Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Minute In The Life

I've had some requests from readers to post more videos of Ada. After watching the movie "Babies", we're inspired to do a better job of documenting her day-to-day existence. Here is a pretty good sample of Ada at this age. She is a sitting, laughing, grabbing machine.


We have a new version of the "pipes" game. We now run water through the pipes in the bathtub. It's a hit. The most exciting part is when we can get the water to flow uphill. Everyone gets really excited when that happens...

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Little Things: Ada, Six Months

Ada is six months old today!

I don't want to jinx it, but I feel like we are past the really tough time with two small children. The big questions right now are (1) when Ada will start sleeping better at night (so that I can get more sleep) and (2) when/how we are going to wean her from nursing. I'd like to have a little more independence and also be able to alternate middle-of-the-night duty, but it is also very convenient for me to be able to nurse Ada when I am the one taking care of her. Plus, she really loves it, so that makes it even harder to stop.

I know that this is going to be my last time nursing a baby, which also makes me inclined to stick it out a little bit longer, but I am just. so. tired. It's hard to explain how difficult it is to never get an uninterrupted night of sleep for six+ months in a row unless you've been through it at some point. I think we'll probably end up continuing for another few months, although we may start doing bottles at night sometime soon. With Jude, once we cut back from exclusive nursing, I very quickly stopped producing much milk at all, and I'm afraid this will happen again, otherwise I'd be happy to continue with about half-and-half formula and breast milk for the foreseeable future.

I love this age. Ada is so cute, interactive, and cannot yet talk back...:) Here are a few things to remember about Ada at six months:
  • Drinking: Ada still loves to nurse, but she has finally (as of about two weeks ago) started taking a bottle. This was a huge relief to all of her caregivers. She is currently drinking 8-10 ounces a day while I'm at work. My milk supply seems to have gone down in the ~8 weeks that I've been back at work, and I'm no longer able to pump as much as she wants to drink, so Ada also has a bottle of formula most days. On the weekends, she'll nurse more than usual, and if I'm away for a couple of hours she'll also have a bottle of formula to stay satisfied.
  • Eating: Ada really enjoys her food. She has tried rice cereal, sweet potato, butternut squash, banana, prunes, avocado, and pears. Her favorites so far seems to be sweet potato and pears (which were also two of Jude's favorites), and she really does not like rice cereal now that she's tried some other foods. She's currently eating twice a day, and the amount really varies from meal to meal, depending on what we offer and how hungry she is at the time. We usually feed her in the Bumbo seat, and lately she has been grabbing for the spoon, so I usually give her one to hold during mealtime.
  • Sleeping: After sleeping through the night twice in a row at five months of age, Ada has regressed somewhat and is now up 1-2 times every night (for a while it was 2-3 times). I think that it is because she is hungry and also possibly teething. She's been doing better since we moved her up from one meal to two meals a day. Also, I've been giving her a half dose of Tylenol before bedtime if she seems to be in some tooth pain. This has been helping a little bit, but her nights are still very unpredictable. Ada is also an early riser, usually up for the day sometime between 5:30 and 6:30. With an ~8pm bedtime, this is a lot less than the 12 hours of night-time sleep that babies her age are "supposed" to need. I do think that Ada just needs less sleep than average, because she is perfectly pleasant while she is awake and doesn't seem tired. She is taking 2-3 naps a day. Sometimes she'll take three short naps, and other days she'll take one long nap (2+ hours) and one short one (~30 minutes). We rarely get two good naps out of her (meaning over an hour). Ada falls asleep pretty easily if she's tired. If she's not tired, it takes a lot more work to get her asleep and we often don't even bother trying.
  • Teething: I have not seen any teeth yet, but Ada does seem to be experiencing some pain in her mouth, she's biting a lot more than usual, and I can feel some bumps protruding from her lower gums. Jude didn't get his first tooth until he was almost 8 months old, so I wouldn't be surprised if it took a few more weeks/months for Ada's first to show up.
  • Sitting: Ada can sit independently for a few minutes, and with a small amount of support (like a Boppy or pillow behind her) for a long time (like 20 minutes). She likes to sit up on the couch or the bed with a few toys in front of her. She will examine the toys and especially the tags with great concentration. She also loves to watch Jude as he plays nearby.
  • Moving: Ada is still not moving much, but I feel like she is starting to get tired of her immobile state. She will spin around while lying on the floor on either her back or tummy if there is something behind her that she wants to see. She also seems much more restless lately. She is kicking all the time while I nurse her and she has also started whacking me with her fist unless I hold her hand. Jude was like this from the time he was very young (just could not stay still) but Ada has been more placid until recently. Now, I would describe her as "antsy".
  • Swaddling: We are still swaddling Ada for bedtime and most naps. She seems to fall asleep much more quickly when swaddled and stays asleep longer. I don't know how much longer we will continue to swaddle her (with Jude we didn't stop until he was ~11 months old) but I don't anticipate stopping anytime soon since it works so well.
  • Books: Ada is starting to show some interest in books. She usually gets a double dose of books, since she watches while we read books to Jude and also gets a few of her own. I've added Goodnight Moon to her bedtime routine and she appears to like the pictures and the rhythm of the words. It's hard to tell for sure, though, because she likes pretty much everything!
  • Size: I took Ada in to be weighed a couple of weeks ago and she was just over 15 pounds. We'll find out her length as well as percentiles when we go in for her six-month appointment with Dr. Jack next week. Ada is wearing six-month size clothes and they are starting to get a little bit small. We'll probably move on to the nine-month size soon. We're using up the last package of size 2 diapers and moving on to size 3 in the next few days.
  • Outings: Ada is very social, and loves to see new faces and people. She really enjoys being out and about, and gets a little crabby if she's home with just the immediate family for a whole day. Daddy takes Ada out for shopping, lunch, and walks almost every day, since he also needs some action. Ada likes the stroller, but she prefers to be carried. She's grown out of the Bjorn, and we now carry her in the Ergo most of the time. So far, we've mostly worn her on the front, but she also does fine on the back, and we'll probably start doing that more often in the next few months. It is hard to get her on our backs without help, though, so the front is more convenient for now.
  • Talking: Ada can be quite loud when she wants attention. She shrieks and calls out if she feels like she's being ignored. She does a lot of cooing and razzing her lips, and loves back-and-forth conversations. She is not saying any words or sounds consistently, but she does vocalize a lot and seems interested in making noise.
  • Toys: Ada has just started grabbing and manipulating objects in the past week or so. She likes anything with tags and with a lot of different shapes and colors, as well as toys which make noise. Ada likes soft toys and stuffed animals much more than Jude ever did, so the plush toy collection is now hers...:) She also likes to hang out in the Exersaucer sometimes or play with the dangling toys in the Gymini, but there are also times when she just wants to be held and nothing else will do.
  • Loving: Ada is very attached to Mommy and always wants to nurse immediately after any kind of separation (even though sometimes she is not hungry). I think it is more for reassurance than food at this point. She also loves her big brother (cannot keep her eyes off of him) and her Daddy (he gets the biggest smiles of all). Nini spends every Thursday morning with Ada (while Jude and Daddy are at school), and those two are starting to form a nice bond as well. Ada is friendly and will let anyone hold her, but when she is upset, only those she knows well can calm her easily.
  • Coloring: Ada's eyes are still very blue and her hair seems to be pretty light (although also very short so far). As of now, I'm sticking with my guess that she will have blue eyes and blond hair.
Here are a few photos from the past couple of weeks:

