October 27, 2006
Any parent who pays any attention to
anything written about parenting anywhere has heard
ad-nauseum how important consistency is. It's such a
simple concept - do what you say you're going to do
and respond to behavior in consistent ways so that your
children can make decisions based on the response they
wish to get from you. If it were so simple, there wouldn't
be a new parenting book or article with this same theme
out every month or so. In practice, it's NOT SIMPLE!
For example, I say to Serena, "It's
time to eat dinner." She says, "I'm not hungry."
I say, "Okay, then shall I put away your dinner?"
"No!", she says. So I leave it out for a bit.
She says, "Have some ice cream?" and I say,
"If you are hungry, you need to eat some dinner
first." So I portion off some of her pasta and
say, "Eat this much, then you can have ice cream."
(already not what I "planned" around eating
- giving food rewards for eating) I can see she's about
to have an irrational response to the "denial"
of her request for ice cream. My body tenses. If she
goes into a tantrum, the after-effects will likely linger
into bedtime, which means more struggle for the rest
of the night. I just want to enjoy our evening together...
I hear myself say, "Okay, have two bites of pasta
and then you can have ice cream." Huh?! I KNOW
I'm supposed to stick to my original offer. I KNOW it!
But this "foot in the door" technique is so
compelling and often works since two bites is much easier
to agree to than a whole portion of the plate (after
all, it is a very useful sales communication tool!)
and, I say to myself, ice cream does have calcium...
Jim left for LA this afternoon. One
of his closest friends is having a 40th birthday party
(Happy Birthday, Pete!) on Saturday. I know people all
over the world single-parent full-time and even more
have partners that travel at least occasionally. We,
however, do not travel without the whoe crew, as a general
lifestyle choice. Therefore, I'm a bit nervous about
being solo for almost 48 hours. Hee hee - sounds silly.
So far, girls are happily park-played, fed, bathed,
and seemingly asleep. The trick y part comes in the
middle of the night when they both wake up requesting
me at the same time...
October 26, 2006
Annika climbed to the top of the stairs
today. She only began to pull herself up just before
we left for Ohio. Uh-oh - she's jammin'!
September 26, 2006
Serena picked up Jim's asprin and said,
"This is for when Daddy has a head egg."
We've had such trouble with sleep lately,
for both girls. Today Serena just didn't seem tired
and said she didn't want to take a nap. This, after
we did the whole nap routine and she hung out in her
room for a while. Last night she went to bed around
9:40 (we started the routine at a usual 7:30pm-ish time.)
She just doesn't seem to be tired. She's amped up and
excited. So, we thought maybe her naps were interfering
with her ability to go to sleep at night. We decided
to let her skip nap today and see how it effected her
and her bedtime routine.
September 25, 2006
Serena's favorite color to color with
Every verbal error is noted - and corrected
where appropriate - by Serena. I thought that was learned,
but did I already teach her that? She says, "You
said ___! ha ha ha."
Serious sleep mayhem at our house...
September 19, 2006
Annika isn't just a happy baby - she's
a blissful baby. She is continually poised for the next
opportunity to laugh or smile. Really, that's what strikes
me about her more than any other thing every day. Since
I believe that basic personality traits are genetic,
I am really thrilled for her that she seems to have
this propensity. And I am so happy for us because she
really makes us smile often. She makes the random stranger
smile, even when they don't intend to.
Reading this latest update, I am struck
by the large number of "cute" stories and
happy, frollicky tone. I imagine it could seem like
one of those annoying Christmas letters where everyone
got raises, bought fancy houses and their kids were
on the honor roll. I even looked around for ways to
tone it down and maybe balance the stories with some
more difficult moments from the last weeks. But you
know what, I'm not going to do it! Because this is a
blessed life we live and these stories occured to me
this way and how lucky am I to feel like sharing this
stuff - and even more lucky to have you out there caring
enough about us to read this! So, you may need a glass
of water after the sweetness of this update. Drink up!
September 17, 2006
is crawling!! Check it out!
September 16, 2006
Serena and I have something of a Saturday
morning ritual of garage sale shopping for a few hours,
while Annika naps. As we were preparing to leave this
morning, Jim was in putting Annika down for her nap.
Serena called out (to the closed door), "I love
you Daddy!" and blew him a kiss. Then (as we were
still gathering up five minutes later, she called out
to the door, "Bye, Djjim (Jim)! I love you, Djjim!"
We really have a fun time garage saling.
We've found some amazing bargains on toys and books
both girls have enjoyed. We, of course, also take home
the random junky or silly little toy (like the strange,
hulky, brown creature-guy that Serena found at a garage
sale that just didn't have anything else fun for kids.
It's hard to leave a sale empty handed!) but the cost
is so low that it's worth the sheer entertainment for
the morning to spend a quarter then pass the item along
to goodwill when it goes unused. The bulk of the thrill
is in driving around talking about finding "the
next spot" and discussing what we might see there.
Or, in Serena's case, what kind of shoes she might get
to try on there.
September 15, 2006
Annika is 9 months old today!
Serena is 2 years and 3.5 months old.
During dinner tonight, Serena said,
"Listen to some music?" I said, "What
kind of music would you like to listen to?" She
said, "Country Restroom music?"
September 14, 2006
Papa was duly impressed with my down-home
cardboard box kitchen. Then he said, "Why don't
I buy them a real one?" (Go Papa!!) Guess what
I said... "OKAY!!!" I was so excited that
I called every store in Bend the next morning and it
was ordered that day. Unfortunately, it didn't arrive
while Papa was here (we don't have a big box toy store
here that stocks this kind of item) but Serena sure
is LOVING it.
She walked downstairs this morning and
said, somewhat casually but with intrigue, "I got
a new kitchen." She then began cooking pizza and
making a smoothie. Later, as she walked by it again,
she said, "I love my new kitchen!" She has
asked, "Where is my blue kitchen?" a few times
but seems totally fine with the vague, "We moved
it so we could put your new kitchen here."
September 12, 2006
Annika is a FISH in human form. Check
out her swimming on the first day of swim class.
Serena is the talk of her swim class,
dunking about every two minutes or so. She's also the
only one at her swim level who insists on goggles. No
one can tell us Francos that we don't know what's cool.
September 11, 2006
Happy Birthday, Uncle Frannie!
(I've called - where ARE you?!)
Serena on the climbing wall at the "Singer
Center Park" (Senior Center Park.)
This spider (remember this spider, NJ?!!
It's STILL here!) has taken up residence in a pine tree
that is very near our living room sliding door and right
next to our patio table. I wish I had something to give
it perspective in this picture. It's about the size
of a silver dollar - REALLY!
As we were making the pilgrimage upstairs
for Serena's bath tonight she dropped something on the
kitchen floor. After taking a moment to scan the tiles
she said, "The cleaning people have to clean our
house. Because it's dirty." Um, thanks.
It's strange to write the date, "September
11". In light of the events of September 11, 2001,
any fun, lighthearted family stories seem inappropriate..
I feel a sense of dishonoring for attending to them,
when so many families similar to ours were shattered
on that horrible day. And yet, they are real, these
mundane daily occurences - even on a day represented
by such horrendous memories. It is impossible to reconcile
the two coexisting realities.
September 10, 2006
Happy Birthday, Aim!
"I have on Daddy's sock!"
Notice that Annika is totally unaffected. She think
this is just what wearing socks looks like.
September 8, 2006
Scout has taken much more quickly to
Annika than she did to Serena. It's like she gets the
drill now. Here, Annika and Scout are doing a little
"bonding". Scout still has significant personal
space boundaries when it comes to the girls.
September 7, 2006
Papa reads in funny voices. "You're
September 6, 2006
The Purely O's have made their debut
into Annika's diet, much to her delight.
We went to Jitterbeans today. It's a
kid-cafe, meaning they have a huge play area with tables,
couches, chairs scattered around the perimeter for parents
to drink their lattes while they watch the kids play.
It was fun, but I have to say that the snacks left much
to be desired. They're new, so I'll give them some time
to pull together a menu before I write them off. Anyway,
we met Grant and Lydia there and the kids had great
Serena was particularly taken with the
two baby dolls. She was carrying them around everywhere,
letting them try the various toys. A little girl, probably
6 months to a year older than (and 10 pounds bigger
) Serena came up and took one of the dolls. As usual,
Serena just said, "I am playing with that doll."
but didn't yank it back from the girl. The girl's mom
came up and told her to give the doll back to Serena,
which caused great sorrow and anger to rise in the girl.
She started crying in frustration. Serena watched for
a minute then went to get another doll and handed it
to the crying girl, "Here." She said, "Would
you like to play wtih this doll? Maybe it will feel
better." Blessed little sweet soul. It both fills
and breaks my heart to see her interact sometimes. I
literally swell with pride and happiness that she is
such a sensitive person, but I also feel a bit afraid
for how that will be harder for her at times when others
just don't have that same sensitivity.
Annika, even in her immobile state,
had a lovely time flopped out in various areas and watching
all the kids go haywire in the big, giant room. Here
she is sort of playing with Grant on a mat. As Grant's
going to have a baby sister in about three and a half
months, this is good practice for him.
Serena and Grant climbing the slide
from both sides.
September 5, 2006
Annika is getting all over the place,
mysteriously. It's some kind of roll-scoot thing, but
it's very stealth. I never actually see her moving...
A commitment to exploration and experimentation
is risky. I really try to see from Serena's perspective
whenever possible and allow a sense of abundance. This
often means letting her do things that might not seem
like a great idea at first. For example, this evening
Serena wanted to stand on one of her toys, which would
most likely break if she did so. She would very possibly
get hurt in the process, as well as damaging the toy.
So, I said, "No, you can't stand on that. It will
break. But we can find something else for you to stand
on..." and I looked all around for something more
suitable for climbing. The closest thing that looked
reasonable was her tub of large lego-like building blocks.
