Sunday, December 7, 2014

Caleb: 10 Months

This has been an exciting month for little Caleb He now officially crawls and pulls himself up on everything. It happened slowly and meticulously. He never really got around by rolling around and he never tried to do an Army crawl or anything. He would get himself into crawling position and work hard. Eventually, he could move forward, and now he’s just jet-setting all over. As always, Caleb is a happy, easy going guy. He still flirts with everyone. Caleb has always been very aware of a smile. I could keep my entire body and face exactly the same, but smile, and when he was quite young, he would smile back. It was funny. Now, he loves to tilt his head to the side and smile like he’s pretending to be shy. He has also learned to wave in the past few days and he thinks it’s the greatest thing. He gets excited and flaps his arms. Everytime we pass a mirror, he gets really excited and starts waving and smiling. His schedule is the same. He sleeps from 8-8 or 9 and wakes up to eat for just a few minutes between 5-6:30. He naps twice during the day for a total of 2-3 hours (each nap length varies) usually about two hours after he wakes up in the morning and then again about 2.5 hours after he wakes up from his first nap. He sleeps with just his legs swaddled and a light blanket over him, which he loves to pull up and rub into his eyes to fall asleep. When I go get him when he wakes up, he’s often in crawling position with a binky in his mouth and a blanket on his back. He eats a blend of banana applesauce in the morning, 5 ice cubes or 1 pouch of veggie baby food for lunch (depending on if we’re home or out and about) and then a giant bowl of applesauce oatmeal for dinner with table food. He’s still not great with table food, but we give him some. He does NOT like cheese or mandarin oranges. His favorite food ever is a 49er flapjack. He can eat those unassisted and very quickly. With everything else he’s eaten with his hands, he only eats 3 or 4 and then is done. We do feed him a bit of whatever we’re having for dinner, which he enjoys. He ate quite a bit of our smoked salmon chowder and loved it. The past week or so, he has been getting a bit clingy. He wants to explore a bit and then crawl back and hang on to the top of my shirt. But I love the cuddles. 

Disclaimer: I realize this whole blog has become the Caleb show, but I will get around to documenting all the other exciting things we did this year... but probably not until after Christmas.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Caleb: 8 and 9 months

According to the scale at the Omaha Children's museum fake hospital, Caleb weighed 17.91 lbs. At 8 months, Caleb was eating applesauce in the morning, a small amount of baby food (whatever is in our freezer) in the afternoon and a giant bowl of oatmeal mixed with applesauce at night. He nursed when he woke up in the morning, after both naps, and then again before bed. He figured out a sippy cup when I was at the office in Minneapolis when Tom put apple juice in it, but still can't figure out a straw. He was an unpredictable sleeper at 8 months and would sometimes sleep from 8-9 with only one feeding around 6, or he'd wake up 3-4 times. He loved just sitting up and playing with anything. Sometimes, though, he would get tired of sitting up and whine until you helped him lay back down and then he'd play like that for awhile. Still doesn't really roll over.

9 month stats from the doctor appointment on November 11:
Weight: 19 lbs exactly (38%)
Height: 27.5" (16%)
Head: 45.5 (60%)
At 9 months, Caleb still eats the same basic stuff. He has some mashed banana mixed with applesauce for breakfast, 4 ice cubes of food for lunch (again, whatever's in the freezer... we currently have butternut squash, carrots, and broccoli), and oatmeal mixed with applesauce at night. We give him table food, and he doesn't dislike anything, but whatever we put on his high chair table, he'll eat about three pieces, and then be done. So he has had 3 bites of black beans, salmon, turkey, ham, cheese, avocado etc. I was at a baby shower last weekend and he was sitting on my lap reaching for the food, so I gave him some guac on a chip. He went crazy and I couldn't shovel it in his mouth fast enough. He ate about half a cup of it and then had big, spicy burps the rest of the day. He still nurses after he wakes up in the morning and from both naps and then again before bed, but he is not really that interested. He eats for like 5-10 minutes each time, maybe. He forgot how to use a sippy cup and still can't use a straw. We got him a bottle-like sippy cup that he can sort of do, but he mostly just chews on it and laughs. He is now a consistent sleeper (hallelujah!) sleeping from 8-8 with one feeding between 5:30-6:30. He naps twice. The morning nap is somewhere between 1.5-3 hours and the afternoon nap is anywhere between 30 minutes and 1.5 hours. He is still the same happy guy. He doesn't sit up much anymore. He gets into crawling position and scoots himself backwards and then gets frustrated or just flails trying to move forward and gets frustrated. He is always losing socks and one is usually in his mouth like a puppy. He babbles a lot and says mama and dada but doesn't really mean us specifically. The only thing he's said appropriately is "quack quack quack" when we talk about what a duck says. Sometimes when I say "what does a duck say? quack quack quack" he'll respond "kackackackackack." Other times he just laughs at me. He still likes to cuddle (for which I'm grateful), but he is much more grabby and jumpy than he used to be. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Celia Art: Catch-up

