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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Thursday, November 18, 2010

More Singing

I'm not exaggerating when I say that Jude sang this song about 500 times during our week in Maui. Eventually Lucia asked him to stop: "Jude, you're hurting my ears!". Every once in a while, though, she would start singing along with him. The song is addictive.

In case you're not familiar with Fantastic Mr. Fox, the lyrics are:
Boggis, Bunce, and Bean
One short*, one fat, one lean
These horrible crooks, so different in looks
Were nonetheless equally mean

* Actually, it's supposed to be "one fat, one short, one lean", but Jude doesn't like that order and insists on "short" before "fat"...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hawaii Videos

We spent last week in Maui with our good friends the Joneses. Nini came along to help out and get a first-hand look at what it's really like to spend a week living with our kids.

Jude did a lot of singing on this vacation. By the end of the week, everyone had the "Boggis, Bunce, and Bean" song permanently stuck in their heads. The ABC song was a close second.

We went to the beach almost every day, and by the end of the week the Hole Project was pretty impressive.

It was a great vacation with great friends. Stay tuned for more!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tooth Fairy

Guess who got her first tooth this morning...

I have been checking for teeth daily for the past week or so, because Ada has been uncomfortable and I could see the bumps getting ready to poke through. This morning I did my usual check, and was surprised to find that not one but TWO sharp little teeth had come through overnight.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Great Puddle Jumper

It all started with a trip to Goodwill. Jude spotted the frog costume, and Daddy picked up a pair of cute bunny ears for Ada. The costume turned out to be a little bit too small for Jude, but he loved it, so it didn't matter.

Then came the first costume-wearing event, then the second, then the third. By the fourth one, Jude had had enough. It was a long day, with no nap, and we didn't push it. He missed the photo, but had a good time at the party nonetheless. We left after an hour, pumpkin in hand, with no major meltdowns. Given the circumstances, Jude did as well as we could have expected.

The next day was Halloween. Jude had a great morning at the Children's Museum with Ama. He spent three hours leading her around to all of his favorite nooks and crannies. We got him home and down for a three-hour nap, and he woke up in a wonderful mood. It was a lovely evening, and I took the kids out for a short walk before dark. The house about ten up from us had a few Halloween-themed decorations out front, including a life sized man holding a tray of candy. Jude approached bravely, pointing at the spiders, pumpkins, and ghosts. Reaching for the candy triggered some unexpected movement and spooky noises, designed to scare children. It worked. Jude is rarely scared, but he ran back to me crying and begging "Mommy hold her!". I carried him halfway back to our house before he was willing to get down and ride his bike the rest of the way. He had a lot to say to Daddy about the "scary man".

After an early dinner, we got things in motion to go out trick-or-treating for the first time. Our plan was for Ada and Ama to stay home to hand out candy to the hoards of children roaming our neighborhood, while Mommy and Daddy and Jude ventured out in search of treats.

Jude was not interested. He'd spent enough time in his costume and resisted putting it on again. We thought about just letting it go and remembering to attend fewer Halloween parties next year, when Daddy had an inspiration: Silly String. He pulled out a can and started shooting everyone in the house. Jude loved it. When we suggested going outside to shoot the neighbor kids, he was enthusiastic. He even put on the costume.

Out we went, knocking on doors and demanding treats. Jude walked right inside for the first few houses. He thought he had to stay and make conversation to get his candy. "I love your costume, Jude!", said neighbor after neighbor. "I have a FROG!", he would reply. As we approached the Scary House, Jude started to get a little bit nervous, so we decided to turn around and make our way down the hill, looking for Jojo. This is when he really got into it. At every house, we would knock and as the door opened, Jude would announce "I wants candy!". After he took a piece or four and we made our way back to the sidewalk, I would ask if he wanted to keep going or head home. "Keep going!". In the end, we probably made it to about fifteen houses. Daddy said he would consider it a success if we made it to five, so Jude exceeded expectations...

We eventually ran into Jojo and family, and covered them with Silly String. That was fun, but by then Jude was already enjoying our Halloween adventures. We made it home after being out for about an hour, and Jude got to pick out one piece of candy to eat. As he sucked on his Tootsie Pop, he stacked and sorted the rest of his candy, and picked a few pieces to take to bed with him. We got the rest of the candy out of sight, and he hasn't asked for it yet.

All in all, Halloween night this year was a fun community event. We got to see a bunch of our neighbors, meet a few new ones, and Jude got to do something new and exciting. Being outside when it was SO DARK! Asking people for CANDY! We also could not have asked for better weather. I think that next year we'll try to forgo most of the Halloween parties, and also make sure that Jude's costume fits him. Also, we'll stay away from the Scary House. On the other hand, he won't be two next year, so the whole thing might be a lot easier no matter what we do.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dr. Jack x2

We took Ada in yesterday morning for her six-month visit to see Dr. Jack. Here are her stats:
  • Weight: 15 pounds, 11 ounces (42nd percentile)
  • Length: 27 inches (88th percentile)
  • Head Circumference: 43.5 cm
Ada is still quite tall for her age, and she is gaining enough weight between nursing, a few ounces of formula most days, and an introduction to solid foods. Dr. Jack encouraged us to increase Ada's intake of solids to 3x a day, and said that we can feed her as much food as she wants to eat. Fruits and vegetables are very healthy and there's no concern about overfeeding. We can also start some finger foods once she gets a few teeth. One new thing is that we're supposed to start giving both kids fluoride drops on a daily basis, since there is no fluoride in our water supply. This will continue until they lose all of their baby teeth, which seems like a long time from now! She did really well with her shots and didn't cry at all. Developmentally, she seems to be right on track. She is sitting very well and beginning to show a lot of interest in toys. We're supposed to have her spend more time on her tummy with something she wants just out of reach to "encourage" her to get moving. Right now she is pretty happy to stay put, but I have a feeling this is not going to be the case much longer.

While we were at the doctor, we mentioned that Jude had been exposed to chickenpox last week. Although the first dose of chickenpox vaccine (which he was given at age 1) is ~80% effective, Dr. Jack recommended that Jude get his second dose just in case, since Ada is still young and has not been vaccinated. So Jude went to the doctor later in the afternoon. I was working, but I hear that he skipped right in, had his shot, and was perfectly happy to get his treat afterwards. Jude shouldn't need any more shots until he is 5.