!

We had an amazing birthday party last Sunday for Gwen. Thanks to all our family and friends that were able to join us. Gwen had a great time (I know because she took a 3 hour nap afterwards!). I made her a 'smash' cake, but she was satisfied eating her cake with a fork (now that she is a big girl she wants to feed herself). I am super proud of the cake (vegan no sugar added carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting). Her Uncle Arin made a video of Gwen's 1st year- more of a photo montage including our car accident and photos of Gwen and her Great Grandfather Jim who passed away so it is a real tear jerker. As soon as he posts it on youtube we will post the link. Thanks again for joining us celebrating Gwen!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

12 Months!

Gwen had her 12 month well baby visit yesterday and she has an ear infection. I hoped we could go the first year without one (almost made it!). She had a cold that turned into an infection in her left ear and now she needs to take an antibiotic (for the 1st time). Other than that she is developing right on target. She doesn't weigh as much as we thought she would, 22lbs 2 oz (which is the 70th percentile), but she has really grown in height: 2ft 7.5 in which is the 99th percentile!!! She is turning into a string bean! Oh, and her noggin is in the 87th percentile, so she may end up having Spencer's big head. She has been extra fussy, but also extra cuddly since she isn't feeling well. Her and I slept together last night (she has been up every 2 hours the last 2 nights). She was so sweet- at one point while we were lying down she curled up in the fetal position with her head in my lap and her bum up near my chest and I was reminded of when she was in my belly just last year. I lay there rubbing her bum just as I would when I was pregnant with her and it was a really special moment. She seems to already be feeling better so I think she should be fine for her birthday :-)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Night of the Walking Gwen

The much anticipated Gwen walking video (from 3 nights ago). She is wearing her pajamas and a poncho our friend Rachel made her for her birthday (thanks Rachel!). She grabbed the poncho out of the gift bag in her room and put it on herself.

I love this picture :-) She has great teeth and has started using her toothbrush (though this usually devolves into her chewing on the bristles and trying to rip them out).

I was getting breakfast together when Gwen came to explore the fridge and grabbed a strawberry. She did this once before- Spencer looked down and she was already eating it. So this morning I thought I would let her go at it. After nibbling the green bits she decided to squeeze the life out of it in her baby fist.

Gwen got into my knitting and played with this ball of yarn for a significantly long time. I like the zombie baby walk she does. This video was taken 10 days ago.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Prolific Figs and Whatnot

This September has been so productive and by that I mean crazy busy! I am officially back to school part time working on my Masters in Public Administration at NDNU. I have a Thursday night class- Human Resources Management which is surprising very interesting, and Tuesdays are my homework night were I escape to Red Rock in Mountain View (I like them because they are a non-profit coffee shop). It has been so nice to rejoin the realm of intellectual conversation.

Gwen and I started GymKids this month which is a lot of fun! It is basically a padded room with baby obstacle courses, providing a safe environment for bay to explore and try things you normally would be freaked out about. Gwen walked across this horizontal ladder holding my hand which was amazing- oh, did I mention Gwen started walking!!!!!! She has been taking a few steps since she was about 10.5 months, but she up and walked across the room on my birthday (Monday 9/7). Hopefully I will get it together to post some walking baby zombie video soon.

We ALSO started our second session of Music Together which looks to be a good group of Mom’s and babies and I love the teacher- I am still warming up to the new music. AND Gwen has been doing Parent/Tot swim with Spencer on Saturdays this month which his super cute.

Needless to say we have been busy!

Regarding the Figs- our friends Amanda and Nelson have been sharing with us their very plentiful harvest of Mission figs and what I am going to call California figs (pictured). Gwen loves figs! That is what is squished on the floor in the picture below. I made a ton of fig jam which I must say is pretty good- if anyone is interested we have a lot of it!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

11 Months and counting- Save the Date!

Gwen's not counting, but we are counting down the days to her 1st birthday! It is amazing how time has gone by. Gwen is becoming more of a little person, and less of a baby every day. She is even starting to toddle (takes a few steps but keeps falling down on the third one).

Save the Date for Sunday October 4th for an awesome party that everyone should enjoy!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Zumpkin in the Garden

Our garden is doing amazing this year! We planted it late (April 26th) and even though we planted late, our garden is just about done. Strange since last year I was canning salsa and tomato sauce the end of September. We had a great harvest of lemon cucumbers (Gwen's favorite) and tomatoes (including my favorite Purple Cherokee). We had quite a few volunteer tomatoes, including a yellow pear that grew between the garage wall and the cement deck just outside our back door. We still have some tomatoes that need to ripen, a few green beans on the vine, and we have started the battle with the squirrels for our squash, `pumpkins and corn. They like to nibble- it was all we could do to save the sunflowers! Below is a pic of what was supposed to be an heirloom zucchini- it apparently cross pollinated and became what we are calling a zumpkin. With most of our harvest I have been able to make baby food for Gwen. After steaming, then pureeing the vegetable, I freeze it in cubes for storage in the freezer. It is so cool to be able to feed Gwen food we have grown!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Road Trip to SoCal and Back

Last weekend we visited some of our SoCal family and friends. It took us 8 hours to drive to my Aunt's house in Orange County- Gwen was a trooper. We had a great visit with my Aunt Pam and Uncle Tom, and cousins Denise and Warren. My sister Angel arranged for a cookout on the beach (Corona del Mar) with all of us and her inlaws Chris and Larry (they even had a veggie burger for me :-) Gwen did great at the beach and really enjoyed picking up the sand and letting it fall between her fingers- and sneaking a mouthful every now and then! My Dad was really excited to see Gwen again and had a great time trying to entertain her (not difficult as she is easily amused). We have some great pictures of Angel's dogs and Gwen, but they are trapped on Spencer's iphone. I will post later about Gwen's obsession with dogs. Spencer flew back Sunday for work and I hung around for another few days visiting with friends and family. I went to Newport Beach to visit my old coworker Sunshine and her little baby boy (I hadn't seen her since our wedding!). And I visited with our friends the Turner's and their 18 month old and 3 year old. Gwen had a great time playing with them! I drove home just me and Gwen in 2 days. It took 5 hours to drive from Orange County to Santa Maria where I stayed overnight with my friend Malia's parents (Kai and Mary who are so much fun!). The next day it again took 5 hours almost exactly to drive the rest of the way home. Gwen slept almst the whole time both days (2 hour nap, stop for diaper change and lunch, play in car, nap until we got home)! She was such a good little traveler. But then she came down with a nasty that might have been why she was so sleepy.