I said, "You can stand on this." I pulled
it over to the table where I was sitting and I held
her hand while she climbed up. I admit I was a little
nervous; it didn't seem ideal. But, I wanted to encourage
the climbing urge. As you might guess, it didn't go
as I hoped. The bin slid and Serena went hurling toward
the floor. Fortunately, I had her hand and I was able
to stop her from actually hitting the floor. She was
very scared and I have to say, it was particularly painful
to know that she was scared by something that I actually
designed for her to do. She puts her trust in me and
it's really hard when I make a mistake.
September 4, 2006
We were on our way out the door when
Serena decided that Piglet needed a new diaper. She
took out some wipes, wiped Piglet's bottom and layed
out a diaper for Piglet. Jim and I stood with our mouths
agape, watching her go through a whole ritual that we
do with her all the time but we've never realized she
even notices. She tried for a few moments to see how
that way-too-big diaper would get wrapped just around
Piglet's bottom. When it was clearly a virtually impossible
goal, she moved on to getting in the car for our trip
"I'll feed Annika." "Here
you go, Annika!" "Is that good, Annika? Are
you a hungry guurrl, Annika?"
September 2, 2006
Learning to "drink" from a
Serena and a loaf of bread.
September 1, 2006
Papa arrived today!
Recreating the bond with Papa after
a significant absence.
Recreating the bond with Papa after
a significant absence.
August 30, 2006
As Serena was navigating our back deck
stairs this morning I said, "Good work, Serena."
She said, "Are you very proud of me, Mama?"
Driving home from shopping tonight,
alone, I heard a song called "I
Loved Her First" by Heartland. It's a father
singing to his daughter's new husband on their wedding
day. He describes the intensity of his emotion for giving
away his daughter; while wanting her to have powerful
love in her life he is posessively holding onto his
memories of the primary and precious love that he and
his daughter have shared since she was born. This whole
topic touches me in so many ways - as a mom, as a daughter,
as a wife... all at the same time. It's intense. And
it visits me often, this incredible consciousness of
the amount and complexity of the love I feel for Serena
and Annika. The singer of the song says, "I prayed
that she'd find you some day, but it's still hard to
give her away" and I just SO get it what he's saying!
I can imagine it's a bit different Father to Daughter,
but for me as their mom, I can feel this intense desire
to give them the whole entire world, set them FREE to
explore and discover - who they are and what's out there
for them. At the same time, I want to be there to hug
them congratulations, encourage them through tough or
uncertain spots, and hold them really tight when they
are hurting in hopes of easing the inevitable pains
of life even just a little. When I say I want to be
"right there", I mean really RIGHT THERE -
at their side. I know that's not the way you let them
go. I know they will need to get away from us, in some
ways, to find themselves completely. But really, I can't
imagine how you "let them go". My dad said
to me once (maybe even twice, but I try to block it
out - sorry, Dad!), "From the day they are born,
honey, your job is letting them go." Ugh! Really?
That feels, literally, impossible.
This feeling about the girls has brought
a new consciousness for me around my relationship with
Jim's mom and my own parents. My dad has always told
me that the only way I can know how he feels about us
kids, is to have my own. I thought I could know intellectually.
After all, I have loved some pretty amazing kids in
my life before I had my own. Whoa, I had no idea! He
was right. How do you not retain this feeling of protection
about your kids as they grow up? The feeling that has
your hair stand on end when you see even a nonverbal
negative reaction from someone else to something that
your childs has done or said. How do you let a new person
- someone who only comes in twenty or thirty years into
the game (like a boyfriend, wife, husband) - take the
primary spot next to your baby? So many times I think
about this as I notice Jim's mom deferring to my relationship
with Jim. Does it break your heart to lose that primary
influence/partnership spot in your child's life? Or,
by that time, does it feel good and right to hand it
over? I suppose it must be more the second, but it's
hard for me to imagine that at this point. Possibly
because I am still so enamored with the process and
gift of getting to know these amazing human beings.
No way would I want to share that intimately with anyone
else, except for their dad.
After Serena gave Annika her kiss "and
a hugga!" good night this evening, she said, "I
love you, Annika."
August 29, 2006
Tonight during dinner, I went looking
for Serena (she has a tendency to "travel"
during dinner - Grammy calls it a "progressive
dinner"). She was dancing at the top of the stairs
by herself, naked, singing "Head Shoulders Knees
When Serena is feeling overwhelmed with
emotions and she can't stop herself from whining/crying,
she says, "Just cry for one minute?" I think
this started because soon after she turned two, she
began these really random crying sessions and I couldn't
understand what was causing them. When I realized that
she was just having more intense emotions than she knew
what to do with right then, I'd say, "Do you just
feel like crying? Okay, you can cry if you want to."
When it got unbearably long on the whining/crying, I'd
say, "Okay, you can cry for one more minute. I'll
set the timer." I'd set the timer "in my mind"
and when the timer went off ("beep! beep! beep!"),
she'd miraculously stop crying and talk completely normal.
Well, many times. Not EVERY time. But it has been useful.
In fact, I have no idea what we'd do without the timer.
A sampling of timer setting circumstances: diaper change,
get out of bed, get in car seat, get out of car seat,
get dressed, eat lunch, turn off Clifford video, go
for a walk, go home from a walk, play at the playground,
wash hands, stop washing hands... Timer gets set at
least 25 times per day. Minimum.
August 28, 2006
Serena is two years and three months old
Annika is eight and a half months old
While we were on a walk this morning
and Serena and Annika were in their stroller, Serena
said (unsolicited), "I love you, Mama."
Annika has been such a great sleeper,
overall. We've had a few rough periods back a few months,
but generally she sleeps long and goes to sleep peacefully.
I have been very grateful for that. In the last few
weeks, however, she has started waking up more frequently
and wanting to nurse. I can tell we are, right now,
building those habits that were so traumatic for us
to break with Serena. So, we're trying to take care
of it early. Here's what we've been doing: She nureses
at 6:15ish and goes to bed. If she wakes before 9, Jim
goes in... Nurse one more time around 10 or 11pm (whenever
she wakes), then Jim takes care of her the rest of the
night. At 5am or after, I'll nurse her again... Last
night, two wake-ups and Jim didn't even have to go in!
She found her way back to sleep!
Usually you can hear Serena chatting
or singing wherever she is in the house. When I can't
hear her, I usually find her sitting in one of the rooms
reading one of her randomly scattered-throughout-the-house
books. She'll say, "I'm right HERE, Mama!"
August 27, 2006
"I'll show you how to do it, Annika."
Serena's latest craze is DANCING. See
her moves live here.
August 26, 2006
We went to the Juniper Center activity
pool with Maya, Brian and Dean & Lydia, Grant and
Lydia's mom today.
August 22, 2006
Annika's getting so strong. Sitting
up, starting to lean forward toward crawling, LOVES
to stand while you hold her hands. It feels like it
all happens so fast (and sometimes it simultaneously
feels like it's taking a long time... how is that?)
"I'm RUNNING!" (pre-hike energy
burst) We hiked on the Deschutes River Trail this morning.
The plan was to get out of the house right when the
girls woke, nice and early, so we'd be back in time
for Annika's nap. Serena, of course, slept until 7:40
then we took about 40 minutes to get ready (it's our
curse, disorganization) so we were starting just about
at Annika's nap time. We rationalized that we hadn't
tried doing an "activity" nap in a long time
and maybe now it would work. It was silent and peaceful
on the hike and she was comfortable in her Ergo
carrier... HA! She fell asleep for 12 minutes, then
was just awake and cranky. Confirmed: Annika needs a
dark, quiet room to sleep well.
Whew! Hydration is important on these
Family hike self-portrait. (Serena's
smiling back there in the backpack, I'm sure.)
August 18, 2006
Kisses for Daddy.
August 17, 2006
Annika is making all kinds of new sounds
with hard g's, b's... and LOUD. She's finding her own
voice, for sure. I cannot wait to learn more about her.
Right now, her most striking characteristics are that
she is so smiley and makes happy sounds and she sleeps
like angel. Chats herself to sleep, wakes up having
a conversation with her little bedtime guy. She's just
I am beginning to think that the universe
is telling us not to use a babysitter. I'll tell you
more about that later, but don't let me forget! Both
babes beckon from a blessed simultaneous naptime...
August 15, 2006
Annika is Eight months old today!
We set up the crib we borrowed from
Lydia before Annika was born in Serena's room and Serena
loves sleeping in it. I had no idea how much bigger
a real crib is than the pack n' play we've been using
for Serena! (We just never thought we'd use a crib...
ha. Best laid plans.) "I'll cover you up, Annika!"
She loves to share her crib with Annika.
Annika likes to shake her head back
and forth. Serena says, "Annika is NO-ing!"
August 13, 2006
Grammy and Nancy left today. Sniff.
Sniff. We had so many fun, interesting conversations.
That's what stands out the most. Well, that, and how
much Serena loves to be with Grammy. Well, that, and
how fun it was to do cool stuff like hiking, dates nights
(!!), girls' night out, picnics, walks... okay, everything.
The bummer is, I know Serena's going to ask about them
for days and it always makes me a bit weepy-feeling.
August 12, 2006
"I don't want to stay at the picnic."
Sometimes it feels silly, the two hours
it takes to prepare and pack a picnic for the one hour
we have left to enjoy it before we have to rush home
for the next nap... But, we adventure nonetheless. Sometimes
we're just sweatier than others from the prep. And we
do usually have a lovely time during that hour we are
there at the event.
"Can I touch the butterfly?"
Serena wants to touch wildlife now,
wherever we go. It's hard to explain how mice and butterflies
don't want to be touched. We don't want her to feel
Late night thought on August 11, 2006
Many people see the dangers of living
in Central Oregon in the summertime as things like fires
and sunburn. For me, it is Kettle
Corn. We have so many festivals here and they all
serve Kettle Corn. I simply cannot resist the perfect
balance of salty and sweet found in this quasi-food.