Ada's big smile for Daddy...

Hanging out with Danel.

Deep in thought while sitting.

Watching the cooking show in the kitchen (this happens a lot).

Jude feeds Ada a bottle. No, the car is not in motion...:)

Jude took this photo. He LOVES taking photos, especially of Ada.

Our two lovebugs.

Happy half-year birthday, Ada!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hamburgers, Pancakes, and Lellow!

Jude made corn bread the other night for dinner, but first he had to figure out the recipe...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mmm... Cardboard...

Young children aren't supposed to eat raw vegetables, at least not the very hard ones like carrots. We're encouraged to parboil them to soften before serving. That word seems to be a little bit out of Jude's range. Hence, one of his favorite foods is "cardboard carrots". We giggle every time he says it.

Friday, October 15, 2010

More Language Quirks

I thought of a few more language quirks.

Jude knows the right word for "boy", but instead of "girl" he says "gullah".

Jude has thankfully not started using the word "mine" yet, but he does say OWN a lot. The most common usage is when he wants to do something "by my OWN", or tells someone to do it "by your OWN". For a while, he was saying "OWN, OWN" when someone was playing with one of his toys. Now he says, very seriously, "Jojo, that's Judey's".

Jude has very specific (sometimes non-intuitive) names for the shows he likes to watch and songs he likes to sing. Just a few examples:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Splits

I never did end up writing about my second trapeze class last summer. Perhaps that's because it was less satisfying than the first one. Or maybe because I didn't really get any good videos of myself doing the new trick.

Anyway, we went into the city a second time while we were in New York for the summer. This time, we learned a much more difficult trick, the splits. I was able to do the "heels off" trick again with no problem, but had a lot more trouble with the splits. It just didn't work well for me, and I never really felt comfortable doing it. I was kind of off-balance and felt awkward. Margaret was good at this one, and was able to complete two catches, but mine didn't work out as well.

