Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy 2012!

Every year I proclaim it to be the best year of my life.  The truth is, they just keep getting better!

Here is a look at our 2011 in photographs...
{the year of babies!}

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Friday, December 30, 2011

Beauties

Great Grandma June meeting Hadley June for the first time...

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I do believe it was love at first sight for both Ma & June Bug!

A Magical Christmas!

Christmas 2011 was my favorite one, yet!

We had a wonderful time teaching Kherington about Christmas, singing 'Happy Birthday' to Jesus, and starting our own traditions. It doesn't get any better than family, food, and Faith!

We had Skip's side of the family at the ranch on Christmas Eve and mine over on Christmas afternoon.

The girls were thoroughly spoiled and loved upon! Kherington got a fort from Santa (with help from a handy Daddy, a sewing Sissy, and pinterest!).  She got a bouncy horse from Pops & DeDe and an art easel from Sissy & Tai-Pan. Hadley got a baby doll and a monitor for her room. All six cousins were also OVERJOYED to learn that we get to embark on a Disney Cruise this summer!!! Happy, lucky girls are these!

My good camera AND my back-up camera got very sick on Christmas Eve and quit on me. I almost cried.  So most of our Christmas is on video and a few shots with my point-and-shoot and {gasp!} a flash! But they captured some pretty special memories, nonetheless.

Emmanuel! Joy to the World!


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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

"Muntz-Muntz"

Dear Kherington,

One day I woke up and we were actually communicating.

I hear you call "Mama" from your crib and I go get you and ask if you slept okay. "Yes," you reply, "weet dareams." (sweet dreams)  I ask what you want for breakfast and you say "Hilk. Pahcays. Peas." (milk and pancakes please)

But before we leave your room you say "Poop! die-bah."  You don't really have poop, but you do need a diaper. I change you and you demand "muntz-muntz! bay-bee!"  You want your monkey and your baby doll out of the crib so that they can accompany you to breakfast.

This continues all day.  You can tell me exactly what you want (and don't want!). We have mini conversations. You learn a new word after I use it once. You mimick sayings and slang that we use without realizing it. It is amazing.

Your vocabulary is incredible and your pronunciation is getting better.  So is my toddlerese.

But there are still many words that you mispronounce.  I find them adorable and I know they won't last long. So, I want to preserve them...

Your precious monkey lovey is either "muntz-muntz" or just shortened to the sound a monkey makes, "mmm-mmm."

My favorite word to hear you say is your name. "Kerry-tin" in a tiny, sweet voice as you nod and point to your chest or to a photo of yourself. Love it.

Your favorite food right now is "potsa!"  You ask for pizza at least once a day.  Followed closely by "CUH-cakes" and "CHOC-let."  I never seem to understand when you ask for "so-real," so you sign "cereal" and point to the box.

You often ask to "cor", "pay," or watch "tee-tee." (color, play, t.v.) In the car you ask for music by whining for "NATCH!"  (?!?)
You used to say milk just fine... but one day it was shortened to "ilk," and now it has become "hilk." Daddy and I try to correct this and it just makes you thirsty!

When we ask you to do something (and you aren't in the middle of a tantrum), you say "Sure!" or "OKAY!"

Your "thank you" sounds like "nunk nun."

At bedtime you can't wait to put on your "ajamas!" When we tell you that we love you, you answer "uv, too!"  Sometimes all on your own you give a hug and say "much!" which comes from me telling you that I love you so much.

I know someday I may wish you had a mute button, but for now I'm loving each and every word.

You're precious, kiddo.

Love, Mama

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Parent Potty Training

Thanks for participating in the Potty Jotty Giveaway!

Reading your stories was great fun... come over sometime and write them in my Potty Jotty, 'kay?

Random.org picked a number 1-39 and it was 6!

Our winner is Lindsey! Please check your email so we can get your address and get it shipped to you.

Only a few of you correctly guessed why my urine smells like maple syrup.  Fenugreek is right!  I'm taking a galactagogue to keep my milk supply up because I got nervous that my iud would hurt it.  All is well with the supply, but Hadley and I both smell like pancakes.

While we are on the topic of bathrooms (since it really doesn't come up very often), I had some more thoughts.  Using public restrooms with baby in tow is quite an adventure. Am I right?  They don't teach you about that in childbirth class or in What to Expect When You Don't Have the Happiest Baby on the Block... or whatever.

They tell you all about sleepless nights and teething, but NOBODY mentions public restrooms or changing crib sheets.  Or else population growth might come to a skidding halt.

I remember one of my first times out in public after Kherington was born.  I went to a bathroom stall in the mall to nurse her.  I got over THAT quickly!  Now I'll whip it out anywhere.  If you wouldn't eat in a bathroom, don't expect my baby to.