August 11, 2006
Nancy and Jim took an eight mile hike
this morning with beautiful tranquil views of the river,
savannah, and woods - and twenty mosquitos dancing inside
There's just something about Serena's
little cute mouth!
Now Annika is hydrating.
Serena's artwork from "kid school"
at Art Station. (It's another parent-participation summer
sign up thing she went to with her Daddy twice and Grammy
once.) The bottom artwork is Matisse-inspired.
Here's how happy we look while sitting
at the bar at Marz Planetary Bistro in downtown Bend
- because it's DATE NIGHT! YA-HOW!
August 10, 2006
Today was SPA DAY!! Nancy, Norma and
I all went to Shibui
Spa and had massages then we had salads and wine
out on the patio at the spa. Nancy and I both had the
best massages of our lives! Norma says hers was really
good, but can't say it was the best ever - possibly
because I have given her a massage before :-)
August 9, 2006
Grammy and Annika, coordinated but not
She figured out how to put this on "all
by myself!" Boy is she HYDRATED now.
video, Grammy is Serena's support team for her marathon
August 8, 2006
has taken up singing. This morning's song went: "You're
too little, An-i-ka. You can't chewww that." According
to Grammy, who has heard many more songs than I have,
recent song topics include "I'm going up the stairs"
and a song about colors (or was it snacks?)
Post bath read with Grammy
August 3, 2006
The top four teeth
August 2, 2006
Serena is sick. Her first lay on the
couch and watch videos, get served drinks all day kind
of sick. She even gets to take her pacis out of her
bed onto the couch (when we got back from California
in June we decided to start using pacis only for sleep,
which she has taken to remarkably well. Though we can
tell she is appreciating more time with her pacis right
It's interesting to notice how I feel,
seeing her sick. She is sweet and surrendered, in that
way that only a fever and general not-well energy can
create. She doesn't seem terribly uncomfortable, which
is a relief. Seeing her lay there on the couch, in her
special camping bed sleeping bag thing, reminds me of
when I was sick. While it felt crummy, there was something
very safe and nurturing-feeling about my mom peeking
in on me, feeling my forehead, bringing me 7-Up and
soup. Very nostalgic.
July 30, 2006
Serena is two years and two months and
two days old
We went camping this weekend with Zoe
and Cynthia and Stuart; a much anticipated and long
awaited adventure. It was really fun for many, many
of the hours we were there. Except for the sleep...
oh my... we got virtually no sleep. The whole tent thing
was just too weird for Annika so she rolled around and
fussed all night long. I had to sleep with her latched
on to me virtually all night, which means I didn't sleep.
And, with no nap, Serena slept well at night but was
on super-high tantrum alert during the day. A living
contrast: the serene, tranquil outdoors and beautiful
surroundings - and some high stress moments of "why
did we do this to ourselves and our babies?!!"
Not sure if we'll be doing tent camping
for the next couple of years. Maybe a cabin...
Serena and Zoe did LOVE playing in their
tents. Serena got a new Winnie the Pooh air mattress/toddler
bed thing that she thought rocked! so they'd move back
and forth between each other's tents and lay in their
sleeping bags. Naive and ever-hopeful, all four of us
parents kept whispering and saying that it looked like
they might take a nap after all... Ha!
Annika has a new travel tent that I
found at a garage sale. It's really handy for prividing
shade where nature doesn't provide it. It has really
big openings so she is really with us, but just protected.
Zoe thought it was fun to take a break from the sun
at the lake and play with Annika.
Zoe brought the coolest water-toy!
Overview of our campsite at East Lakes
(after we packed most of it up.)
Guess the weather at the lake...
Check out the size of that beetle!
July 21, 2006
It started out lovely. Annika, Serena
and I went on a beautiful run at 7:30 this morning,
during which they were complete angels. They shared
books and Serena just chatted about the scenery for
50 minutes straight. After Annika's first nap, we went
to the new water park at Juniper Center. It is AMAZING!
Here's a general picture of the activity pool: (don't
look for us, this is a picture provided by the Juniper
Serena absolutely loved it. Immediately
upon arrival, she began dunking. She just dunked her
head under water, as though she has always known how
to hold her breath. So, she was very excited at her
new discovery and spent the majority of the time just
dunking in various spots and trying out her new skill.
I held Annika on my hip and she had a blast splashing
the water and watching the MANY kids playing all around.
There's also a huge waterslide and a smaller kids slide
that both don't show in this picture, but added to the
sense of excitement and fun. We had a great time for
almost an hour, then it was time to shower, have lunch
and go home for nap... you can see where this might
be going... Serena had the biggest tantrum of her life.
It lasted more than an hour. I had to carry her, Annika,
our huge bag, and the bumbo
seat (for Annika to sit it while I help Serena shower
and get ready), while Serena screams at the top of her
lungs all the way to the locker room. She screamed through
shower, stopping only once or twice to make calm and
random observations like, "There's a baby."
then onto screaming again. It's hard to see the knowing/sympathetic/not-sure-what-to-do
looks of the other moms. At least the kids will just
stop and stare and occasionally say, "What's the
matter with her?" Then we can get it out in the
open: "She's mad because she didn't want to leave
the pool." (loud enough so everyone else can hear
who might be wondering why my child is freaking out.)
Anyway, the tantrum lasted through lunch until I could
find distraction in some bubble-blowing. Then we had
a meltdown around the bubbles. By this time she's just
too tired and I know it. She went to sleep soon after
and I fought tears while I went to Starbuck's and got
a frappucino (Jim was home at this point.)
She took an extra long nap but we rode
on the edge of a tantrum at every turn this evening.
Not sure why.
Then, this evening Serena sat on her
potty and made "poops"! This is the first
ever success on the potty of any kind!
July 20, 2006
Annika has four teeth on the bottom.
On the top, the two just to the sides of the top front
teeth have just cut through and her top front teeth
are about to come in.
Serena likes to say, "What's this,
Mama?" about everything.
Serena also likes to run, jump, climb.
She's into unprecedented levels of physical activity.
Here she is at "Kid School"
(we have to distinguish between the school she goes
to a couple of times a week for two little programs
this summer, with Daddy, and the school that Mama goes
to twice a week. This way she doesn't get confused as
to why she can't go to school with me.)
July 19, 2006
Serena went to the shop with Jim this
morning. Her running commentary: "There's a white
car. We have a white car. Mama has a truck. It's a brown
truck. But we don't have a motorcycle...."
July 18, 2006
Happy Birthday, Papa!
We just experienced our most excruciating
night of parenting to date. Annika has some nasty virus
that gives her sores in her throat and a moderate fever.
She has been just a bit fussy the last few days and
we've been using Tylenol for her fevers. The first couple
of days weren't too bad. She seemed mildly uncomfortable
but she's such a trooper. We took her to the doctor
yesterday because the fever was persisting. They said
she had a virus and it would probably take a few more
days to run its course. Nothing we could do except try
to keep her comfortable with cool baths and Tylenol
as needed. All was going okay until last night. Then
suddenly, she was SCREAMING! I mean crying, screaming...
awful. I just wanted to cry right along with her, I
felt so horrible. She was doing this muffled, closed-mouthed
cry, I think to protect her throat from the pain it
would cause to do all out screaming. But she really
felt like screaming, you could just tell. Except for
a couple of 35 minute naps, she was up and crying for
about six hours straight. Finally, at 1:30am, Jim put
her in the car and it sufficiently lulled her to sleep.
He brought her home around 3am and we all slept about
four hours before Serena woke. It was really hard to
not get to sleep, but that was nothing nothing nothing
compared to the absolute angst we both felt knowing
Annika was in so much pain and there was nothing we
could do to make it better. Hopefully that was the only
painful night of sickness Annika will ever have and
the only night of total helplessness we'll feel as parents.
July 17, 2006
Happy Birthday, Uncle Aaron!
The coziest spot on Earth.
July 15, 2006
Annika is seven months old!
July 14, 2006
(This picture is misleading. Serena
looks upset while Dr. Bailie checks her ears, but she
was quite fine.)
Serena had her two-year old check up
today. We have been preparing each other for this for
the whole week, strategizing how and when we'll tell
her about her shots and what we'll do for a "treat"
afterward to lift her spirits. We realized this morning
that we weren't all going to be able to go to the appointment
because Annika would be sleeping. Both Jim and I wanted
to be there for when Serena was horribly upset about
her shot. Finally we decided that Jim would go and I
would stay home. After all, for the first seventeen
months of her life while I was nursing her, Jim wouldn't
have had the real option to comfort her because nursing
trumps all other comforts. So, it's his turn to get
to comfort her. And he does it often now. But my stomach
was all in knots as I sent them off, following the car
out of the driveway with additional brilliant ways to
communication the impending painful shot to Serena.
Jim smiling lovingly but I know wishing I'd just go
back in the house and let them get on their way.
The time comes for her shot, Jim tells
Serena she's going to get a shot, it's going to hurt
just for a few seconds then she'll get a new bandaid.
(Serena LOVES band aids) Serena says, "Uuuhhh,
Daaady..." while she gets her shot then says, "My
new band aid?" Then they went to Costco and had
pizza, chatting about her new bandaid.
Other check up news: the nurse measured
Serena incorrectly at 34.5 inches, putting her in the
45th percentile. She's actually 32.5 inches, which is
really quite a significant difference, isn't it? She
weighs 23.5 pounds - something like the 5th percentile.
Little pine nut. They say she's a chatty one for her
age. All else is looking healthy and on target.
July 13, 2006
"I'll put on Scoutie's undies!"
July 10, 2006
At 4:30 this morning, when I was changing
Annika's diaper, she said, "Mum" :-D
July 10, 2006
July 9, 2006
July 8, 2006
The stroller struggle
at the Bend Summerfest. Watertable = hours of fun.
July 7, 2006
Wearing Mama's backpack
Serena and I were having some chocolate
milk before her nap today. I cheers'ed her with my cup,
kind of hard, and she said, "GENTLE, Mama!"