This was my best swing:

This is how it's supposed to look:

I really loved having the chance to take a few trapeze classes this past summer. I'm hoping to get back to New York for a long weekend sometime early next year so that I can take a few more classes. By then, I'll probably be a few pounds lighter (I've already lost ~10 pounds since the summer!) as well as stronger and more flexible from the yoga classes that I started taking this month. Hopefully I'll be able to pick up a few new trapeze tricks as a result!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

First Person, Singular

For the past few months, Jude has been referring to himself as "Judey". "Judey wants some dinner". "Judey went to school today". "Judey has a double-ouchie". Recently, he seems to have discovered the first person. It's not exactly natural for him, and when he's in a hurry he's still "Judey". But occasionally, he'll very deliberately say "I am hungry" or "I need a new diaper". He watches closely for a reaction, to make sure he is doing it right.

This was one of the questions on the two-year-old developmental questionnaire (does your child refer to himself as "I"), one of the few to which we had to answer "no". I didn't even realize it was a developmental milestone, but now that it is on my radar, I'm very aware of his steps in that direction. Everything is a process, and it's incredible how everything with children is temporary.


This morning, we were reading "Pat the Bunny" right after Jude woke up. If you're not familiar with the book, the two kids in the book are Paul and Judy. This was very puzzling for Jude. Why was I calling the little girl "Judy"? He corrected me: the boy was Judey and the girl was Ada. Once I started calling the kids the right names, he was a lot happier.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Homecoming Weekend

We went over to Lewis and Clark College last weekend for Homecoming Breakfast and a walk. Jude rode on my shoulders for a while, which was a little bit disconcerting for him.

We tried for another family photo.

The next day, Ada learned some card tricks from Danel while the boys played Wii and watched football.
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Thursday, October 7, 2010


Me: What are you drawing, Jude?
Jude: That's a chicken!
Me: How beautiful! Where are its legs?
Jude: Still in the pen, Mommy!
(as in, he didn't draw them yet...:))
Jude, do you like popcorn?
(Note: we are both shoveling it into our mouths)
Really? Why not?
It's too ... white!
Jude, who did you play with at school today?
Nathaniel and Riley!
Anybody else?
Finn. That's hard work!
What's hard work?
Playing with Finn is hard work!

Jude makes me laugh every time he opens his mouth. What will he say next?

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Language Quirks

Jude's language is amazing these days, but he still speaks with a few quirks. I'm sure these will disappear soon, and I want to remember them, so I'm listing as many as I can recall here...
  • When Jude wants someone to pick him up, he says "Daddy hold her" or "Mommy hold her". I think it's because everyone is always talking about holding the baby girl (i.e. "do you want to hold her?", "can I hold her?").
  • Jude doesn't seem to be able to pronounce the "SP" at the beginning of a word. Instead, he uses the "F" sound. So, we're often looking for a FOON so we can eat applesauce, or talking about the FIDER WEB at the window, or FITTING out the water after brushing our teeth, or FINNING around and around. It's pretty awesome, actually, but can be hard to figure out what he's talking about if you don't know the rule.
  • The TH sound at the beginning of words is not quite there yet. So we hear a lot of "NIS one" and "NAT one" (this and that). Also, he likes to talk about his favorite FINGS. Also, "Daddy do WAT" (that).
  • Jude's got most of his colors down, but he still says LELLOW for yellow.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Judey said...

Jude has a mind of his own, and he finally has the language to get his point across. Here are a few examples from recent days...
  • Last night, as we were reading Jude's favorite book (Curious George Flies a Kite), we got to the part where George is about to fall into the lake. He said "Judey doesn't like this part" and flipped a few pages ahead to the next part about flying the kite with Bill.
  • The other day, as I was saying goodbye to Jude (he was going to spend the morning with Grandpa Danel) I strapped him into his car seat and then gave him a kiss. He said "Judey doesn't need a kiss", as he wiped my kiss off of his face. I told him that Mommy needed a kiss, and he was happy to oblige.
  • After his bath the other day, it was time to put on his diaper. He said "Judey has a different idea" and wanted me to hold him for a minute first. I know it was just a stalling tactic, but it was very sweet anyway.
  • There is a right way and a wrong way to do everything. He always lets us know. "Mommy do it wrong" or "Daddy do it wrong".
  • The other day we were playing with the Ben Franklin doll, and he realized that Ben Franklin has the same first name as Daddy. He clarified: "Daddy E Ben". :)
  • When Jude has a meltdown and later recovers, he always lets us know by saying "Judey's ok now".
  • Other things that Jude says all the time: "Mommy Linden, what are you doing?", "Daddy Ben, come back please", "Daddy Ben, where are you?".