But back to my point... you enter the bathroom and you have to pee.  No problem if you have a stoller or carseat... unless you come out of the big stall to a handicapped person staring you down.  But if you are a baby wearer like me, you face the old hoveroverthetoiletwhilebalancingthebaby problem.  It took me awhile to learn to lift the baby in the carrier, pull down the maternity jeans I probably shouldn't be wearing anymore, hover, pee, change any needed femine products, wipe, stand, flush, pull up jeans, pull down tank, shove nursing pads back into place, lower sleeping baby back into position, and truimphantly exit the stall.

So now baby needs a change.  See a diaper changing table? Score.  Pull the rickety thing down, grab changing pad from diaper bag because they are out of the disposable ones, grab diaper and wipes with one hand while holding onto baby with the other, do your business, endure the little old lady that must touch baby and ask mundane questions, change the baby into the spare clothes (that are a little too small) because she had a blowout, wrap the dirty diaper and toss in trash, balance baby while you wash your hands, and done!

Not too bad as long as long you don't run out of wipes.  One time I left my 4 week old that can't roll over and was firmly strapped into the changer for about 10 seconds to wet some toilet paper and I had to endure a five minute lecture from a librarian. {sigh}

And if there is no changing table? and no room on the wash counter?  I quickly learned to sit on the pot and change the baby on my lap and I was pretty sure that made me a superhero.

And then that baby became a toddler. You enter the bathroom and before you can so much as unsnap your jeans, that toddler has reached into the trashbin just to see what is inside, rolled around on the bathroom floor because you asked her to stop touching the trash, and licked the toilet bowl rim just because she could.  Well, maybe not that last one... but she always tries to touch it and isn't that almost the same thing?!

When she isn't accumulating as many germs as humanly possible, she is looking under the stalls at other people and then clapping for me and saying "Mama, poop, potty!"  {sigh}

And if I try and change her diaper, she flops all over the changing table, unbuckles herself out of it, reaches down to "help" when I wipe, and gives me about a 2 second grace period to complete any necessary snaps, buttons, or zips.  And we aren't even to potty training yet. {sigh}

THEN... I go and have another infant and try to take them both to the bathroom at the same time.  I can do it now, because I am in fact a super hero.  But I'm not giving away my secrets, I think the public restroom experience is a parenting right of passage and you'll have to pay your own dues.

I'll just say THANK GOD for "Family Restrooms" that have those toddler seats with chains (okay, straps) and purse hooks and changing tables and nobody to judge you while you complete your circus act!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Potty Jotty Giveaway!

My urine smells like maple syrup.

No joke.



But there are a lot of toilet-related jokes out there.

Because potty-related things are funny.  Just ask a three year old.

Everyone has a toilet story. I know adults that have wet the bed after a night of drinking, potty-training children that have carried their accomplishment into the living room to show Mommy, and women that have laughed just a little too hard, if you know what I mean!

Someone I know very well has peed in a hotel room and it wasn't anywhere near the jet-engine powered toilet bowl.

I've already fessed up to falling asleep on the pot. And there's the mysterious fact that two months ago my bladder couldn't hold a rain drop and now it can hold a small swimming pool without my realizing it.

Yes, everyone has a call of nature story.

But the funniest potty humor I've seen in a long time is The Potty Jotty.



This clever book was put together by a friend of mine and it had me in stitches!

The Potty Jotty is a journal for the guest bathroom. A water closet guest book, if you will.

With humorous bathroom jokes and photos already in it, guests will be entertained.  But the real purpose is for them to leave comments, stories, doodles, and even ratings of their pit stop that will make everyone that comes after them laugh so hard they piss their pants.



I love this clever idea and can't wait to see what my friends write when they are pontificating on the porcelain throne. (and wondering why my powder room smells like ihop)

And for this time of year, I know The Potty Jotty would make the perfect "White Elephant" gift.  Everyone will be talking about it! AND they will actually want it! (and we all know that is rare in a gift exchange!)



So... you, my lovely readers (hi grandma!), get a chance to win one!  The contest ends Thursday 12/15 at 3pm Central and the book will ship right away!  I'll choose a winner with random.org.

To enter, leave a comment for each entry you qualify for. Be sure to include an email address so I can contact you about your victorious win!

And for you losers, well, maybe you want to order your own Potty Jotty here!

POSSIBLE ENTRIES:
1. One entry for telling me a potty-related story. I know you have one, but make it up if you have to.
2. One entry if you are or become a follower of this (awesome) blog
3. One entry if this is the first time you've ever commented on this (incredible) blog
4. One entry if you tell others about this contest via facebook, twitter, or email
5. One entry if you correctly guess why my urine smells like maple syrup

So... five possible entries!  GOOD LUCK!

