Sunday, December 26, 2010

Little Things: Ada, Eight Months

Ada is eight months old today! Ada is such a happy baby. Her smile lights up the room and she is so easy-going. She rarely cries, and is becoming so much more predictable as she gets a little bit older. She is very friendly, and happy to interact with almost anyone. She is also happy to play on her own much of the time.

Here are some tidbits about Ada at this age...

Eating: Ada is a great eater! She is enthusiastically eating three meals a day and several snacks. She LOVES finger foods, and has tried rice rusks (aka surfboards), Cheerios, cheese, rice, toast, chunks of banana and pear, freeze-dried apples and pear, and noodles. We've also added some meat to her diet in the past month, in the form of Earth's Best Turkey Dinner and the like. She will happily eat fruits, vegetables, cheese, cereal (when mixed with something else) and meat, and seems to have a fairly well-balanced diet at this point. We're still doing a combination of jarred baby food and homemade, and both are accepted well. I think mealtime is one of Ada's favorite parts of the day. She is so happy while she's eating.

Drinking: Ada continues to nurse more-or-less exclusively, although she does have a bottle of formula now and then when I'm at work longer than expected or early in the morning. I didn't expect to be nursing her for this long, but she really loves it. There are times when she REALLY wants to nurse, and nothing else will soothe her. It is also a very convenient way for me to get her to sleep and easier for me than making bottles when I'm the one caring for her. We're going to follow her lead on this, but probably start to cut down on nursing over the next several months. She is already so interested in food that sometimes we can distract her with a meal when she might otherwise take milk. She does fine with bottles when I'm away, but I haven't tried giving her a bottle myself yet. I wonder if she would take one from me...

Sleeping: Ada has been sleeping better lately. We haven't had a really bad night (i.e. three or more wake-ups for a feeding) in a couple of weeks now, and most nights she sleeps from 8pm until 7:30am with one or two short wake-ups for a feeding. We had a week or so where I would nurse her for her first night-time feeding, and she would get a bottle of formula for her second. Apparently she didn't like that much, because she stopped waking up a second time! We're going to try switching to only bottles at night at some point in the next month. I'm crossing my fingers that she'll lose interest once she knows she can't nurse at night and that she might start sleeping through the night as a result. Only time will tell. We still typically rock or nurse her to sleep before laying her down, but I have put her down awake a few times and she's gotten herself to sleep. At night after nursing she also puts herself back to sleep most of the time, so she is learning those self-soothing skills.

Vocalizing: Ada has a lot to say. She often says "Hey, Daddy", although not always when Daddy is around. She shrieks when she wants another bite of food and babbles constantly. Daddy has heard her say "Ju", but I haven't heard that yet.

Moving: Ada is not too interested in moving at this point. She is still happy to sit and play with her toys or observe what's going on around her. She will sometimes pull forward to hands and knees if there's a toy she wants, but then she sits back down to play with it. She'll also do a little bit of scooting around from her belly. Ada can support herself on her feet for a short while, but doesn't pull up yet or stand holding anything other than someone's hands. She'll also bounce up and down from a cross-legged position (it reminds me of Lucia and Magdalena at this age!) and she has started to like the Jolly Jumper, which Jude never liked as a baby.

Appearance: Ada's hair is starting to come in. She's had a long curl on the top of her head for a while now, but no other hair until the past month or so. Now she has a bit of light hair all over her head, although not nearly as much as Jude had at this age! Ada weighed about 17 pounds two weeks ago, so I'd guess she's a bit more than that now.

Tricks: Ada does a cute one-handed clap (one hand moves, the other stays still) and loves to play patty-cake. She is also starting to wave at people.

Here are a couple of photos from the past few weeks. Ada in her holiday dress:

Practicing standing and putting weight on her arms.

Another cute one of the two kids together.

Here is a photo of Ada playing with her toys on Christmas morning.

And practicing standing with Mommy.

We're loving this age, and watching Ada grow up from a tiny newborn to a bouncing baby is a lot of fun these days.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Spirit

We got a real tree this year. For years, we've had a fake tree made of sticks. Last year, Daddy and Jude got a permit to cut down a tree from the National Forest, and spent a day driving around in the wilderness looking for our Christmas tree. This year, the process took about five minutes. Daddy drove into a tree lot, pointed to the smallest tree he could find, and waited in the car with the kids while the nice old ladies tied it to the top of his car. We decorated it that night, in a fit of Christmas productivity.

The presents (and assorted goodies) have been collecting under the tree for some time now. Every day, Jude carries his box of Z-bars over to me and asks hopefully "Mommy, is it Christmastime yet?". Just a few more days, Jude.

