Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"Dr. Jack, come back!"

We took the kids in yesterday for their four month and two year well-child visits.

Here are Ada's stats:
  • Weight: 13 pounds, 13.5 ounces (53rd percentile)
  • Length: 25.75 inches (93rd percentile)
  • Head Circumference: 41.5 cm
She got two shots and barely reacted (just a little whimper). The doctor said we can start her on solids in the next month or so if she continues to have trouble taking milk while I'm at work. We'll start with rice cereal and then move on to the orange veggies. She's definitely watching us eat and making chewing movements, but the real test is whether she will swallow the food when it's put in her mouth. Ada was vocalizing a lot with Dr. Jack, and he said that it was a good sign for her language development. In general she is doing very well, is right on track, and there are no major areas of concern for her.

Here are Jude's stats:
  • Weight: 33 pounds (93rd percentile)
  • Height: 38 inches (99th percentile)
Jude was basically off the chart for height. Dr. Jack said that 38 inches is the 75th percentile for 3-year-olds! Between his size and language, the doctor said he could very easily be mistaken for a 3-year-old. He cautioned about the "Language Trap" with Jude. Since he looks and speaks like an older child, it can be hard to remember that his brain is still a 2-year-old brain and he doesn't have the maturity that his language and size might suggest. So, we need to be careful about letting him do too much negotiating, especially around eating, bedtimes, etc., and also not trust him to understand and follow directions where safety is involved. We've been noticing the increased negotiating and appreciated the guidance to hold the line more often than not.

Developmentally, Jude is doing very well in all areas. He had some great conversations with the doctor about blackberries, backhoes, and screwdrivers. After Jude got his shots, Dr. Jack left the room to get him a little toy as a prize, and Jude called out "Dr. Jack, come back!". I guess the shots didn't bother him too much. Also, the doctor was happy with his weight trajectory (going down a bit in percentiles) and is not currently concerned about Jude becoming overweight. We'll have him weighed again at Ada's 9 month visit just to make sure, but it looks like he's doing fine with that.

All in all, a great visit to the doctor. Both kids are healthy and happy, and weren't too bothered by their shots.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Little Things: Ada, Four Months

Ada is four months old today! It is quite the celebratory week around here, between my thirty-four years, Jude's two years, and Ada's four months. Here are a few things to remember about Ada at this age:
  • Ada does not like bottles! She is currently refusing to drink from a bottle and we have resorted to teaching her how to drink from a cup so that she can stay fed while I'm at work, starting next week. We tried her with a bottle every day for about a week. We tried a morning feeding, an evening feeding, breast milk and formula, Mommy and Daddy offering the bottle, but nothing worked. She just does not seem to understand that she needs to suck on the bottle to get food. At least with the cup, we can pour a little bit into her mouth and she will swallow some of it. It is possible that once she learns to drink from a cup, we'll be able to get her to take a bottle, but at least this way she'll be able to stay hydrated while I'm away.
  • As of Monday, Ada was a little over 13.5 pounds. I don't know how long she is, but she seems to have grown a lot in the last couple of months.
  • Ada is a very happy baby. She is smiling and laughing most of the day while she's awake, and rarely cries except when she's hungry or tired. She is becoming quite verbal, making lots of noises and responding to everyone around her.
  • Ada is still not sleeping consistently. She'll take 3-4 naps a day, but we never know if any given nap is going to last 20 minutes or 2 hours, so it's hard to plan around them. At night, she likes to stay up late, but once she goes to sleep she'll have one pretty long stretch and then another decent one. Sometimes she still likes to get up to play in the middle of the night, but she's getting better at going back to sleep after the middle-of-the-night feeding.
  • Ada is still in size 2 diapers, but she has grown out of most of her three month clothing. She's wearing mostly 3-6 month and 6 month clothes except for pants.
  • Ada has started playing with toys and likes to grab on to certain things and chew on them. She is great at tummy time, but still not rolling over consistently. If she's on the floor, she will lift up her midsection and spin around, but other than that, she doesn't move around much.
  • Ada continues to nurse well, about every 2-3 hours during the day and every 4-6 at night. She rarely seems hungry and can go for a while after waking up before being fed. Jude was always ravenous right when he woke from a nap or night-time sleep.
  • Ada is still swaddled for most of her naps and night-time, but she'll occasionally fall asleep in the car seat and stay asleep for a while.
  • Ada likes music and she likes to look at books. We've started reading to her as part of her bedtime routine.
Here are a few photos from the past week or so. Ada likes soft stuffed animals much more than Jude ever did. Here she is in her car seat with the giraffe from Ama.

Ada has had the chance to wear more cute dresses recently since Ama is in town to dress her.

At the park with Ama.

A cute close-up from Jude's birthday party.

Out for a walk with Mommy.

Lying on the quilt from Nanny.

Tummy time on the couch at Nini's house.

On to month five!
Posted by Picasa

Way Up North

Maternity leave is not vacation . . . but we try to make it look like one.
Long nights of walking the baby, early mornings, feeding schedules, toddler tantrums, and everything else involved gave us plenty to keep busy with this summer. Nonetheless, our long summer of family bonding gave us the courage to venture out on a second family trek during the month of August. This time the destination was Alaska, to visit old friends and breathe the clean air.