Again, falling a bit behind here, but finally getting around to clearing up the stack of art from the past bit. Here are Celia's from the past little bit. I included some of her writing. The letter to Annie Barrows (author of Ivy and Bean) was written at the beginning of the summer and the letter about Halloween was written on Halloween of course. Here's her narration to what's included here (backstory or other comments where applicable in parentheses by me):

This is a letter maker. The first computer is of colors. The color you press is the color that your letter is. The second computer is the shape. If you press two shapes at a time then you get a blended-shaped letter. Like the letter coming out of the printer. The third computer is of letters. Whatever you press is what the letter says. PS - there is also a space button.  (Someone needs to get this girl a Silhouette.) 

This is a picture I made of Jesus. I think I should send it to some missionaries. (The missionaries came over and played some game with us about the steps to Eternal life with Jesus. They used sticky notes for each one of the steps including the eternal life step. Celia couldn't help herself. After they left, she replaced that sticky note with this.)

This is a picture of an 8-year-old girl getting baptized. I think I'm going to keep this one.

This is a letter I made to my mom, my dad, and my sister, Sabrina. 

This is a letter I made to Annie Barrows, the writer of Ivy and Bean books.
 This is the back of the letter. The picture is on this side. The red-haired girl is Ivy and the black-haired girl is Bean.

This is Rapunzel when she has braids in her hair. I didn't really finish this one. (This was on the back of the next one... it's the "Before" I think.)

This is Rapunzel when she paints and builds some more things to her tower. She also adds doors. She is holding Pascal. (This is after her hair is cut and she's happy and she can apparently add doors to her tower.)

This is a picture of what I call the "Super Hero Pod." The girl is named Ella and the boy with the blue mask, his name is R.J. and the boy with the green mask's name is Catarine. 

This is about me. Can you read it? After Alaska comes a period. I didn't get to put that there.

This is a Hawaiian girl collecting coconuts. The rose thing is a coconut slide. The coconuts roll down. (This is a collage if you can't tell. She cut everything and came up with the idea and put it all together.)

This was one of my Jack-o-lantern ideas but I made a different one. It had one circle eye and one rectangle eye. I named it Boo Boo.

This is a list of all the candy I got in my bucket when I went Truck-or-treating. (Celia would not eat one single piece of candy once we got home before she wrote it down... she ate quite a bit at Taylor's before she was able to come home and inventory it all, however.)

This is a comic I made called "Denali." This is how I think Denali was made. (I love this one. After our trip to Denali National Park, Celia came up with this little wonder of the tectonic plates colliding to form the mountain.)

The first picture is of a mermaid. The second picture is of a princess living in Florida. The mermaid lives in Texas. 

Sabrina Art: Catch-up

Sabrina's art has really grown leaps and bounds this summer and I wish I had kept better track of when these were actually created, but alas. Here's from the last six months (in no particular order, as you can tell by all the Halloween pumpkins sprinkled throughout), as explained by her, of course (with comments by me in parentheses):

I don't remember, but I think it's me holding a wand but first a stick, a lollipop, and first an ice cream cone. That's all.

 That's a dinosaur with its arm almost all done coloring. That's all.

 That's me sitting on the couch.

That's Hello Kitty with her sister. They're riding. And I put two faces on each of them.

That's me sticking me tongue out with red clothes playing with a purple jump rope we have. I'll show you it. (She went and got it.)

That's you and Daddy marrying eachother.

That's me wearing a dress and a machine I made.

That's you and Nana. You have red hair dye. You're dressing up as princesses. Nana's beautiful, And I drew swirls. 