We have attended several fun holiday parties this year. This fantastic photo of Jude was taken at the Miller Christmas party. I was in charge of the game this year, and by all accounts it was a success.

This family shot is from the Holiday Family Friday at the Owl House (i.e. the New Big House, or benannie's house).

Jude and Ada continue to enjoy each others' company. We tried hard to get a great shot of the two of them together to give away as Christmas gifts, but had to settle for individual shots. It is rare to get a photo where they both look their best. But this one is pretty good!

We are enjoying a visit from our East Coast family. We are thankful to not be travelling this year for the holidays. It is nice to be home, nestled all snug in our beds, with visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Where The Wild Things Are

Jude is 28 months old today. Like all Cornett men, he has a knack for memorization. Daddy and Uncle Andy know all of the words to almost every song they've ever heard.

This video is quite long, but we couldn't resist showing off Jude's latest skillz. Perhaps you can let Jude read a bedtime story for your kids tonight!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Salad Nazi

Here is a dinnertime scene from about six weeks ago.

We've been making an effort lately to sit down as a family for meals as often as possible. After a few days of rebellion, Jude has started to take his place at the head of the table, and will actually sit down with us for somewhere between five and fifteen minutes. He has also taken over the job of salad distribution, and he feels the weight of the responsibility. Tonight we sat down for dinner and he said "where's the salad?".

Looking at myself in the video, I feel like I look so ... haggard. It's like I'm low on sleep or something. Oh, wait.

Monday, December 20, 2010


We've come across the first snack that Ada and Jude can share. They're called "surfboards" (thanks to Nini) in our house. Other people might call them "Mum-Mums".

You know, those rice "rusks" (what's a rusk, anyway?) that dissolve in the baby's mouth.

Ada is currently obsessed with gnawing on just about anything that she can grab in her grabby little hands, including surfboards, chunks of pear, Cheerios, freeze-dried fruit, etc.

Plus, it was an irresistible photo-op.

These kids are so cute together.

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Monday, December 13, 2010


A common scene in our house these days:

Other things we're doing:
Christmas cards
Christmas tree decoration
Christmas parties
Christmas shopping

You might notice a theme...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Daddy Vacation

E Ben took a much-needed Daddy Vacation to San Francisco this weekend (actually he was gone for 75 hours, but who's counting?), which means that I was on duty while he was away. This is the longest stretch of time that I've been in charge of childcare, um, ever (I never had Jude for this long). I think I did well. I had a lot of help from Terry, who stayed over at our house on Thursday night and took Ada for a sleepover on Saturday night. And I sent Jude to school on Friday morning, so I didn't even have him the whole time. Also, the weather was beautiful here in Portland this weekend, clear and cold, which made it easier. Still, it was a challenge for me. Taking care of the kids 24 hours a day is a lot of work.

Here are some highlights from the weekend (no photos since Daddy had the camera):
  • Long walk outside with both kids after picking Jude up from school on Friday afternoon. We hit two parks, and Jude got to practice his "May I Pet Your Dog" script (from his current favorite book).
  • Movie Night (with popcorn) on Friday night. We watched Little Bear Movie, which Jude had never seen before and loved.
  • Cornett Baking Day on Saturday morning (hosted by Cornett and Company 2). Jude played with his cousins, decorated cookies, and ate quite a few treats as well. Then he came home and took a nice long nap.
  • ZooLights on Saturday evening. We met some friends from Jude's school, and walked around in the dark and cold for about two hours. Jude loved the lights and he also loved looking at the elephants. The baby elephant Samudra (born the same weekend as Jude) was sleeping when we got there and it was SO cute.
  • Saturday Night Sleep. Everyone slept well Saturday night! Ada slept almost all night long at Nini's house, Jude had his usual good night's sleep, and I slept for almost nine hours uninterrupted! It was my best night's sleep since before Ada was born.
  • Sunday Productivity. After a full night's sleep and a pot of strong tea, I was really energized on Sunday. After playing with Jude for a few hours in the morning, I put on a movie for him to watch and cleaned the whole house! Well, as much as I could do in an hour, which turned out to be quite a lot. It felt good to do some of the work around the house that I've been too tired to tackle until now.
  • Bonding with Jude. These days, I'm Jude's third favorite person (after Daddy and Nini, not necessarily in that order) and it is hard to spend quality time with him when others are around. We had a great 24 hours together, just the two of us. We played games, read books, had an adventure at the Zoo, and in general had a fun time. I loved spending some time alone with my boy!
The weekend went as well as I could have hoped (actually much better than I expected), and I have to say that, after this, the thought of having the kids for a few hours doesn't seem as daunting. Still, I'm looking forward to my first real Mommy Vacation! I don't know when that will happen (it will be sometime after Ada is weaned, for sure). Maybe in the spring?

