Monday, August 29, 2011

Seeing Spots!

We have been under voluntary quarantine since Tuesday afternoon last week when Graham broke out with a fever and rash. After a trip to see the pediatrician (where of course he no longer had a fever, but still a very obvious rash) we got a pithy diagnosis of viral infection consisting of a rash and fever. Graham's fever came and went for another few days and then was gone. But the rash still remained. As he was on the mend, after showing no signs of illness for days, Gwen came down with a fever. She had a fever for a few days, then her rash developed. Like Graham's it started with 2 or 3 dots (his were on his face hers on her chest) and then slowly over a 24 hour period moved all the way to the tips of fingers and toes. I think they both were achy at some point, and had a headache (Gwen told me her eyes and hands hurt and Graham would put his hands up on either side of his head).When I called Kaiser's pediatric advice line after Gwen's fever peaked at 103.9 and Graham's fever returned, the pediatric advice nurse said Roseola. I thought both of them had this before (fever followed by mild rash on torso), but this seems to be the real deal. The other thing it might be, Fifths Disease. Either way, the kids have been miserable, and we missed our camping trip with our playgroup. Spencer and Gwen camped in the backyard Saturday night after roasting fake hot dogs and making smores around our 'campfire' (we even used our camping dishes and drank wine out of our camping mugs to keep it authentic). We have been pretty good about entertaining ourselves at home, but have missed a bunch of our scheduled activities. It has made me realize we can handle spending more time at home during the week. Gwen and Graham find each other thoroughly entertaining, which takes some pressure off Mama. In the meantime, looking forward to Gwen being spot free!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Not a Baby Anymore!?!?!

People are always coming up to Graham and commenting on his eye lashes and what a happy, smiley baby he is; and last month a fellow patron of Sprouts asked how old he was. When I told her he was 10 months she responded, "Oh, he is almost one." Uh, baby is not almost one. Well, now he is! And he won't be a baby anymore! The beginning of this month he started pulling himself up, and then reaching up. We can no longer take for granted simple things, setting a glass of water on the coffee table. We have to religiously make sure that if we run into the garage to transfer laundry we lock the baby gate behind us, because Graham will stop whatever he is doing and beeline it for the steps. And the bathroom door must always be shut, or he will 'investigate' the toilet, explore the toddler potty (only once has this resulted in splashing in big sister's pee), and unroll the toilet paper and rip it to shreds. While not as disgusting as the bathroom, Graham is also obsessed with the refrigerator. Gwen has not shut his fingers in the door yet, but did try and close the door on him. He is eating pretty much anything except for dairy, meat, eggs, and anything with sugar added. And he will feed himself, thank you very much. I have a freezer full of organic homemade purees, but he is not terribly interested in being spoon fed right now. I have started to make him a 'smoothie' in the morning (purred fruit with a little cereal, liquid vitamins, and no more than 2 oz of water or unsweetened rice milk) so he can get a little breakfast in. He loves them! Because of his issue with constipation we have lately been pretty generous with his consumption of fruit (sans bananas) and water and this really seems to help. Friday when we were at the SF Zoo Graham started pointing. So cute. He will point and talk (copying Gwen and as we looked at the different animals). He also waves bye bye. This has gotten me very excited about teaching him sign language, since he now seems ready. And he officially has a first word, uh-oh. Though it often sounds a little more like uh-uh, but he uses it in context. He also knows how to drum (thank you Music Together, I think). At playdates now he gets right in there with the other kids (if he isn't napping in the Ergo). He isn't nearly as passive a participant in life as he used to be now that he can move and interact more with his world. He is such an amazing little guy, and I can't believe my baby is almost one!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Busy, Bountiful Summer


