Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Teeth and Train Town

What a fabulous weekend! We visited family in Novato, then all stayed overnight with Grandma, followed by a trip to Train Town in Sonoma. We then had a leisurely day of gardening and BBQ with friends. Every weekend should be a three day weekend :-) Graham was especially cranky Friday, and had probably his worst night ever of sleep Friday night. It wasn't until the next day I discovered why. His top lateral incisors had both cut through. Sunday his bottom left one cut through- three teeth coming in at the same time made for a drooly, snotty, cranky baby! But he still seemed to enjoy himself overall. This last week he mastered getting small bits of food to his mouth and mashing them with his teeth and swallowing without choking. He is very excited about feeding himself, and I can't wait to gradually introduce some finger foods to his repertoire. In other news Gwen had an allergic reaction to Bay Shrimp: three hives broke out around the outside of her mouth then disappeared shortly after I said she couldn't have anymore shrimp. So we have a temporary ban on shellfish until her pediatrician can test her. Another great milestone we reached: Gwen and Graham can take a bath together (makes bath time much easier for Mama and Daddy). Graham is so good at sitting, he can sit on a bathmat and stay put. And Gwen is pretty good, so far, at giving him space (the fact that he splashes waving his arms like a mad man helps her keep her distance).
Graham feeding himself pieces of Kamut Puff.
Graham's hair is starting to come in and the little fluff on his head is one of my favorite things in the world right now.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Graham: 8 months!

I can't believe Graham is 8 months and that May is just about over. He is definelty becoming his own little person. He can yell and screech for fun with the best of them (i.e. Gwen). He is practicing techniques for future tantrums by throwing his head back while arching his back repeatedly when he gets upset (combined with yelling or screeching in anger). He requires sustenance when he sees others eating. I made him teething biscuits which he politely nibbles on before chucking in favor of chewing on a plastic spoon, or some other object. Out of desperation I gave him a piece of super crusty crust from a piece of homemade bread, and he loved that. Pieces flake off a little bit bigger than he can tolerate swallowing, but God forbid you take his toast away! He is working on having more textured food. He continues to love eating, but not eating very much. His biggest achievement, he has developed the pincer grasp! I took this as an invitation to start some finger foods (brown rice crispies). He does have four teeth now, both front top and bottom, but doesn't seem to get the whole chewing thing. When the little bits make it into his mouth, he usually ends up spitting them out after moving them around in his mouth for a while. Everyone has been sick over the past few weeks (it has been rough, not gonna lie) and he picked up a nasty head cold and cough, which he still has a little rattle in his chest and a runny nose. We did a trip to the pediatrician since Gwen had an ear infection (first course of antibiotics in her 2 years and 8months, so not too bad). I had Graham checked out too, just to make sure he wasn't getting an ear infection too; no just a head cold. But he weighed in at 20lbs and some change and the nurse commented on how long he was. He really looked like a monster baby on that little scale. His arms seem especially long, the sleeves of his jammies usually come up an inch or so short of his fat baby wrists. He has what I call, Go-Go Gadget arms, you don't realize how long and dextrous they are until they are pulling your cup of coffee toward you, or that plant, or reaching for your fork to poke someone's eye out. Graham is still sleeping with me in bed, and now that his cold is subsiding, nursing about three times a night (totally doable cosleeping, but couldn't imagine otherwise). We went to the Zoo yesterday (sniffles and all) and got to see the baby anteater who was riding around on his Mama's back, and Mama Koala sleeping with her baby in her arms, and it made me feel really good about my decisions with Graham. It is hard for Spencer and I to not share a bed, and it is a physical toll on my body to wear Graham in the baby carrier, but it seems so natural. Someday I will have time to myself, in the meantime I am taking solace in knowing what I am doing now, spending as much time as possible with both my babies, is what is best.

Also, almost forgot to add that he is experimenting with waving hi and bye, and will clap his hands with glee. Gwen has taken on trying to teach him the patty cake song since he gets a kick out of having his hand clapped by someone else. A few times now I have gone in to nurse him and he has clapped his hands for me, in excitement for milk; so sweet!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


The whole family participated in Parent and Tot swim class Saturdays in the month of April (outdoor heated pool). Graham loved being in the water and would get all excited and move his whole body like a little dolphin trying to propel himself forward. And he is a big fan of splashing. It took a few times in the pool for Gwen to get as comfortable in the water as she was the end of last Summer. She still won't blow bubbles or put her face in the water, but enjoys jumping off the edge of the pool, kicking, and walking in the shallow end. I blew it with registration and we won't be taking classes again until August, but will do the same family Parent and Tot class then- can't wait. Until then we will have to practice our bubbles in the bathtub, and keep cool with the sprinkler.

It's not Easy Being Green

We were stuck home most of last week because Gwen had a cough followed by a day of excessive whining that culminated in throwing up at my feet after I complained to Spencer about how whiny she had been all day, followed by more coughing. Spencer was sick throwing up Friday morning (the day he took off to help get stuff together for our Yard Sale) and Graham threw up Friday and Saturday, followed by a feverish Saturday night. So far no vomit for me, but who knows, maybe I am next. The above photo of Gwen was taken on one of her sick days. We have this swing set up in our back yard, and when we pull out her Step 2 slide, she says enthusiastically, "We're at the park! We're at the park!" So being stuck at home, isn't so bad. She would spend all day in that swing if someone would continue to push "Faster, faster!" and "Higher, higher!" We discovered a dove (homing pigeon?) built a nest in the rafter of the 'workshop' close to the swing. Gwen enjoys talking to the pigeon/dove sharing with her all sorts of intimate details of her family and daily life, "This is my brother Graham. That's my Mommy. My name is Gwen. We went to Whole Foods and had broccoli for lunch." You get the idea. It is May and we have slowly been able to plant our garden (various heirloom tomatoes, two types of eggplant, zucchini, butternut squash, yellow crookneck squash, volunteer squash, and various peppers (mostly crazy hot, but also a fancy variety of sweet pepper). We are still missing our green beans and carrots, but since Graham is now sick and we have to stay home from preschool tomorrow, working in the garden is on the agenda.

Favorite photo of Graham: He is wearing one of my favorite shirts. He know has four teeth (two front top and bottom) and his hair is coming in- though it isn't clear what color it is- but blonde or brown, there are going to be red highlights.
Favorite photo of Gwen: This is Gwen after a long luxurious nap posing with her monkey and Graham's monkey. She often wakes from her nap talking about giraffes and elephants and other animals; I think she dreams about being on safari. The second photo is her look of being deep in thought.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Lyme Butterflies

One of my oldest friends from High School, Keri, has been struggling with Lyme Disease and a host of other related ailments for the last few years. I haven't been as supportive as I would like to be, struggling with my own challenge of the first few years of Motherhood. But things have taken a turn for Keri, and while I knew she wasn't well, and during our visits over the last few years I could see she was tired, run down, lost weight, I can now see how ill she is. She recently developed shakes and twitches and was diagnosed with dystonia It is so hard to see her afflicted by these involuntary movements of the neck and arms; you can even hear her voice shake a bit. Keri used to work as a naturalist, and had just gotten her teaching credential before her health took a turn for the worst. For the last few years we have visited Natural Bridges together to see the butterflies (above picture was taken there this past November). Gwen loves our visits with Keri since she has such great toys and books, and knows fun songs. Since Keri hasn't been able to work full-time, she has started making jewelry and her product is available on etsy- so here is a shameless plug to check out her etsy shop and support a great woman who is struggling to be well.