As for me, I've gotta go see a man about a horse...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Two Months

Hadley, you are two months old today!

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At two months:

You weigh 10 lb 15 oz

You are about 22 in

You typically sleep a 6.5 hour stretch at night and then nurse every 3 hours

You smile some, especially when Kherington is in your face

You love lights and watching the world

You still get really gassy

You hold your head up and "sit" up well

You grasp things in your fist

You love vibration

You enjoy baths and kicking nude in front of the heater afterwards

You are an awesome baby!

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Friday, December 2, 2011

From My Front Porch...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

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Kherington loved hanging the shatter-proof "balls" on the tree. She tested the shatter resistance a few times. We also hung bells down low to alert us to any miscreant toddlers. or dogs. or cats.

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She loved reaching up high with Daddy to top our 9 foot tree.

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Our big girl is in the Christmas spirit!

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And Hadley slept through it all.  :-)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Baby Weight

I finally got the "okay" to work out again.

You know, in my spare time.

Everyone is trying to lose weight this time of year, after the Thanksgiving gorge and before the New Year's Resolution craze.

I've seen some of my friends on facebook post a mantra to help them reach their weight loss goals... "Nothing tastes better than skinny feels."



The only problem with that?



It is complete and utter bull$hit.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Day


Happy Thanksgiving from my little turkey!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Photographic Proof

According to my daughter, this is "Kerry-tin!"

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And this is "Sisser!"

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Both Mama. This perplexes her to no end.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Parenting "Fails"

Both girls were with me and I was volunteering in the church nursery during Sunday service.  Kids ran happily about.

Kherington, of course, gravitated to the baby dolls. 

She was playing with a little boy doll, mimicking everything I do with my baby. She was changing his diaper, kissing him on the forehead and "shhh-ing" him.  The other nursery workers thought it was adorable.

Then she climbed up into a rocking chair with him and lifted up her dress as high as she could with one arm.  Then she placed the baby boy face first into her diaper.

!!!

I knew she was breastfeeding and just couldn't lift her dress high enough.

But they might not ask me to work in the nursery anymore.

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Hadley often gets gassy and really uncomfortable just before bedtime.  Her doctor recommended bouncers with vibration and even a vibration system for her crib.

It is a really handy little system that goes under the mattress and runs for 20 minutes until baby dozes off. You can buy them online.

But don't google "crib vibrator."

I got less than favorable results.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Soundtrack of Love

In the middle of 2009, I heard the words I'd been longing to hear... "You're pregnant!" And I cried tears of joy. (immense joy after two miscarriages and two long years)

Two nerve-wracking weeks later I heard a sound that would forever change my life... a healthy, thriving heartbeat from deep in my womb.

A few glowing months later, I heard the surprising words "it's a girl!" and they rocked my world.

4,000 tiny kicks later, another sound stole my heart... I heard my firstborn cry for the first time and my heart nearly exploded with joy and pride and immeasurable gratitude.

When her cheeks were round and chubby and her breath was milky sweet, tiny giggles filled our home and my cheerful heart giggled along.

Shortly before her first Christmas, this daughter of mine made another memorable sound. She called me "Mama" for the first time and I didn't think I'd ever hear anything more beautiful.

But I was wrong.

Today I dropped Kherington off at church and she gave me a big hug said "LUH BOO!"

Which translates to "I love you."

She said it all on her own and I thought I'd die of extreme happiness right then and there.

That is pure love.

And I felt pure joy. Bawling in the church day care with those tiny arms wrapped around my neck

This life is making the most precious kind of symphony.

I'm listening.

And I LUH BOO, too, Kherington.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cloth Diapering * An Update

I've been cloth diapering (part time) now for almost two years.  Remember this cloth diaper review and this post and this one with some useful information?

Well, now that Kherington is about to potty train (hip hip hooray!) and Hadley will soon be starting cloth, I figured I should update some of my previous posts.  Preferences change as babies grow and as you find your cloth diapering groove.

So, without further ado... my number one, go-to diaper is the bumGenius 3.0 OS AIO. (one size all in one)  It is discontinued... go figure.  I also really like the new 4.0 AIO, but even at the largest setting, the fit is a bit snugger on my chunky gal.

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Cute model, right?  Workin' that cat walk.

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"Um, Mom? How many photos are you going to take?!"

I love this diaper because it is easy and reliable.  It comes with the perfect amount of absorption already sewn in. Thats right, NO STUFFING.  Of course, if you want to add more liners (for overnight or heavy wetters), you can.  But for everyday use, normal wetters don't need any stuffing!