That's a pumpkin and I put lots of Halloween stickers and the pumpkin with two bows.

That's another pumpkin that is named "Boo" and it has two mouths and its toothbrush goes on him and he puts it on his nose.

That's Celia playing princess and me, Sabrina, in the high chair playing princess with her. (not sure how this shows "I can pray with my family...")

That's me with red hair dye in a crib with an ice skater on the bottom. And to draw her, I used Celia's colored pen.

That one is me with red hair dye all over and the other head I messed up because it was too high.

That's a pumpkin girl with a pumpkin head and three bows and its name is "Boo" and I'm gonna give it to Nana and Papa. That's all. (She started to write "this is" on the side, but ran out of room, so she had me title it on the bottom.)

That's the castle with Allyson and Billy and Balo and Clara at their museum with their bat decoration on the door and two pumpkins on the sides and we could go in. And it has a piano that makes a picture, but it's actually a TV screen that pretends to make a picture. (The children's museum in Omaha had a Halloween section that was all dark with black lights and had a haunted castle with a big TV screen framed picture that would move every once in awhile and make silly faces... hope that helps put her comments in context here...)

That's a robot and the thing in the sky is "lunder." Lightning I mean. It's lightning. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mom Fail: Teaching About Differences

Here are two pretty hilarious stories that prove that I clearly don't have a handle on how to teach my children about people that are different.

Rewind back to the second week of Celia's school when she was riding the bus in the morning.  The middle school special education bus would pick her up.  She was the last person they picked up before she transferred buses at the middle school.  I gave her no prep about riding the special ed bus and noticed when it picked her up there were two students in wheelchairs and another student that was making lots of noise.   When she got home from her first day riding the bus, I asked her how her day was, how riding the bus was, etc.  She said it was great.  And the she said something like "The first bus was... different."  I responded "The first bus you ride in the morning is called the special education bus and it's for kids that need a little more help.  That's why there's another adult on the bus to help out."  I think I kept going.  After a bit, she looked at me kind of confused and said:  "It was different because it had seat belts."

During the second week of school, Sabrina and Caleb and I walked to the bus stop to meet Celia after school.  It was a nice day, so we took a little walk around the neighborhood.  Half a block ahead of us, I noticed a little person (is that even the right term?) with a beard and wearing a suit.  I had no time to prep my children because by the time I noticed him, he was already within earshot.  I trusted Celia to not say anything embarrassing, but I was super nervous about Sabrina. I tried to keep the conversation going so the girls were talking about other things, but sure enough there was a lull in the conversation just as we were walking right past him.  We got about two feet past him (so he was behind us, but only by about two feet), and Sabrina said: "Well that guy was fat!" This is certainly not what I anticipated her saying, but Tom thinks it's because Sabrina was maybe seeing him in a skewed perspective because she's never seen something like that before, so she maybe thought he was far away and quite fat...?  Anyway, it was both embarrassing and hilarious.  I clearly haven't figured this lesson out.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Celia: First Day of School

She insisted on wearing her BYU shirt!

Her new "Well-made, neon" backpack she was so excited about.