Annika is the most amazing, calm, sweet,
smiley six and a half month old baby in the UNIVERSE!
Here's how she goes to sleep: take her into her room
(our walk-in closet in our bedroom), sit in the rocking
chair and nurse or cuddle for a couple of minutes (sometimes
just two minutes), kiss her and lay her in her bed,
hand her her little soft Kaloo guy (or whatever it's
called) to cuddle, turn on her running river sound machine
thing, tell her, "Have good sleeps and dreams.
I love you." and walk out. She sometimes coos and
talks for a bit, but often she turns onto her side while
I am still walking out, sticks her thumb in her mouth
and falls asleep peacefully. She usually sleeps one
and a half to two hours per nap then wakes up chatting
happily for up to fifteen minutes (more or less) until
we come pick her up. Yes, I vaguely remember some nap
trauma stuff, but it's like some fuzzy dream from way
back before I ever met this dream baby. If you asked
me now, I'd tell you that Annika has always been a fabulous
sleeper. Isn't parenting a fascinating ride of powerful
emotions, and ones you can't always trust are accurate
July 6, 2006
Oh, I know... we're sooo behind on updating
the website! So, here are the pictures. And some stories
and commentary. I'll fill more in over the next days,
so, if you like the stories and reflections (plus more
random details of what's going on with the girls), check
back over the next days to see where we've filled in...
"Just like Grammy. I'll show Graunty
Tricia." (It's always interesting to me what will
occur to her to say in a given circumstance. This just
shows you, in spite of the fact that I'M the one who
lives here full time, who she associates with cleaning
our floors... hmm. Wish I had a good argument against
Serena says, "No gank you"
for "no, thank you" and "caayyr"
Rice cereal update: Annika doesn't like
July 5, 2006
Annika's first rice cereal.
Serena's first haircut. Her hair looks
infinitely more healthy and full after this haircut.
Grammy, I keep replaying your subtle suggestions about
her hair looking fuller after a cut. Such grace you
have in handling my stubborn need to put things off
that will actually only meet my wishes better than my
current strategy (in this case, the desire for Serena
to have longer, girly kind of hair.) Although, Jim resisted
the haircut even more than me, I have to say. Of course,
he self-admittedly knows nothing about hair.
July 4, 2006
Happy Independence Day!
Serena rode in the bike trailer down
to the Pet Parade at our Fourth of July Festival downtown,
while Annika and I stayed home so she could take her
nap and I could do some homework. Jim said Serena stared
deadpan at the 5,000 or so people, dogs, birds, llamas
- well, mostly dogs - that paraded by, until a Dalmation
passed. Then she said, "Just like in our book!"
(Ten Dogs in the Window, a book she loves to read for
bed.) She got to sit in a red fire engine and stare
at a girl who wouldn't leave the backseat no matter
what her mom said to coax her. And she had two smoothies
and Taste of Thai for lunch (shared with Daddy) for
a good ole' All-American meal.
July 3, 2006
Serena: "Here's a ladybug, Mama!
I'll hold it!"
Me: (feigning calm) "Oh... that's
actually a spider. Spiders often like to be alone."
(as I ever so gently lead her hand away from clasping
onto some potentially (though unlikely, you never KNOW!)
July 1, 2006
I need to invent a divider for our jogger
stroller. We walked Pilot Butte this morning with the
girls in their stroller together and the entire time
here's what we heard, "No, Annika! That's MY book!
No Annika, that's my toy! No Annika, don't chew that!"
Really, we must have stopped our walk thirty times.
School started this week. In usual form,
I walked into the first day of class ten minutes late.
Unlike a math or history class, I have this funny feeling
that everyone is saying to themselves, "Hmmm, she's
late to class... does this mean she has an unconscious
resistance to school? Or, is she trying to show the
authority figures that they don't have power over her?"
It's hard when the world revolves around you and you
know that people in the room are spening lots of mental
energy analyzing you (hee hee.)
I can't believe I get to spend eight
hours a week having conversations about my favorite
topics (favorite next to talking about the girls, of
course.) So far, school is excellent.
June 29, 2006
We took Annika to the doctor today.
She's 15 pounds 12 ounces, 27 inches long (50th and
90th percentiles, respectively.) Her head is 43 cm,
75th percentile, which I still think is a funny measurement.
She got shots, at which she screamed for less than 30
seconds. Still, those 30 seconds break my heart every
time. I'll never get used to these shots. I'll never
get used to anything that causes pain to my babies.
The "finished" play kitchen.
I have the feeling I'll be saving my pennies to buy
a real wood one soon... I AM proud of this one and she
was so excited to see it. However, it's already starting
to sag a bit.
June 28, 2006
Serena is 25 months old... when do we
stop counting months, I wonder... feels like around
now... so, Two years and one month.
I just snuck out of Serena's room after
laying down with her on "the big bed" until
she fell asleep. She has begun taking most of her naps
on the futon bed we have set up in her room. Frankly,
I love it. It has been so long since I got to snuggle
up to her and feel her fall asleep. I have always been
a bit ambivalent about the sleeping on her own thing.
I loved sleeping with her. I love feeling that sweet,
soft, warm baby skin and hearing her surrendered breathing.
What I don't love is the amazing gymnastics she does
while she sleeps - and the fact that she doesn't stay
asleep as long when we are with her. But, I miss sleeping
We do still get to sleep with Annika
and I am soaking up every minute of it. We all sleep
good together right now (her, me and Jim). I hope it
stays that way for a long time. I still love the family
bed idea. I don't know how that plays out with Serena
not in it. It doesn't seem like that would feel right,
even if Annika was less active while sleeping. And,
it wasn't until she got older that Serena was difficult
to sleep with. So, who knows what will happen with Annika.
Right now, she is a champion sleeper all around. She
wakes pretty early, around 6, but so does Serena so
it doesn't make much difference, we're already up. She
takes a short nap around 7:30 or 8am, maybe another
little one (45 minutes to an hour), then she does this
marathon three or more hour nap in the afternoon. The
best part is, that long nap often overlaps Serena's
two hour-ish nap. This is all coming together just in
time for me to desperately need some chunks of time
for studying, since I just started school on Monday.
I have been wanting to get Serena one
of those wood play kitchens, but they are so expensive.
Plus, you just never know whether a kid is going to
play with something to make it worth the expense. So,
I started thinking of how I could make her a little
kitchen. Pretty soon, I'm designing this kitchen while
I'm running in the morning, as I'm falling asleep at
night... during any spare moment I have, I am figuring
out ways I can make a little kitchen with things we
already have. It's been really fun! So, here's what
I've got so far. I'll show a picture of the final product
in a few days. Here, we're about to paint it.
Serena pushing Annika in the swing,
at the park.
June 26, 2006
After an impromptu bath this morning
to clean up Annika (if Annika gets in, Serena gets in),
Serena and I were snuggling on our bed. Serena was wrapped
in a towel. Usually, Serena wiggles back up after thirty
seconds of snuggling and heads off to a new adventure.
This morning, she just lay there on my chest for about
five minutes straight. I can't remember the last time
she lay there so calmly on me, like that, though before
she was a year old we spent many hours in that position.
I was amazed to notice that her head rested just at
my chin at the same time that her toe nails were scratching
my knee. When did she get so long? After those sweet,
snuggly five minutes, she sat up and stared at me. "There's
Mama's boo-boobs" After a full minute of alternating
study and cuddle of them, "That's where Annika
eats milk!" I was really curious if, being so close
and having such clear access, she would attempt to nurse.
It was interesting to notice how mixed I felt about
the possibility. There is nothing essentially wrong
with her nursing. She nursed for 17 months and, if I
hadn't been about to have Annika in a few months, I
would have continued to nurse her. However, now that
she hasn't been nursing and Annika does, it felt so
strange, the thought of her nursing. She never requested
or attempted to nurse. While I would have been nervous
to have her nurse again (Would she want to go back to
it regularly? Would it feel strange to have her nurse?
Would she know how? She just seems, now, too big and
"grown up" (oh my!) to nurse, whatever that
means...), I was curious. I don't think I wish she had
tried, but I felt a bit of inexplicable sadness that
she didn't even really seem to consider it.
June 24, 2006
We came home to some baby birds in our
bird house outside our bedroom window. Can you see the
little beak sticking out? It's really precious - and,
frankly, very LOUD in the morning.
June 23, 2006
and falling over.
June 22, 2006
Happy Birthday, Auntie T!
Miles and his Papa singing a really
cute and fun song about horses. This is my favorite
part, where they say in unison, with enthusiasm, "A
really good horse!" (or something like that...)
June 21, 2006
Precious Papa face time for Annika.
Some last day of our visit snuggle time
Papa gets all the nosebumps.
Aaron and Jenn pulled together this
fantastic picnic for our visit to their house, at which
we got to see some good friends all at once. It was
so nice because it's hard to see everyone on our short
visits. This way we got to see Scott, Dee and Tristan
and Dirk, Corolla and Clara all while the kids had a
great time playing at this amazing park in Berkeley.
Mostly, Serena wanted to climb up the steep hill that
leads down into the park and then challenge herself
to run down it.
Marabee Elizabeth beautifulness.
I'll call you. You answer. We'll talk.
June 20, 2006
All-grown-up and recently graduated
cousins cuddling the babies.
We had a nice picnic with Grandma Chris
and Grandpa Ken at the coolest park today. It had this
water feature that quirted streams of water in all different
directions and little sand play areas within the water
area. It was suggestive of the beach in many ways, but
like an urban play on the benefits of the beach. As
it had to be in the nineties in temperature, even the
overcrowding of the water feature couldn't get Serena
down. She LOVED it! Of course, I loved getting to catch
up with my mom, too. She, Annika and I lounged in the
shade while Grandpa Ken took lots of photos and chatted
with Jim who was responsible for the care and safety
of Serena in the extreme sunshine.