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Skillz

I'll often put Ada down in her eating chair with a few Cheerios while preparing her meal. It keeps her occupied and one might make it into her mouth from time to time.

Jude likes to help Ada with everything, so of course he tried to shove the Cheerios into her mouth. "Jude, let Ada do that on her own. She needs to work on her skills."


The next day, Jude asked for a bowl of Cheerios. I obliged, and sat down at the table to keep him company while he ate. "Mommy, these are my skeels! You can have one skeel. Here it is!" He puts a Cheerio in my mouth. "I'm eating skeels!"

I was puzzled for a while, but Daddy figured it out. Ada was working on her skills with the Cheerios, so now Cheerios = skills. Jude confirmed tonight. "Mommy, Cheerios are skills! I like to eat skills!"

Jones Hawaii photos

Andrea posted a bunch of great photos from our Hawaii trip. Go check them out!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Tyee Lodge

We spent a night up at Tyee Lodge over Thanksgiving weekend. The weather was perfect for us, with a few feet of snow on the ground, very little wind, and a few inches of gentle snowfall each day. A few of Jude's friends from preschool joined us up at the lodge to play in the snow and eat popcorn.

We'll break with tradition and start this post with a video. Jude got quite a bit of practice playing ping-pong this weekend. He sometimes hits a ball headed towards him, and his serve goes in a lot more often.

Jude in the parking area just off of Timberline Road.

Jude took this photo of us in the Lodge last night.

Family shot during the trip down the mountain this afternoon. Jude rode down in the sled with the garbage. Ada's asleep in the Ergo, but you can see her feet sticking out the bottom of my jacket.

Ada, laughing as usual.

Sleeping in the Lodge was a challenge for everyone. Jude got the best night's sleep in his new red sleeping bag (it was the first time he slept in it). The rest of us spent most of the night trying to keep the crying kids quiet. It was fun to get the kids in the snow and spend some time with friends this weekend.

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Little Things: Ada, Seven Months

Ada is seven months old today!

Ada at seven months seems a lot like Ada at six months. No dramatic changes, just little changes every day. As Jude says, "Ada is getting bigger!".

Eating: Ada continues to nurse happily and she is eating a wider variety of solid foods. In the past month, we have introduced her to some new fruits and vegetables as well as baby oatmeal and yogurt. We offer her three meals a day, and sometimes she eats a lot and sometimes just a bite or two or nothing at all. She has graduated to the Eating Chair for some of her meals, but still eats in the Bumbo quite often. We have also started experimenting with finger foods such as Cheerios and cheese. She loves the cheese and likes to throw the Cheerios. They usually end up on the floor.

Sleeping: We have our good nights and our bad nights still. On a good night, Ada wakes up once to nurse and goes back down until morning. On a bad night, she might be up 3-4 times. We have a new system where I take care of her at her first wake-up, and she gets a bottle of formula (from Daddy) if she wakes up a second time. This way, Daddy gets to sleep through the first part of the night and I get to sleep through the second part. This has been working well for the past few nights. Ada is napping more consistently too. She usually gets tired once she's been awake for about three hours, and takes two naps a day. One of the two is usually long (at least 90 minutes) and the other one might be short or long. We are still swaddling her for naps and at bedtime.

Mouth: Ada has two bottom teeth and none on the top yet. She has seemed like she was teething a few times recently, but nothing else has popped through. These days, everything goes to Ada's mouth for exploration. She likes to bite and chew on toys and especially paper. I hate to admit it, but she has swallowed a few chunks of paper when we weren't paying attention.

Sitting and Moving: Ada can sit easily and has started to support herself with her arms in the crawl position, but only when placed there. She still has not made it to the crawl position on her own. On the floor, she is happy to sit and play with toys, and doesn't seem too interested in moving yet. Next month, perhaps?

Size: Ada is in 6-9 month clothing and size 3 diapers. I don't know her current weight, but she seems like she is growing a bit from week to week.

Vocalizing: Ada has started making more consonant sounds like ba, da, and ma. It is all just making noise at this point, but she does love conversations. She also does her fair share of shrieking and yelling to get attention. She has to be loud to be heard above Jude's constant chatter!

Here are a few photos from the past couple of weeks.

Jude holding Ada.

Ada's mean face.

Playing with the Halloween candy.

Playing with blocks.

Working on the crawl.

Thanksgiving with Alex.

A cute close-up.

The view from the Ergo.

Also, here is a short video of Ada sitting down for a few bites of yams at her first Thanksgiving dinner.

On to month eight!

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Swimming in Maui

We spent a lot of time swimming while on vacation.