Our trip was not ambitious. Linden's mother "Ama" joined us as part of her annual August visit, and with her help we had the confidence to forge onward.

We tried to keep our kids happy and well-fed, and ourselves just this side of sane. Instead of sightseeing, we often settled for a good public park and most of a good night's sleep. This being said, we could not have made such a journey without the kind invitation and hospitality of our hosts in both Anchorage and Homer.

In Anchorage we stayed with the generous and helpful Baer family. This is not a joke. Linden has old family friends by the name of Baer (pronounced BEAR, in case you missed that) who moved to Alaska 40 years ago and never left. The photo above is not a family portrait, but something taken on a wild game conservation preserve outside of Anchorage.

We adjusted to the change of daylight and enjoyed Anchorage for a few days before renting a car and heading down south to Homer. We have close friends, the Larson family, who work and live seasonally in this little town at the end of the Kenai Penninsula. They operate a pizza shop on the Homer Spit, and I had not been to visit in eight summers. That is a long time to wait for a slice of margarita with coppa.

Jude and Ada both enjoyed the change of scenery, and Jude especially loved playing on the beach. The Larsons have a little boy who is also two years old as well as Finn, their 9 year old and namesake for Finn's Pizza. We enjoyed having the rental car, and kept our own schedule filled with shoppnig for dinners, trips to the beach, lunch around town, and enjoying Alaska. There were a few days of wet weather, but by the end of the week it was nothing but beautiful blue Alaska skies.

Jude discovered this shovel and crane on the beach near the pizza shop and played with it for as long as we would let him. I say "played" but you can tell by the look on his face that he is very very serious about his work.
This is a pretty good categorization of both our kids this summer. They are both working hard to move on to the next stage of life. Ada is laughing and smiling and playing with toys, and Jude is talking and running and figuring out how the world works.
We returned home happy to see Portland again, but satisfied with the family adventure up North.
Posted by Picasa

Alaskan Memories

Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 23, 2010

"I Am Two"

For weeks, Jude has been answering "How old are you?" with "Almost two!". As of yesterday, he now says "I Am Two!". We had a (very) small birthday party yesterday for Jude's second (he got to invite two friends). The day was perfect, with play time, toys, and cupcakes. The video below captures the difference between a one-year-old and a two-year-old perfectly.

The day started off with a 4am visit to Daddy and Mommy in bed. "Jude, what's going on?" "Judey climbed out!" It was the first time he got out of his crib. How funny that it happened on his second birthday! We've now converted him to a toddler bed, and the jury is still out on how long it will take him to learn to stay in bed now that he has the freedom to leave whenever he likes. I was hoping to wait until Jude was a bit older before making this change, but it's not safe for him to fall out, so we had to make the move sooner.

There's more to come about the birthday, but enjoy the video for now.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

August Picnics

We allowed ourselves just a few short weeks of summer in between our aggressive maternity and travel schedule. This gave us just enough time for Jude to learn the word "picnic." We had a lot of picnics last week, and on Saturday we went to TWO.

These shots are from the Reilly Reunion in Parkdale, Oregon. My grandmother was born just up the valley from here in 1917.

Ada put on her favorite party dress and posed from some shots with my "Oma", not to be confused with Ama.

After Parkdale, we returned down the valley to Oma's house in Hood River for naps and recuperation. The Cornett family all descended there in the yard for the annual summer Cornett Campout. We didn't campout this year, but we did stay into the evening and drove back in the dark.

Both kids were troopers (why do people say that?) and we made it home safe that night and got everyone into bed.

This was a big day for us, and a good adventure being out all day as a family. I guess the whole summer has been an adventure, to tell the truth.

Sh*t, just having children is enough adventure to make you want to stay home and watch reruns of The Office.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 9, 2010

Lucky Number Seven

Today is our seventh anniversary.

Where has the time gone? We still look like those same two people in the pictures, so we can't be doing too badly.

I can barely keep track of the summer, let alone the past seven years. Two babies, one master's degree, a bathroom remodel, one trip to Europe, a multilevel deck project, one marathon, and many many miles on the cars have gone by all too quickly.

We have been lucky, lucky, lucky. It feels like we have had more than our share of the joy. I am often quick to thank God for that one, or The Universe, or the healthy stock market. But maybe I should break with convention and give ourselves a little more credit.

Linden and I met each other and very quickly figured the other as a Good Bet. There is something to be said for this reliance on the sheer power of human instinct to choose a mate. The gut feeling has served us well on this one, at least for seven years!

THANK YOU, everyone who joined us for our wedding day on August 9, 2003. Seven anniversaries later, we enjoy our health and happiness!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 6, 2010

Baekeland Camp 2010

Baekeland Camp was purchased in the 1920's by my grandmother's grandparents. He was the inventor Leo Hendrik Baekeland and Celine (later known as "Bon Bon") was his wife. Leo only visited Camp once, declaring it a fire trap and preferring to remain home in Yonkers during the summer months. Celine and the rest of the family made the trip almost every summer. My grandmother and father spent their summers at Camp as children, and I have been going there almost every summer as far back as I can remember. Today, Baekeland Camp is owned by another branch of our family, so we are renters rather than owners. But we still try to get up to Camp for a week or two every summer!