June 19, 2006
We met our friend Dee with her kids
Briannah and Caius at this yummy burger place, Taylor's
Refresher, in the Ferry Building in San Francisco.
I highly recommend the restaurant for delicious burgers,
kid friendly outside seating and some fun Ferry Building
exploring afterward. Most, we had a really nice time
catching up with Dee as we haven't seen her since before
we left California 3.5 years ago.
No matter where we are in our travels,
seems we end up at a bookstore. When we see a bookstore,
we get excited. Isn't that funny? Even Serena just loves
it. There's something cozy and inviting about bookstores.
And this one was teeny but it had some kids books and
a great view of the bay and the ferries (which you can't
see out the window because of the lighting). So, we
made ourselves at home. We stayed long enough, and spread
out enough in their very small space, that we really
felt we should buy a book whether we wanted to or not.
Serena got, "City by the Bay", a book all
about the cool stuff in San Francisco. She has enjoyed
looking at and talking about the pictures.
June 18, 2006
Happy Father's Day!
Annika and Uncle Franny share some connection
time. Nice to meet you.
Miles works hard to keep the pool area
Here's what the cool kids do at the
pool. Katie, we can see you even when you can't see
Matt is cool, too. Too cool for the
Some of us are cool, even when we go
IN the pool.
June 17, 2006
One of the challenges of such an exciting
trip to see so many fun people is that sleep patterns
get thrown off - sometimes quite a bit. So it was a
bit of a surprise when Serena clunked out in her stroller,
and even more of a surprise that the nap lasted about
45 minutes - right on Papa's front porch!
Jim, Annika, Kyle, Madi, Sami, Serena...
We had a fun family day with T and the kids swimming
in the pool. We played tea party (fancy hairdos required),
we raced across the pool, and we did different pool
tricks (Madison had the most tricks!)
"Let's all cover each other's eyes,
June 16, 2006
We had an excellent trip to the Monterey
Bay Aquarium with JM (an extra special, longtime
friend of MIchelle's), Matt (age 10) and Emmy, (age
7) shown here with Serena. The Aquarium was a big hit
with Serena - she has incorporated it (and Matt and
Emmy) into one of her favorite bedtime stories. We also
got to see Tom (their dad), who joined us for lunch.
June 15, 2006
June 14, 2006
Annika is six months old tomorrow!
June 13, 2006
Gruncle Ted and Grauntie Jane, after
a very entertaining bit of shopping in downtown Bend,
(Ted especially loved that part) took us out for an
early dinner at Merenda. We had an excellent meal...curiously,
Michelle's halibut came with a fried egg on top of it
- a previously unknown combination to us, but then we
don't get out much these days. Serena enjoyed climbing
the stairs, and then tossing her flips over the balcony
into the main dining area. Good thing we went early!
June 12, 2006
Here's some great video
of Annika cracking up at her sister's antics.
June 11, 2006
Kiss for Nana
June 10, 2006
"Look, Lavi, there are the balloons!"
Serena, Annika and I went to Balloons
Over Bend at 6:30 this morning. Daddy missed it because
he just got home from work at 5:30am.
June 7, 2006
Happy Birthday, Auntie K! (Serena and
Annika's Auntie K, not MY Auntie K, who is my Auntie
Kathy and their GRaunty K... for the record.)
June 6, 2006
Annika is filling up mor and more of
Daddy's tummy/chest area.
June 5, 2006
This is one of the reasons we can't
imagine living anywhere else right now. This morning
I loaded the girls into their stroller first thing and
we took a beautiful 65 degree temperature walk downtown.
We had coffee (well, I had coffee), juice, a scone then
walked back through Drake Park to meet Grammy at Harmon
Park to do some swinging. Really, it was just a perfect
Annika and Daddy snuggle.
June 2, 2006
Jim has been working a lot lately. He
lost his most active, long-term employee recently. She
has been so amazing - available when we need her, very
responsible and thoughtful, totally trustworthy. We
even had Scout stay with her while we were on our last
vacation, that's how much we trust her! Anyway, while
we remain grateful to have had her, we have learned
a lesson. We need more people we can rely on so that
when one has to move on, we're not stuck with Jim sweeping
three nights a week!
Anyway, back to my story... This morning,
as Jim sleeps in the upstairs guest room, having gotten
home around 5am, I hear Serena at the top of the stairs,
outside the guest bedroom, saying "Snuggle your
daddy? Snuggle your daddy".
May 31, 2006
Someone must have sent some kind of
"How to be stereotypically TWO years old"
book to Serena for her birthday without us seeing because
she has suddenly begun some unexpected and not very
fun behaviors. I guess somehow I thought we wouldn't
experience the two's the way you hear about. Ha! Serena's
sudden and regular favorite new phrase: NO! That's mine,
Scout (or Annika)!!
The other thing I heard all day today,
at least thirty times (not exaggerating), "Mama,
HOLD YOU!!" Even when I was holding her, she'd
say it. To be fair, she did catch her finger in a drawer
and has one of those lingeringly painful skin-pull sorts
of injury. Nonetheless, I am exhausted and especially
grateful that both of my beautiful babes are in bed
for the night. Whew.
I just watched the movie Prime
with Uma Thurman and Meryl Streep. It's very funny,
I thought (in spite of some seriously mixed reviews
from the experts.)
May 30, 2006
Annika and Serena love to tumble around
together and snuggle and giggle and squeal.
Annika's first high chair sit - with
Grauntie Jeanne enjoys her first-ever
fish taco. "It wasn't bad!"
May 29, 2006
Annika is five and ahlf months old.
This light has always fascinated Annika.
I don't know what she sees in there, but when she was
just a month or two old sometimes it's the only place
we could put her down where she would be calm when she
was really upset. Intriguing - something about light...
May 28, 2006
Happy Second Birthday, Moon Pie!
We hid Serena's birthday bike in the
garage so we could "ta da" her with it when
Grammy and Grauntie Jeanne were here to share in the
fun. This morning, even before Jim was awake, I went
out to the garage to get something. I didn't realize
Serena was right behind me. She said, "Can I have
my new bike?" - just as simple and plain as if
she'd had the bike for the last year! I did some wimpy
diversion tactic that, amazingly, worked! We got to
give it to her a few hours later with everyone there
to grin and giggle as she explored her new wheels.
See, Grandma Chris, we used the blue
egg candle, just like we promised we would!
"It's a faminglo!"
"I'll have this piece!"
The birthday party kids (from left):
Parker, Zoe, Sequoia, Aurora (behind Sequoia, on her
mom, Tamantha's, lap), Grant, and Serena.
May 27, 2006
I don't know what's wrong with the camera,
but here's a fantastic visual of Serena putting on her
own "fancy lady diaper".
Serena is into photography. Here's her
artistic photo of Mama.
Check out our home-made (organic carrot
cake again this year. Hey, it's yummy - why mess with
yummy?) b'day cake for Serena's 2nd birthday.
May 25, 2006
Happy Birthday to me! I'm 35.
My cheesecake was an impeccable pairing
of Costco baking and Jim's decorating prowess.
May 24, 2006
May 23, 2006
Shopping with Grammy, Grauntie Jeanne
and Grandma Chris in Sisters, Oregon. "Can I have
Click this picture above to see a snippet
of the play dough conversation.
Grandma Chris is here. Serena is digging
getting to play play dough, read books, and just generally
chat her up.
May 22, 2006
"Look at that polar bear, Grandma
Annika's first water bottle. "I'll
feed it to her!"
May 21, 2006
"I'll read it to her!"
Surrounded by creative installations
of activity and exploration at the Children's Discovery
Museum, the first thing Serena is drawn to do is plop
down in the ladybug circle and read a book.
A big carb purchase at the Children's
Discovery Museum grocery store.
May 20, 2006
Annika is virtually sitting up! She
fell over a few minutes after this picture (the slow
motion, tipping forward kind of fall that's super-funny
to watch), but she's on her way!!
"I'll sit behind Ha-Kah!"
We painted Serena's new picnic table
today. Serena helped. As usual, I started with a bang
then fifteen minutes in, Annika woke and I carried her
around while Grammy pulled the brunt of the project
- with Serena doing her work, too, of course. Thank
the stars that Grammy LOVES projects! We're getting
soo much done right now (and not a lot of thanks to
me.) All the while, Grauntie Jeanne was in the house
swiffering our floors and folding laundry... tell me,
HOW did I get this lucky?!!!
May 19, 2006
Grant came over for some play this morning.
It's becoming really fun to watch them play together.
They used to just play in the same room, oblivious and
unconcerned by one another's company. Now, they follow
each other around and play nearby or take one another's
"Grant will have my sippy cup."
(And, handing Grant her sippy cut, the unspoken part:"
I will have Grant's sippy cup.")
"Cheers!" (and cheers again
and cheers again and cheers again - and cheers with
Mama and cheers with Lydia and cheers with Scouty and
cheers with everyone again... until we think of a distraction!)
Now we have two swings so Annika gets
swing time, too. She's happy, our Smiloh.
Jim and I went on a date this evening.
Serena had a lovely bath and bedtime routine with Grammy.
Annika, on the other hand, wasn't very happy to wake
up and find us unavailable. Grauntie Jeanne and Grammy
handled it beautifully, considering Annika has the scream
of a fire-breather. Grammy called on Jim's cell for
some ideas on what might help settle Annika with Annika
screaming in the background. While we were preparing
to go home because they had tried just about everything,
my reaction was dramatically different than it would
have been with Serena. I would have flung into the car
and stressed the whole way home if Serena had woken
up crying. This time, I suggested that they try the
bouncy seat (sometimes Annika just wants to be put down,
contrary to most of our instinctual reactions to hold,
rock, etc.) It worked and Annika went right back to
sleep. Grammy called back within a few minutes and we
got to stay at the bookstore and have a few more bites
of dessert and look at our towering pile of "wish
list" books. An interesting lesson... how many
times did I rush home with Serena when just a few more
minutes of letting go and letting happen would have
solved the problem? I'm learning a lot this second kid
Nursing Annika in our bed this evening,
I was running my hand from the top of her peach-fuzz,
palm sized back of her head all the way down her little,
strong back then across her round, chunky butt to her
toes. There are few things I can think of ever experiencing
that give me such sweet pleasure (and all the others
are about the girls anyway, such as a real cuddly hug
from Serena and Annika's sloppy mouth closing in on
my nose when I cuddle her face) as this. It occurs to
me how precious and fleeting this kind of intimacy is.
