Thursday, April 21, 2011

7 Month Itch

Graham (and Gwen) picked up Roseolla somewhere over the weekend or late last week. Roseolla is a childhood ailment consisting of a high fever followed by a non-itching rash that starts on the belly then moves to the extremities. For us, thank goodness, it wasn't that big of a deal (some babies get seizures from the high fever), but I never noticed enough of a fever for me to even take their temp! The rash never left Gwen's torso, and Graham got it all over, except his legs- but it was so mild, he just looked a little blotchy or flushed. The on-call pediatrician said it was most likely Roseola or a similar viral rash. Graham wasn't feeling well all weekend but I chalked it up to teething and not sleeping well because of it. His top front left tooth erupted yesterday, but is so swollen you can't fee it. On his 7 month birthday we also moved him out of his infant car seat. He is now riding in style in the Britax Advocate, similar to Gwen's Boulevard but with side impact cushions.
In other news, I cut my hair! I may have to invest in a straight iron, if only I had the time to style it! I am also signed up for Baby Boot Camp for the summer and H2O Aerobics (as Malia calls it :-) I am looking forward to feeling like a real person again!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Milton The Cat, 2004?-2011

We adopted Milton (aka Buddy) March 2006 from Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary after fostering him for a few months. Milton (named after a Celestial Seasonings Tea magnet with a picture of a majestic Lion with the quote, "But what is strength without a double share of wisdom," by John Milton) was our baby for a few years. He enjoyed free reign of the house, we cared for him after a mysterious incident which led to a wound on his leg, and then a second incident requiring the dreaded cone, and we even got his teeth cleaned. Then we had Gwen and he slowly got pushed out of the house, and moved to the backdrop of our lives. He kept us company in the backyard while gardening, brought us little gifts of dead mice (and once a hummingbird) trying to earn back our favor, and he enjoyed the attention of our friends and neighbors (especially the children who come and go from the family day care next door). He was a great cat, and will be greatly missed. This evening he had either a stroke or heart attack while we were all outside after chasing a raccoon out of the garage and watching it saunter across the lawn. Milton hissed at the raccoon, then had what looked like a seizure, then took a few labored breaths, and was gone...just like that. His sudden loss is especially upsetting. We told Gwen he had a big boo-boo and Daddy took him to the doctor, but the doctor might not be able to make him feel better (Spencer took him to the nearest Emergency Animal Clinic to be cremated). Tomorrow I will tell her that he died and is gone, and then we will talk about what a great cat he was. Gwen is too young to fully understand, which is why we decided to be honest. One of Milton's legacies will be Gwen's first lesson in the circle of life. Rest in peace Milty.


This is a picture of Graham enjoying an artichoke leaf- he munched on quite a few of them, and with his two little teeth, he did some damage. I am sure I did not let Gwen eat artichoke this early; I find the second time around there are many concessions I make. Part of it is I feel more confident making my own decisions, versus consulting the experts on what I should be doing. And lot of it is an attempt to guard my sanity, what will get us through dinner (sharing inappropriate food with the baby), through this car trip (getting french fries), through the night (sleeping together). It isn't necessarily bad. We all had our first family swim class this past Saturday- no pictures because we had one parent in the pool with Gwen and one with Graham. Both babies loved their swim class. Gwen wasn't as adventurous as she was the end of last summer, but I am sure she will warm up to the pool in the coming weeks. Graham enjoyed splashing and floating on his back kicking and watching big sister and the other children. As of this weekend Graham can stand leaning against something (and spotted of course)- his little legs are strong enough to hold up his body! He also has taken to dancing, moving his upper body side to side, with or without music :-) Last week was a challenge as Gwen starting having daily accidents, no naps, and perfected a deliciously defiant "NO!" and got a bit mischievous. Some highlights include stepping on her brothers head, rubbing the new hand soap (she broke the other two) over her body calling it lotion, shoving the replacement bar soap down the drain, 'cleaning' her room with a whole thing of wet wipes while having quiet time in lieu of a nap. It doesn't sound so bad now, but man, I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

30 months! What a WILD Ride

Life with two and a half year old Gwen is like a roller coaster, she is up, down, exciting, thrilling, sometimes scary, but something you want to experience over and over again. Everything she does, she does with her whole being. Our friends Farkas and Malia took us to Great America last weekend and Gwen just loved it! She went on almost every ride in the Kidz Zone. We all took turns going on the roller coaster with her, she went no less than six times. When we first arrived at the park Farkas pointed out that the people on the rides put their hands up and scream because it is so much fun. So the first ride she went on, the instant it took off, both hands shot up in the air and she started screaming, as the red airbus slowly went up and around in a gentle circle. She loved it, and we were all greatly amused. At 2 1/2 Gwen is incredible. She is out of diapers during the day with minimal 'accidents' and dry most nights/naps. She can dress herself (though sometimes goes commando, or wears her pants backwards). She can put her socks on, and sometimes her shoes. She loves brushing her teeth and has started flossing (mainly for fun). She loves long baths, but has recently taken to long luke warm showers (we got something that holds the nozzle to the wall at toddler height). Gwen stayed over at her Grandma's for two nights in a row for the first time a few weeks ago during the week and did amazing (slept through the night 12 hours both nights!). During this time I realized she truly is helpful around the house, picking up things I drop while I am holding Graham, entertaining him while I try and get a few things done around the house, she is such a great big sister! Academically she has been blowing us away. She has known her alphabet and numbers for a while, but can now identify letters out of context or answer correctly when you ask, what letter does duck start with. The mind blower is recently she has started reading letters: "r-u-n-a-w-a-y b-u-n-n-y says little bunny!" She isn't reading, but she totally understand the concept. She has memorized some of her favorite books and 'reads' them to herself (and Graham :-) but she will also make up stories for books she is less familiar with. She is really developing quite an imagination, and I have really enjoyed the pretend play that she has started doing in the last few months. She knows her numbers and counts to 20 skipping 13 (things do get a little muddled around 16). While she counts things up to about five without losing track, I think she only truly understand the numbers 1 and 2 (as in one for me and one for you is two!). Gwen has taken to calling me either Mom, Mama, Mommy, or my favorite, Ambroshera, which she will randomly throw out there. She also sometimes calls her Dad Spencer. I thought we were going to have to cut her hair short, but she has started to let me brush it and pull it back for her into a ponytail. I think it helped when we bought some hairbands that had ribbon on them- she calls them princess ponies. Gwen looks about twice her age with her two ponies! It is hard to believe she is only 2 1/2!