Like a disposable diaper you slide it under the bottom and velcro it on.

That's all.

Great fit. Well made. Comfortable. Has never leaked.  I repeat... NEVER LEAKED!

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We heart our bumGenius diapers.

In close second are gDiapers.  A little more fuss... but they are great diapers, good for the environment (I like the disposable liners that biodegrade or compost quickly), and cute!

I have several other brands like Fuzzi Bunz, Blueberry, and some fitteds. I use them all, but the BG 3.0 AIO is my favorite.

A few things more things you might want to know if you are considering cloth diapering:

I used to prefer snaps on my diapers, now I am hook & loop all the way. (my only exception is thirsties brand, they always popped open) They work just like a disposable diaper and stretch for a perfect fit.

I use Rockin Green Cloth Diaper Detergent or All Free & Clear.  I dry in the sun anytime I can. Works magic.

You are "supposed" to wash cloth diapers every other day... but I've often gone 4 days and had zero problems. They don't stink in my pail and they wash up perfectly.

It isn't necessary, but a diaper sprayer attached to your toilet is worth every penny!

I purchased most of my diapers online.  But if I did it all over again, I would look for packages of 8-10 sold in bulk. (after I was sure I liked that diaper!)  Even better... I would buy used.  It might sound icky... but diapers that are well cared for easily last through more than one child.  If it doesn't gross you out, look around for used diapers in good condition.  bumGenius even sells refresher kits for used diapers in case you want to replace the velcro tabs.

My girls still wear disposable diapers, too.  When Kherington was born I tried most every brand out there.  But I never tried Luvs... thinking they were cheap and wouldn't work well.  I was so wrong, now I love them!  They are one of the most affordable options and I have never had a problem with them.

When I buy disposables, I use Amazon Mom.  You can subscribe for automatic deliveries with free shipping, and they end up cheaper than HEB, Wal-Mart, Diapers.com, and Costco!  Plus... you can cancel anytime, change your diaper selection/size, add or skip a delivery, change your delivery intervals, etc with no problems.  So easy. And more room in your shopping cart.

So... that's my take on diapers.  Do you cloth diaper? What are your favorites? Your tricks and advice?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Acting Your Age

Dear Kherington,

We might not have reached your birthday yet, but you sure are acting two!

Every day holds a new adventure... tantrums, mood swings, testing your boundaries, ignoring us completely, stubborness, etc.

My first approach to discipline is positive reinforcement and setting a good example.  Even at your young age, I believe in calmly explaining why you should or shouldn't do something. It usually works.  You are a smart girl.

I believe in trying to limit the number of times a day that I say "No." I honestly think this might mean I have a toddler that says "no" back less often.  Plus, I'd rather explain proper behavior than be a fountain of negativity.

I also believe in giving you a safe play environment where you aren't temped into too much trouble.

But when all else fails, we try other methods.  Time out, however, has been a huge bust.  Um... you like it!  I can't threaten you with it to stop a bad behavior because you will just dash happily over to your time out chair and grin at me.

My Mama-is-serious-I'm-about-to-get-mad face and tone of voice have no affect on you whatsoever. (I don't get it, Daddy says I'm good at angry faces)

I've popped you on the bottom, but I guess the diaper padded it so much that you looked at me like I'd tickled you.

Taking away toys or priveledges isn't working.  Even bribery isn't working.

We are all learning as we go. Someday we will both laugh at all this.

But I might lose my mind if I can't get you to STAY OUT OF HADLEY'S BABY SWING!

It seems far too often I have to say "Kherington, I asked you not to touch Mama's camera." "No! Don't put a blanket on Hadley's face."  "I wish you wouldn't stand on the kitchen table." "Kherington, be careful not to jump on your sister." "Please don't spill your milk on purpose." "No you cannot have 6 oreos for breakfast."  and on and on.

I want to teach you right from wrong and raise a well-behaved, respectful child.  But I don't like having to police you every second.

So I am extremely grateful that we live on this ranch and that you love to be outside.

We head out the door and immediately you are the boss.

"Sit!" you command, pointing at my rocking chair on the porch.

I do, and you play.

Oh, do you play!

We have a wide open space for you to run without danger.  We have animals to pet, acreage to explore, sunshine to soak up.

I can keep an eye on you without holding you back. 

I can say "Yes!"  "Go! See! Do!" "Yes, KherBear, enjoy your adventure."

Plus, the puppies keep you company.

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I love getting to tell you "yes!" and letting you run free.  All children should get to run free now and then.

I love you & your free spirit (even when you act two), Mama

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