Not long from now, running my hands along her body will
be annoying to her as she will be busy doing lots of
other kid things. Then, some time not far from then,
it will be unthinkable for me to run my hand along the
length of her body (after all, try to imagine right
now your mom running her hand the length of your body...
isn't that strange, how the idea of it changes?!) It
makes me want to stay up all night and cuddle and massage
her, thinking someday that "right" will be
gone. (I may have gone off on this topic before, with
Serena, but it's occuring for me again, anew, with Annika
and so I am sharing it as such.)
May 18, 2006
It's 10:30 am and Annika is sleeping.
Finally. I, however, am on the verge of tears. We have
tried everything that every no-cry book has suggested
to get her to take a nap longer than a half hour. We
have done stroller rides, car rides, rushed back into
her room at the first sound of wake-up. She goes down
for her nap peacefully but wakes after 27-32 minutes.
We know she needs more sleep because she is tired again
in about an hour. She's not getting restorative sleep.
She might sleep longer if I could take her whole nap
with her, but that's not possible 2-3 times a day with
Serena up and about. So, today when she woke at 27 minutes,
I let her cry. It is so hard to do it. I can't stand
that I did it. It's this horrible no-win situation:
if I get her up, I know she's not getting the healthy
sleep she needs. And it is my job to care for her health.
If I let her cry, I am not comforting her, which is
another of the important jobs I do with her. Many people
have assured me that the crying will only last a few
days, at most, and then she will sleep beautifully and
be a happier, healthier baby who can put herself back
to sleep peacefully when she has the normal wake ups
in her sleep cycles. I get it intellectually. My heart
still feels broken.
She's awake now. Bless her sweet soul,
she isn't even holding a grudge.
The swing running game where Daddy runs
alongside the swing as it goes back and forth, "SO
fast!" Grammy plays this game too (in
May 16, 2006
Grammy and Grauntie Jeanne arrived today.
When they walked in the door, Serena flung herself off
the couch and dove into Grammy's arms saying, "Grammy!"
then into Grauntie Jeanne's arms with similar enthusiasm.
Ask Serena what Grammy does and she'll say, "Kissing
Bandit!" (kisses all over her face and neck). Ask
her what Grauntie Jeanne says and she'll say, "God
love ya!". Ask her what Grauntie Tricia says and
she'll say, "Go to the rodeo!" (a song Grauntie
Tricia sings that goes, "Here we go to the Rodeo.
Ho ho ho to the rodeo.")
May 15, 2006
Annika is five months old today
Whoever said you can't be in love with
two people at one time must not have had more than one
child. I am amazed at the intensity of my love for Annika
and Serena. And they each have a huge, specific, very-much-their-own
place in my heart. It is like a love affair, in many
ways. I miss them when I'm away. I play little vignettes
of their laughing, or Serena's little mouth saying words
(I so LOVE the way her mouth moves to make words), or
the two of them interacting with one another. I close
my eyes and take deep, soulful inhalations of their
hair and breath. At least once a day I feel myself step
out of my body and watch from a place slightly above
us and try to capture the moment - the little facial
expressions, the sheer joy or curiousity you can see
so plainly in their faces. I really would package it,
if I could. In that moment I am intenesely aware of
its fleeting. They are growing up, minute by minute.
I literally feel like I can't get enough of them - can't
hold them close enough, often enough. I want to somehow
tell them, show them, make them feel how loved they
are, how precious. It isn't like this all the time.
And for those of you who may be concerned, they don't
even know this is happening, for the most part. It's
very personal, internal - mine. I have to admit, though,
that I am surprised by how often it happens.
Serena is going to be published in the
Bend Bulletin newspaper in the NO CAVITY CLUB section!
She had her first dentist appointment today - with Dr.
Rex, the local pediatric dentist. She loved hanging
out in his office and actually requested later in the
day that we go back to see the dolphin toy at Dr. Rex's
office again. She let Shawn, the dental assistant, apply
flouride on her teeth and she was awesome for Dr. Rex's
dental examination. She definitely seemed uncertain
about the whole thing, but she lay there - teeny little
body dwarfed by the big dental chair - and watched Dora
the Explorer on the TV they have on the ceiling above
the chair. As soon as Dr. Rex said, "Okay, we're
finished!", she flung off the headphones and sat
up. But she lay there and opened her mouth for him and
let him feel all her little teeth while he did the exam.
She even gave him a high five when she first met him,
at his request. While brushing her teeth tonight with
Daddy, she said, "We're doing brusha brusha for
May 14, 2006
Happy Mother's Day!
Serena is 23.5 months old (two weeks to
TWO YEARS OLD!)
Mother's Day front lawn picnic of take
out Toomie's Thai food. YUM!
May 11, 2006
Here's my Mother's Day and birthday
present (for the next few years, probably). I LOVE it!
It's called a Chariot and it converts from a stroller
to a bike trailer to a jogger stroller to a cross country
ski pulk (with conversion kits). The girls love it because
they sit side by side. Annika stares at Serena. Serena
tells Annika about her books or coloring pages.
Should I admit here how many strollers
we own? Well, it's five. Five strollers. And we use
them all. Isn't that something? We have a single jogger,
for when one of us or the babysitter, Katie, takes just
Serena to the park or for a run (we've had it since
Serena was born.) We have a single city stroller for
easy maneuverability while shopping with just one kid,
or if one is in the sling and the other is in the stroller.
We have the umbrella stroller for travel (we expect
another of these in a few months, for Annika). We have
the tandem front/back double that has been great for
traveling around the streets since Annika was born,
safely snuggled in her car seat for more security. And
now we have the double jogger/stroller for more rugged
terrain and running. All this, and we are big believers
in carrying our kids. Hm. Should I go into a description
of the slings, backpack and front carriers we have as
well? Let's just say that they, too, are many. (Okay,
six carriers, plus one borrowed hip carrier we're testing
out.) I'd feel more wierd about it all if we didn't
use them so much. But we USE them. And I have to say,
I am a big fan of anything that makes parenting easier.
Always on the search for some way to
tame the curls, I'm trying out the foam curlers of old.
Serena's hair turned out MUCH cuter
than mine. I'll have to get a picture of her curls.
Here she is with her first curlers in her hair - just
like Mama. (We only got to one side this first round.)
May 9, 2006
Outcome of the May 2006 Sleep Plan for
Annika : ha ha ha haa HAAAAAAAAAAA!
May 7, 2006
Annika rolled over today, both ways!
Lots of times! She's probably been capable for a while,
but we just weren't putting her on her belly. With great
applause from her big sister, she loves to show off
her new moves.
"I'm painting a dolphin with Daddy!"
"I have on my hat and sunglasses!"
May 4, 2006
May 2006 Sleep Plan for Annika (after
hours of thought, reflection and stacks of books of
Bedtime: Between 6-7, depending on naps.
Change into jammies and new diaper. Cuddle on rocking
chair in our bedroom and rock for five minutes, humming
or singing. Offer her pacis. Walk slowly into her room,
telling her, "Now it's time for sleeps." Lay her gently
in her crib and tell her, "You have good sleeps and
dreams. I love you." Sit back and let her settle around.
Wait and watch. Let her find her way to quiet and sleep.
If she winds up considerably, pat her rhythmically and
say, "shh shh shh." If she continues to wind up, pick
her up and rock or sway a bit until she settles down
again. Put her back in her crib and try to let her find
her way to sleep again. Do as often as necessary. Only
hold or pat for minimum amount of time so she has a
chance to learn how to settle herself. Do not feed her
again for AT LEAST six hours after last feeding around
10pm, and only if 2-3 hours since put-down feeding.
If she wakes before next feeding, Jim soothes her with
patting, shh-ing, and brief holding if necessary. After
6 hours, I will feed her, burp her and put her back
in her bed. If 2.5 to 3 hours pass and she fusses again,
I will feed her again. If she's awake (and it's after
6am), say, "Good morning, Sweet Pie! Did you have good
sleeps and dreams?" and bring her into living room or
open blinds to indicate it's time to wake up and get
Naptime: Watch for sleepy signs: quiet
and calm, glazed eyes, yawning, rubbing eyes, huuuuhhhnnn
sound she makes when tired. ASAP, bring her into her
room saying, "It's time for your nap. You'll be so comfy."
and rock for a few minutes (with pacis if wants it),
singing or humming. Put her down before she closes her
eyes to sleep. Lay her gently in her bed and say, "You
have good sleeps and dreams. I love you." Sit back and
let her settle herself. If she winds up, try shh shh
shh and patting. If she winds up further, pick her up
and rock for a few minutes, but only as long as necessary
to settle her back down. Put her back down and try again
to let her settle herself to sleep. Set timer for 25
minutes from when she goes to sleep. Go into the room
and watch for stirring. Shh shh shh and pat through
the transition time, hopefully putting her back to sleep
before she wakes. If necessary, pick her up and rock
her back toward sleep to try to extend her nap. When
she wakes, turn on the light and say, "Hi! You're awake!
Did you have good sleeps and dreams?" to indicate it
is time to wake up and get active.
LOG TIME SHE GOES DOWN AND WAKES! Begin
looking for sleep signs around 1.5 hours after waking,
unless nap was very short or night was wakeful, in which
case, begin looking around 1 hour after waking. Catch
signs very early so there's time for the routine before
Don't laugh. This is serious!
"Well, I'm reading. You listen."