This summer, we were there for two weeks. Two-year-old Jude had a blast, and three-month-old Ada did fine (she doesn't really care too much about her surroundings at this age). We stayed in the Main House for the first week. We loved the large living space and huge kitchen and dining areas. The second week, we were in the Roll Cabin. It was nice being right on the water with our own private dock, although four adults and two children were a bit too noisy for that space.

Here is Jude attempting to ring the fire gong.

We own this yellow canoe, which we love using each summer at Camp. This year, we spent some time getting Jude used to canoe trips. Sitting can be hard for him, so we started small, with short forays from dock to dock.

This boardwalk was built so that wheelchair-bound Bon Bon could be pushed between the Main Dock and Main House. Jude loved running up and down the boardwalk.

We had some battles with Jude over wearing his life jacket on the docks and boats. It got much easier once Daddy got his own life jacket. Then Jude wore his with less resistance.

The Milkaholic still loves his bottles of "MOKEY", but one day we managed to get him to drink his milk out of a wine glass. It probably helped that he had a brownie and was sitting in his "Stu Bunny" highchair, an old-fashioned wood-and-leather contraption that we found in a closet.

Jude wanted to sit on the Big Rock for the obligatory "sitting on a rock" photo...

But he eventually agreed to sit on a Tiny Rock instead.

Here is a good view of the Main Dock and Casino. The Casino was completely rebuilt this year, with a new concrete foundation and supports. It looks great and is MUCH more stable.

We can't wait to go back next year!

Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 2, 2010

Little Things: Ada, 14 Weeks

Ada is 14 weeks old today. Here are a few details about our baby at this age:
  • Ada is growing well. She is almost 13 pounds and about 24.5 inches long.
  • Ada continues to be a good nursling. She typically feeds about 7-8 times a day for about 15-20 minutes each time. She will occasionally have a longer feeding, but it is rare. She almost never spits up. In general, Ada seems much less hungry than she did a few weeks ago. Sometimes she will refuse to nurse after only 5 minutes or less, especially in the morning when she is ready to start the day.
  • One issue that we had on our trip is that Ada refused to drink a bottle of formula one afternoon while I was out. This is something we need to work on this month since she'll have to start taking a few bottles a day once I go back to work next month. So far, she has only had breast milk, but that may change once I'm not around as much. With Jude, I was never able to pump enough to feed him while I was at work and I'm anticipating the same situation with Ada.
  • Ada is not sleeping especially well. She still goes to bed quite late (between 10 and 11) and wakes up once or twice to feed in the night. Often she will go right back to sleep after eating, but sometimes she is awake and it takes a while to get her back down. During the day, she is napping some, but not very consistently. We try to get her back to sleep after no more than two hours of wakefulness, but this is often not possible. Ada will take a long time to fall asleep if she's not ready to go to sleep, and will not stay down for very long. She does usually take one lengthy (2 hour) nap a day, but it is not at any consistent time so it's hard to plan around it. I hope she will start to do better as she reaches 4-5 months of age. We have set up a fan for white noise in her room since she seems to sleep better when she can't hear the noises of the house to wake her up. I think we may have had somewhat unrealistic expectations since Jude was (and is) such a good sleeper. But I would like to be getting more rest!
  • Ada seems to enjoy tummy time and loves looking around at everything that's going on in the world. She is very social and loves to smile and make faces at people. She likes to watch Jude and Daddy running around the house. I have seen her roll over a few times, but she doesn't do it consistently. She is doing pretty well at supported sitting and can stay upright for longer and longer periods. Her neck control is good and she can hold her head up most of the time (until she gets too tired).
  • Ada has graduated to size 2 diapers and size 3-6 month clothing for the most part.
  • We are currently using all three baby carriers with Ada. The Bjorn for walks, mostly facing out until her neck gets tired then facing in. I use the Ergo with a swaddle and sleeping hood to try to get her to sleep, and Daddy still uses the sling for that purpose.
  • Ada still does not enjoy car trips. We have the best experience if we can get her to sleep before the trip begins - then she will usually stay asleep while we're on the road.
  • Ada's hair is curly and it's getting lighter. I think she may end up having blue eyes and strawberry blond hair. She has a cute little curl on the top of her head that sticks up in the humid weather.
Here are a few photos from the past few weeks. The first one is from this past weekend, on the floor at Terry's house.

With the guitar in the Adirondacks.

Making a funny face for the camera.

With Ama at the Trapeze School in NYC.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Newest Cornett

Meet Drew Taylor! You can follow his development at the other Cornett & Company blog. Can you believe that he sleeps like this? No swaddle, no pacifier, in the middle of a bright noisy room... What an angel!

We managed to get a photo of all four Cornett grandchildren, which was a small miracle. No crying, and everyone is looking in the general direction of the camera. Will it ever happen again?

Two moms, two babies.

Congratulations to Jen and Andy and big brother Brady!

Posted by Picasa