This was an interesting year for us for Celia's schooling.  Last year, as you know, she got pretty bored.  Her teacher recommended I get her tested for the highly gifted program.  We weren't really interested in having her go to a special school, but we tested her anyway because they told me it would get her on the "special needs" list and I could then pick her teachers at her neighborhood school.  Her elementary school is really good.  One of the best in the city.  And we really like it there.  She had to go through three rounds of testing and then an IQ test.  And to get into the school she had to test in the 99th percentile on all four tests.  With each round, they called me and would say things like "Celia was in the 99th percentile on this test, but don't get your hopes up... there are still a few more things to do" etc etc.  And I frankly kept hoping she wouldn't be in the 99th percentile on the next one so we wouldn't have to make a choice.  Finally, after the IQ test where she got a 135, they referred me to the highly gifted school.  We said we weren't interested, but made an appointment to go look at it anyway the week before school started.  In the month before that, the more we talked to people about it, the better the program sounded.  Tom and I assumed it would be a very prep-school-type accelerated program.  And we didn't want her accelerated too quickly, just enriched.  Then we went to the elementary school open house where she found out who her teacher would be for next year.  I talked to Celia's kindergarten teacher there and she said "Celia would do fine with her, but you really should look at the other school.  It's made for Celia."  She then told me that her best friend's daughter goes there and I should text this lady.  I put her number in my pocket and promptly forgot about it.  That evening, I started praying about the school and remembered the number in my pocket and felt very strongly that I should text the lady.  So I did.  She texted back and said "My daughter absolutely loves it.  Can I call you in a bit?"  She called me, explained to me her daughter's situation.  She sounded exactly like Celia.  And the mom was the PTA president at our neighborhood elementary school, so she had a lot of hesitation about leaving, just like I did.  But everything she said sounded exactly like Celia and what she needed.  The next day, we took Celia to check out the school.  She wanted to go there immediately because they have "movable art" in the hallways (pictures that move when you turn cranks and stuff) and an ice skating rink for recess outside in the winter.  Tom and I felt great about it, and ended up having her transferred.  She started school on 27 and it has been great for her.  She absolutely loves it, was THRILLED this Monday when she started getting homework (FINALLY! she said) and she doesn't beg to not go to school every morning like she did last year.  So that's a definite plus.  The bus was picking her up at 8 and dropping her off around 4:30, but they recently changed her morning route to 7:20 and she would be the first one on and the only elementary schooler and would have to change busses at the middle school, so I have to drive her everyday now.  So now we're having the second car discussion... (We've made it nearly 9 years with just our little Sentra!)  It's always something with these kiddos...

The other drawback is we're now part of this weird group of scary parents.  I went to a "meet your kid's math teacher" thing last night where the entire class of parents ripped in to this poor math teacher about why all their kids weren't moved up to second grade math in first grade.  Afterwards, a few of them approached me to ask me who I was because there are only 4 new kids in the first grade this year.  All the other kids were tested before Kindergarten.  So now I feel like we're the new kids, and the loser new kids because we didn't test her before Kindergarten.  Hopefully she can emerge without some chip on her shoulder or a sense of entitlement.
On the first day of school,  when all the parents were bringing their kids in to find their classrooms,  Celia gave me a hug and kiss and said "I'll just go by myself.   I'm sure." 

Monday, September 8, 2014

Caleb: 6 and 7 months

Caleb turned 6 months old when we were on vacation, so I didn't write anything.  But he had just started rice cereal in hopes he might sleep better and then he had some green beans and peas.  With the rice cereal, he wasn't super excited and he didn't spit it all out.  He was somewhere in the middle.  He also had very little reaction to the green beans, but did seem to like them as he ate them all.  As for sleeping better... he didn't.  In fact, on vacation, he got to the point where he was eating more often at night than during the day (only for like 2-3 minutes a time, but still!).  He was still super smiley, happy, easy going, and not even close to sitting up.

At seven months, Caleb now sits up like a champ.  It happened in exactly one day.  Celia's first day of school, we took her to school, came home, and Caleb sat up.  It was a big day for them both.  He sometimes gets tired of sitting up, but doesn't really want to fall over, so he'll kinda cry for awhile until you gently set him on his back and then he's back to being all smiley again.  Caleb is still such a flirt.  He loves the mirror more than anything and has been totally laughing a lot lately at random stuff.  When we read the girls bedtime stories at the dinner table when he's in the high chair, he thinks it's the funniest thing ever.  As for sleeping, we had about two weeks this month where he actually slept from 8 to 8 and only ate at 5.  But that's over and he's back to waking up a million times.  The "letting him cry" thing, for even five minutes, has never worked for him.  It makes it so much worse.  He can't calm down.  He won't eat at that point.  And nothing works.  So, I really don't know what to do for him.  But I'm tired!  During the day, however, he is still our happy, adorable little thing and he loves to be held and cuddled and smile and laugh.  So his current schedule is sleeping from 8 to 8 (waking up a million times).  He sometimes eats solids in the morning, but if he does, he really doesn't eat much.  He takes a nap from 10-11ish, nurses and eats solids.  For lunch, he usually eats 3 ice cubes of vegetables (we mix our own baby food and freeze it in ice cube trays).  He likes carrots and broccoli, but isn't a big fan of blended peas or corn because he doesn't like the chunks.  Then he naps again from 2 to 4ish.  He eats dinner with us around 6 or 7 (a bowl of oatmeal with some applesauce mixed in), and I nurse him to bed at 8.

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