Head massage (which would be nice, actually.
Since Serena has discovered the true pleasure of massage,
she requests it often and for long periods of time.
Can't blame her, I suppose. Can't wait until she and
Annika can work out trades. And me, too!!)
May 3, 2006
The other day, I told Serena we were
going to change her diaper in a few minutes. She said,
"Can I change your mind?"
She loves to reflect on things that
have happened, sometimes things that happened a long
time ago. It's a fun little window into her mind. For
example, this morning she was saying, "I was crying
and wondering where my pacis was." I'm not sure
when that happened, but she was clearly having a memory.
She regularly says things like, "We went to the
zoo with Cousin Ryan and Uncle Greg! And we saw monkeys,
and lions, and giraffes. They were so gentle."
(She's referring to the giraffes being gentle because,
in fact, they scared her when they got very close to
her at the Santa Barbara Zoo. We had a number of subsequent
conversations about how the giraffes won't hurt you
because they are very soft and gentle.)
Annika is in the thirty minute nap phase
that I remember so vividly with Serena. We did tons
of research then and yet I can't remember what we actually
did about it. My bet is, we just passed the time researching
and eventually the phase ended and a new one began.
Nonetheless, I am scouring my old and new sleep books
to find the answer.
Speaking of phases and changes in parenting,
Serena now happily hangs out for an hour after she wakes
and about twenty minutes before she falls asleep in
her bed. This morning I walked in and she was laying
down cuddling with one of her stuffed dolls, Dolly.
She leaped up and said, "I was cuddling Dolly."
Two days ago, when I went to pick her up from nap before
she started requesting, "Up! Up!", I walked
in to all of her toys (about 10 of them) nestled under
the elastic on her crib sheet. "I'm covering them
up! Now they are warm."
May 2, 2006
Annika is just over four and a half months
Serena put on her jammie bottoms,
all by herself. She's been practicing for weeks, but
now she does it perfectly.
Annika sleeps for 20 minute naps and
wakes closer and closer to 5am, now. We are on a major
search for the solution.
May 1, 2006
Naked in the sandbox
Well, this is the sandbox lid. Turns
out, she really wants to be IN the sand, and the sandbox
is off the ground. She likes to stand in it and since
it's on the patio, it makes us too nervous. So, we put
a bunch of sand in the lid. This sandbox has a very
cool story... I'll tell it later since I'm hurrying
April 30, 2006
Happy on her tummy
April 29, 2006
April 28, 2006
Serena is 23 months old
Ugh, parenting is hard sometimes. It's
hard physically because you have to lug a lot of stuff
around all the time and sleep becomes an indulgence
instead of a necessity. It's hard practically because
you have to remember a lot of stuff when you go places
and be organized and plan your time well. But most of
all, it's sometimes very hard emotionally. Especially
when you make a mistake.
There are all kinds of mistakes, right?
There's the mistake where you forget barbeque sauce
at the grocery store for the barbeque your parnter is
at home cooking right now. Or you forget to tell your
partner that his mom called yesterday and asked that
he call her back asap. There's even the more embarrassing
mistakes like putting the wrong card with a personal
note in the envelope addressed to another person. Or,
worse, you slip and basically tell your sister that
your brother's wife is pregnant when they wanted to
tell the news themselves (I tried really hard to cover
for it, but she was sooo onto me!) Anyway, my point
is, we make mistakes. And they are all the same in that
we did something we completely didn't intend to do.
We blew it. But when we make a parenting mistake, it's
like a whole new realm. It's devastating.
For example, we were all on our patio
this evening. Jim and I were finishing dinner, Annika
was in her bouncy seat between us on the floor, and
Serena was playing in her new sandbox. Serena said,
"Can I pour sand on Ha-Kah?" I laughed. It
was an absurd question. Still sort of laughing, I said,
"No, you may not put sand on your sister!"
A few minutes go by where we chat about other things.
Suddenly, Serena is laughing and pouring a shovel of
sand on Annika's head. I was startled and immediately
said, "Serena! What are you doing?! I said No you
may not put sand on Annika!" She just stood there,
clearly startled and looking confused. I took her hand
and took her in the house still angrily explaining why
she can't put sand on Annika and how she needs to listen
to me when I say "No." I said she needed to
apologize to her sister. Serena was crying, though I
thought it was because she was in trouble. We went over
so she could give her sister a kiss. I was holding Serena
at this point and she said, crying sadly, "Maybe
her pacis? Maybe her pacis will make her feel better?"
It was then that I realized that she was crying because
she was sad that she hurt her sister. It was then that
I also realized that the reason she looked so confused
when I got angry is because I sent a totally mixed message
when I laughed while telling her "No" about
sand on her sister. She thought it would be funny. I
tried to give Serena extra snuggles the rest of the
evening and do fun, light things to make her feel better.
She's such a sweet girl, she seemed totally fine not
too long after. But I wasn't... I felt horrible all
evening. And I still feel horrible when I think about
it. I don't believe I will forget it for a long time.
April 27, 2006
Car seat cuddle
Every time I tried to take a picture
of Annika sucking her thumb (which she recently has
become adept at doing. We've always known she would,
she's been trying since birth), she'd stop and smile.
'Til I finally caught it on camera!
April 26, 2006
Serena seems to be a sensitive little
soul. The other day she threw her little cow friend
on the floor and I said, "Oh, that might have hurt
cow. He might need a kiss." and she cried for about
five minutes. I tried everything to make her feel better
but she was just sad about having hurt cow. When we
were picking out that same cow at the store, she was
having such a hard time because she really wanted to
take him with us, but at the same time she kept saying,
"He's sitting with his friend." while she'd
place him next to the one other black and white cow
on the shelf. Finally we found one more black and white
one who could stay with the other one that was left
behind and she felt better about leaving that cow behind.
It makes me both afraid and pleased, to think of her
as possibly more on the sensitive side. She can be hurt
more easily, maybe, but she's likely to be caring with
people and animals.
April 25, 2006
It is fascinating to watch Serena take
in, practice and integrate the rules of language. First
she just said words. Then she'd say phrases, like "Daddy's
black car!" (yes, it was most often in exclamation.)
Then she said simple sentences, "Serena drive Daddy's
black car! " We started counting the number of
words in her sentences for fun. Now, she is practicing
with tense. For example, she says, "It camed off."
or "I taked it off." See, she knows "ed"
is a past tense thing but she doesn't yet know the intricacies
of using it and other past tense possibilities. When
she says something new or exploratory, she looks at
us with a subtle question mark in her expression. She'll
keep saying something, again and again, until we respond
with either confirmation or a rephrasing. For example,
we'll say "Yes, you took off your shoes."
in response to, "I taked off my shoes." Then
she uses our response to either modify her usage, or
think it over at least, or to log it in the file as
accurate (or something like that.) I love it! I had
no idea how traSnsparent the learning process was, while
at the same time it's such a living thing. No one is
intentionally teaching her all of these language rules,
she's just learning them by example and exploration.
April 24, 2006
Annika has her first tooth! I
was wondering if she wasn't working on it because she's
been so urgent about her chewing lately. She's been
cheery, but so focused on really gnawing on my knuckles
or a spoon or whatever she can get her gums on. At her
doctor's appointment I mentioned it to her doctor, who
felt her gums and proclaimed, "Nope, nothing going
on there yet!" Hm.
Annika digs Serena's new swing. Serena
doesn't really dig Annika using her swing so much just
now. Well, she likes the idea of it, but when Annika
is in and having fun, Serena wants Annika to get out
so that she can use it. "It's Serena's turn now!"
April 23, 2006
April 22, 2006
Today being Earth Day, we went to our
local Procession of the Species parade. It's a very
cute small-town style parade where people dress up as
animals (and also other random things, like these belly
dancers - but see the little chicken on her daddy's
shoulders toward the left side of the pictures?) and
walk along to drums and other music while those of us
too shy or simply unprepared with costume cheer them
on from the sidelines. Serena loves a parade. Afterward,
we went to the little festival where they were doing
drumming music. After a bit of coaxing, Serena started
to do "fancy dancing" to the drumming music.
Fancy dancing means alternately lifting one foot and
then the other and going in a circle, shaking her little
booty and arms a bit. I really must get it on video,
as I can't do it justice here in words.
Walking on the ceiling! ("Do it
AGAIN!!!" - over and over and over.)
This morning Jim massaged Serena's
back for a half hour, allowing him to at least lay down
for that long since it was barely 6am when she beckoned
him into her room.
Man, I miss getting half hour
massages... does that come back into the mix at some
If Serena falls or somehow gets hurt
we know it really did hurt when she says, "Give
it a kiss?!" I'll say, "Give what a kiss?",
if I'm not clear what is hurting. Sometimes it turns
out to be, "My booty."
April 21, 2006
Annika is lounging here in her sweet
little sweatsuit from her great grandma GG.
April 20, 2006
Morning reading in bed. And here's some
video of this reading session.
Serena's new swing I found at a garage
sale last spring. Garage sales rock! I also found that
slide at a garage sale. Total for this home-playground
(recycled!) is $13! And she loves it, as do her friends
when they come over. That's Grant in the background.
Grant came over for the first time without
his mom since I've had two kids of my own. I've been
too nervous to take care of three kids at one time.
Actually, it's cool because Serena and Grant are now
at the age where they like to play together sometimes
(as opposed to just parallel play in the same room)
which means they entertain one another to some degree.
Plus, we had this fantastic home playground! (Did I
tell you $13??!!)
Serena has become quite taken with massage.