Ada got to go swimming for the first time this month. She wore this cute little bathing suit borrowed from Liana. She loved dipping in the pool, sitting in the shallow area, and sitting on the little stream that emptied into the pool. The pool water was a bit cold, so she only went in a few times, but it was definitely a fun activity for her!

The most exciting swimming-related event was that Lucia learned to swim on her own! She was still wearing her life jacket, of course, but after watching Jude paddling all over the pool by himself for a few minutes on the first day, she quickly decided that she could do it too. After that, there was no stopping her! She went swimming every day in the pool, and was always trying to get Jude to join her. Jude grew less interested as the week progressed, and by the end of the week he didn't want to swim in the pool at all for some reason. He still liked the ocean and the hot tub, though. Perhaps the pool was too cold for him in the early evening, which is when we usually went swimming there.

The kids spent a lot of time jumping into the pool from this grassy area.

We also did some swimming in the ocean almost every day. Jude loved the waves and also standing on the sand in the shallow area and having fish swim around his feet. Lucia and Magdalena also liked the ocean, although Lucia preferred the pool. And even Ada got to dip her feet in the water a few times and jump some waves.

I don't have any pictures of it, but there was also a great hot tub at our condo. It was large, deep, and very hot. There were also pebbles on the bottom and very strong jets. Even after Jude lost interest in the pool, he still liked to sit at the edge of the hot tub and dangle his feet in the water (it was too hot for him to submerge). Jude and Lucia both spent some time hanging out there and chatting with the other people on vacation.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Little Things: Jude, 27 months

Our boy is two-and-a-quarter years old today!

I was talking with his preschool teacher the other day, and she was amazed at how much Jude has changed recently. It feels like he grows up by about six months every month. Sometimes it even seems like he is changing more quickly than Ada!

Our boy is a great communicator, and his language amazes me. Lately, we have been having the greatest conversations on the phone. He'll call me (usually when I'm at work) and chat about everything he's been doing. At first I thought that he must be getting prompting from Daddy, but I'm told that it is all Jude.

Jude has been going through a difficult stage lately. At first, I was reluctant to label it "Terrible Twos", but this must be what people are talking about. Jude has fairly dramatic tantrums. They are usually about something insignificant, often related to food or bedtime. It is so sad when he is having one, since it really seems like he thinks that the world is ending. We have started using a timer and giving him a choice of doing things "now, or in one minute". This has been helping, but it is still a struggle to get him to do anything that isn't exactly what he wants to be doing. Getting in the car seat, changing diapers, getting dressed, and many other things are a constant battle.

But when Jude is not fighting with us, he is such a joy. He's happy, engaged, interested in learning, and so funny. We are looking forward to a decrease in his "terrible" behavior, but can't help enjoying him the rest of the time.

Here are some recent photos of our boy.

Playing in the leaves.

Asleep on the chair in Maui. This was the first time he fell asleep outside of his bed or car seat in a really long time.

Jude's favorite "toy" in our rental house was the pile of books. He gravitated towards Julius Caesar. Ama would be so proud!

Just hangin' out.

Jude has been regressing a bit with the baby around. He now wants to wear bibs (he had been refusing them for a long time until Ada started wearing them) and sometimes sit in the high chair.

Phones are still a favorite.

This is a classic Jude shot. He loves to climb, especially on rocks. And he LOVES his Daddy these days. No one else can replace him.

Sunset with Ada and Nini.

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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Jude and Lucia

All of our best pictures from vacation are of Jude and Lucia.

Jude and Lucia holding hands in the airport.
Jude and Lucia sitting next to each other on the beach chairs.
Jude and Lucia swimming together.
Jude and Lucia playing in the sand.

Those two had a great time living across the hall from each other for a week. They loved to play together and watch TV together. There was a bit of fighting, especially when Jude didn't respect Lucia's personal space. But every time they were apart, they were constantly asking when they could play together again.

Our favorite quote from the whole week was from Jude to Lucia one late night "Lucia, I'm going to go have a beautiful nap, then come over to your house to play afterwards." We laughed about the "beautiful nap" for days.

Here are a few shots from one day at the beach.

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Ada in Maui

Ada had a nice visit to Maui last week. She spent most of her time sitting on blankets at the beach, eating local fruits and veggies, going for walks with Mom and Dad, and wearing the cute summer outfits that will be too small for her by the time it is warm enough in Portland to wear them again!

She also went swimming for the first time, dipped her feet in the ocean for the first time, and ate sand for the first time. She enjoyed the water and didn't seem to mind the sand.

Ada had a great time on vacation. She got to spend all of her time with her favorite people, and rarely had to put up with things she doesn't like, such as car rides and bottles. She also got to get to know Lucia and Magdalena much better, and loved spending time with them. Ada wants to go on vacation again soon!

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