So much for the lazy days of summer. Even when we aren't 'doing' anything, we are so busy. With the garden to tend to, laundry to wash/dry/fold/put away, meals to prepare, children to manage, and cleaning up after all that. We celebrated Summer birthdays (Grandee, Sandee, Auntie B, and Uncle D) with a champagne Brunch on the Hornblower (cruise on the San Francisco Bay) which was really nice. Gwen probably had a gallon of orange juice, and enjoyed being on a boat and getting to view the Golden Gate Bridge from below it. We also have been celebrating Gwen's friends turning three! We have had a birthday party almost every weekend this month (including two at a gymnastics studio), and next month may be similar. Spencer has enjoyed a few three day weekends (thank you paid family leave) and this last Friday we went on a road trip to Swanton Farms (north of Santa Cruz and south of Half Moon Bay) to a u-pick strawberry farm. We picked almost 10lbs of strawberries which later translated into a strawberry and blueberry pie, heirloom strawberry preserves (in a large jar in the fridge since I couldn't manage to can them), and frozen strawberries for Gwen's new favorite, strawberry swoothies. We have had countless pounds of zucchini, summer squash, and a mysterious hybrid of the two, come out of our garden. Besides trying to hide squash in everything I cook and the obligatory zucchini bread, I have also made squash 'chips' in our dehydrator (disgusting, but hope to pass them off to Gwen as edible), a few hundred cubes of frozen puree for Graham, and a pureed squash soup (not bad with fresh herbs from the garden). Between naps and other adventures, Spencer has managed to find the time to finish the stool he started for Gwen. Besides being functional, so she can help in the kitchen (and help herself to the kitchen), it is gorgeous and I told him he should redo our kitchen table to match....alas, where we will find time to make that happen, not so sure. Graham has become a little busy body himself crawling and pulling up everywhere...stay tuned for his 11 month update.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Sleeping Beauty

Gwen participated in the Sunnyvale Library's Reach Out and Read Summer program and got to pick out a book to keep as her own. There were quite a few choices, but a Spanish/English copy of Sleeping Beauty stood out. I tried to encourage Curious George, or the Eric Carle book, but no, Sleeping Beauty. She has been requesting it at nap time most days, and then she wants to pose like Sleeping Beauty in bed. Well today (after the usual hour of fussing) she actually fell asleep with her plush rose on her chest. There is nothing more beautiful than a sleeping baby/child. We have been experimenting with our night time sleep situations, and getting very frustrated trying to force an arrangement that it isn't time for. One thing we have learned from Gwen, you can't make a child do anything, and in time they will do it on their own. So, we are going to follow the lead of our children. When Graham no longer needs to sleep with Mama's breast arms reach away, he will be ready to move to his own sleeping space. In the meantime he can sleep on his futon on the floor next to my side of the bed. And Gwen can continue to sleep as the beauty she is in her own room...for now.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Kids Room and our sleeping adventures

Now that Graham can crawl, we realized we to adjust our sleeping arrangements. The most recent inspiration has been to move Graham to the 'kids room'. I tried to get him to sleep in his pak n play, but it was very upsetting (boy does not want to be caged in and/or left alone). So, this last weekend while Gwen stayed slept over two nights at Grandma's, we took the opportunity to see if Graham could sleep in the 'kids room' (on his twin futon mattress on the floor). Normally after going down for the night he wakes up about every 30 minutes and I have to nurse him back to sleep until I go to bed, then he nurses every 2 hours or so. Well, first night alone he went to sleep and stayed asleep for 2 hours (which was an improvement!). He then pretty much woke up every 2 hours and I ended bringing him to bed with me. The second night he slept for 4.25 hours straight! Though, I ended up finishing the night with him. It is exhausting going back and forth between the rooms. Still, this was motivation to make the change. I figure if I can spend the first half of the night baby free and in my own bed, then I am willing to put in the effort the second half of the night. Last night was our first night of explaining to Gwen her room is now the 'kids room', and Graham is going to sleep in there in his bed, and she is going to sleep in there in her bed. I put Graham down for the night on his futon. We each read a story to Gwen in the living room, and then I brought Gwen in to her room and thought I would sit with her until she fell asleep (mainly so she wouldn't harass sleeping Graham). It took her an hour and a half to go to sleep! At one point Graham woke up and we all were in kids room: Spencer laying on the floor next to Gwen's toddler bed, me laying on the futon with Graham and we both stayed until both kids were asleep. At 10:30pm we emerged from their bedroom exhausted, but too upset to sleep (it was extremely frustrating trying to 'make' someone sleep- like watching a pot boil, but worse since you don't really know when it is going to do what you want and need it to do) much for our evening. Jury is still out on whether or not the effort is worth it, but it seems like the right thing to do, have the kids in their room, and the parents in their room. Last night Graham slept until 1:30am (which again, is an improvement). When I went in to nurse him, Gwen crawled into bed with us, telling me to move over to make room and give her a pillow. I found myself smashed between two sleeping babies, and god forbid I wake either up trying to escape, so I slept the night on the Twin size futon. *This photo is in our bed after a strange afternoon when they both woke up early from their naps, but went back to sleep after a nice cuddle with Mama.