For the last four months or so, she'd say "Saaage"
or "Creamy" when she'd get hurt and want us
to rub the hurt area. Now, she says, "Can you do
massage?" then when you stop after a few minutes
she says, "Can you do massage? Can you do massage?"
getting more and more urgent until you go back to rubbing
April 18, 2006
Annika went for her four month
Dr. Appointment. She is 13lbs, 5.5oz (50th percentile)
and 25.25 inches (85th percentile). Her head is 41 centimeters,
just a bit above average (big head, big brain, we like
to say!) Funny thing, these are almost the exact measurements
Serena had at her appointment at this age (actually,
Serena was almost 5 months old when she went for her
first shots, so she was a pound heavier - but the percentiles
are right on for both height and weight! It'll be interesting
to see how this evolves, because Annika seems to have
bigger hands and feet... we'll see!)
She also got her first round of
shots. She got really, really mad. But, after two minutes
of full-on, only-Annika-can-cry-like-that crying, she
was fine. Strong little bird.
April 16, 2006
Annika's first Easter basket. She got
a colorful garden pinwheel and her first swimsuit in
her very own personalized Easter basket. She was overwhelmed
Serena loved her basket from the Easter
Bunny. She got fancy purple flower "slips"
(flip-flops), a bath book called "Mimi's Toes"
(you know how she loves anything to do with toes, shoes,
feet), a windsock with a butterfly on it, and a pair
of sunglasses with flowers on the corners. She also
got to hunt for special Easter Eggs that had "special
treats" inside. She really loved the "special
treat eggs" very much. All day she'd look around
for a stray "special treat egg" and shake
it to see if it rattled, indicating a treasure inside.
Serena and Annika in their matching
Easter dresses at UU,
during Easter brunch after service.
Serena and her friend, Zoe, holding
hands during UU Easter brunch. Zoe is three months older
than Serena. They love hanging out together. Serena
says, "ZOE!!" really loud and excited when
she sees her.
April 15, 2006
Happy four months old, Annika!
The Bumbo seat. In spite of her jolly
grin, she actually doesn't really like to sit in this
clever little contraption. I was all excited to find
a lavender one on EBay (with no trivial amount of bidding,
mind you!) and she's just not into it. She so loves
to be upright - wants to see what's going on all the
time. I thought this would be excellent for her. Apparently,
she likes to be HELD upright only. Or, maybe it's just
this chair... maybe there's something about her not
being anatomically set up to sit up yet. This seat seems
safe enough, it's soft and really contours nicely...
who knows why she doesn't like it. People raved about
it on websites. She may also love it tomorrow. You never
know what will be popular any given day with either
of our little girls. The key seems to be not to get
too attached to any one thing being popular, then you
can flow with the latest craze easily. (I guess, frankly,
I can be that way, too... I like to call it words like
spontaneous, experimental, flexible.)
A four month old close up. Mmmmpwaa!
I just LOVE her!
Things Annika likes at four months:
eye contact. She'll fuss and cry, then when you look
at her and smile, she grins ear to ear! She loves to
stand on her strong legs. She loves when her sister
talks to her. She likes to be tickled, laughing heartily
and readily. She likes to sneak peaks at the tv when
it's on. She likes napping in my arms and playing "airplane"
with her flying above me when I'm on my back. She loves
to lay on her changing table by herself and just look
around. I can't figure out what's so great about it,
but it will stop her from crying and keep her happily
entertained when nothing else will. And there's not
even anything that exciting around there (except we
did hang a tissue paper dragon fly from the ceiling
there. But she loved it before that!) She still is soothed
reliably bouncing on the exercise ball. That's how we
often get her ready for sleep. And she loves taking
a warm bath.
Things Annika doesn't like much at four
months: long naps. She no longer likes being swaddled.
She likes/dislikes her pacis - depending on what, I'm
not sure what. She doesn't like to be left alone in
a room, even momentarily, except when she's on her changing
table. She doesn't like to lay down in the sling, unless
she's really tired. Hold her upright, not in "sleep"
style or she'll get mad - again, unless she's really
sleepy. She doesn't like to do stuff she doesn't feel
like doing (she gets mad when we put her in the car
seat if she has other ideas of what to do, for example.)
And when she's mad, she lets you know!
We had a fantastic vacation. Our place
in Santa Barbara was excellent. It was cozy, clean,
nicely decorated and in a perfect location. If you're
ever planning a vacation in Santa Barbara and need a
condo, write to me. I'll pass along this place. Anyway,
it was even better when we got to Greg, May and Ryan's.
We did lots of swimming in the hot tub (and a tiny bit
of swimming in the very cold swimming pool), playing
basketball, swinging on the swing, playing darts and
trains and Transformers, eating tons of delicious food,
and just generally relaxing.
As always, it's nice to be home. If
only it were a bit warmer... And where's our Central
Oregon sunshine? It's been a long Winter this year.
When I got home, I received my acceptance
letter from Oregon State University into their Master's
in Counseling program. I'll be heading back to school
June 26th two evenings a week for the next three years.
Woo - hooo!
April 13, 2006
Serena is 22.5 months old.
Cousin Ryan was showing us his karate
moves. For a belt test, he had to memorize 61 moves
in a row, which he did beautifully. As you can see,
Annika thinks his moves are fabulous.
Uncle Greg and Annika spent a lot of
time together on our visit with them. She loved just
hanging out while he held her facing out to watch all
the activity. He also gave her many opportunities to
do "strong legs" (like she's doing here),
which she really appreciates.
Ryan taught Serena how to do an Easter
Egg hunt in this practice round. Now she's all set for
Easter! (That's Daddy's belt she's wearing. Ryan had
on his karate belt while he did his 61-move karate demonstration
and Serena wanted to wear a belt, too. So, here she
is as a "black belt." Is this a sign of things
Riding Ryan's Green Machine he got for
his recent birthday.
Driving with Cousin Ryan. (Oh, wow...
I'm having forward-flashes... look at her in the driver's
April 12, 2006
Outside shower after swimming. Lovin'
the naked baby thing, however she can make it happen.
Greg, May and Ryan surprised Jim with
a birthday cake. It was super-decadent delicious chocolate
mousse raspberry. I actually had to shake him quite
aggressively to wake him up from sleeping on the floor
next to Serena to come out and have cake this night.
He fell asleep while telling her "A Kitty Story"
(the usual bedtime, falling asleep ritual that is just
as likely to put him to sleep as her.)
April 11, 2006
Playing hoop in Greg, Ryan and May's
Happy Birthday, May!
April 9, 2006
Our Santa Barbara condo was three blocks
from this beach. Ever since reading about Sandcastles
in her D.W.
All Wet book, Serena has been planning her sandcastle
adventure. The moment has arrived, and Grammy is making
sure it's not a disappointment!
Speaking of her books, Serena loves
to "read" her books. She will sit and narrate
the story almost as it actually reads (she skips around
a bit and leaves some stuff out). She'll say, "I'll
Jelly Beans. You listen." Then she'll say,
"Arthur's Jelly Beans by Mark Brown." or "Danny
and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff."
She loved loved loved playing in the
sand at the beach. Uncle Greg and Ryan brought this
cool sandcastle building kit with little shovels, melon-ballers,
cups, a funnel - all sorts of things that will make
a great sandcastle, or just make for fun sand play.
We finally had to coax her into the stroller for a stroller-nap,
which meant pushing the rented Maclaren double stroller
(not a jogger stroller) on the wet sand along the water
and hoisting it over the little rivers when we came
upon them. What we do to get a nap in is really something!
April 8, 2006
First hair braids. All ready to meet
Uncle Greg and Cousin Ryan at the Santa Barbara Zoo.
(The braids didn't make it all the way through the car
Holding hands with Cousin Ryan. This
is how Ryan showed Serena all of the zoo (this is his
stomping ground, being a member of the zoo and having
been there many times.) It's funny, Serena would not
want us to hold her hand all day like this, but she
loved it with her cousin. I wonder what that is... is
it because he's smaller? Or does he just have an energy
she really enjoys? (Both of which are true... just curious
how she decides something like this.)
Standing on one leg, like the Flamingos!
April 7, 2006
Happy Birthday, Jim!
Actually, we kept saying to Serena,
"Tell Daddy Happy Birthday, Serena!" And she'd
say, "Happy Birthday, Mama!" or "Happy
Birthday, Grammy!" or "Happy Birthday, Annika!"
but she wouldn't say "Happy Birthday, Daddy!"
She finally did - maybe we just wore her down and she
wanted to quiet us.
Hot chocolate with LOTS of whipped cream.
And Annika in the background in our super-handy rented
double stroller. We also rented a bouncy seat, both
Barbara Baby Company. They were very handy to have.
I will now rent baby stuff on every vacation! It makes
things so much easier.
April 6, 2006
We met Grammy at the Salt Lake City
airport and we all flew together from there to Santa
Barbara. (I know that seems strange from Bend. It's
just not easy to get to and from Bend.) This was a very
welcome arrangement both because we got to see Grammy
sooner, and because Jim and I had gone to bed about
1am and gotten up at 4am to get to the airport for our
6:30am flight. Serena and Grammy had a lovely time playing
play-doh on the plane.
Annika's first plane ride went beautifully.
April 3, 2006
I had a UU Membership Committee meeting
this afternoon, to which I brought Annika. She lay on
the floor in the home of our committee chair, Maxine,
just chatting away the entire hour! Sometimes she was
louder than we were and we'd all just stop and laugh.
Linda, another member, said, "I have never heard
a three and a half month old baby talk so much, ever!"
She's definitely got things to say. I cannot WAIT to
be able to understand what they are!
April 2, 2006
"One more minute?" or "A
coupla more minutes?" So, we set the timer, or,
if I don't have a timer handy, I tell her I'm setting
the timer and I just say, "Beep, beep, beep!"
after about a minute has passed. Miraculously, it usually
works! She'll say, "One more minute?" again,
but when we remind her that we just did one more minute,
she usually surrenders to the next plan.
Serena has started "reading"
her books now. Yesterday, she was in our closet saying
all the words to "D.W. Gets Wet", her current
favorite book (from the library, which makes it tricky
since we have to return it soon).
What a difference a year makes... above
is Serena gardening this year (22 months old); below
is Serena "gardening" in April of last year
(10.5 months old).