Monday, August 23, 2010

Life at the Batcave

So... I didn't blog for a while. Normally I'd be all about playing catch up. but there's a ton of stuff on FB, so I'm going to leave it at that.

Rutherford's gone, though. He went missing at the beginning of the summer. I think I miss him more than Gwen does. She's been asking for a new lion, and I may have to cave in and get one.

So. Summer here has been cool. Almost cold. We'vemanaged to keep busy, even though we really haven't gone anywhere. Mondays I've been going to water aerobics with Julie while Gwen hangs with Karin, Tuesdays have been the library until this month. I think we're hitting thebeach tomorrow. Wednesdays, we do our walk in Henry Cowell, Thursdays Gwen has swim lessons in Ben Lomond with Ryan and James, and Fridays are a bit free form. We haven't beent o the creek nearly as much, but we've gone a few times. We'll probably go more now that's it's getting hot.

Gwen is gorgeous and a real handful. Having a hell of a time getting her to bed right now. She's pulling out all the stops, whcih means once more we are letting her cry it out. She's bright and she's funny and stubborn as all get out. However, she is potty trained, hallelujah huzzah! She seems to be coming out of the mermaid/Ariel stage (although she did a serious Uturn tonight) in favor of all superheros, all the time. This weekend, she was Batwoman, Jim was Batman, I was Batgirl, and Julie was Batbaby. Jim was married to both of us, mostly because Gwen did not want any responsibility for Batbaby.

She's been a big fan of Batman for a long time, but she had told Mom that she wanted a WonderWoman costum for Halloween. Then on Thursday, after a truly awful day that I have to admit had more to do with my poor behavior than hers, we ended up at the consignment shop, where she promptly peed all over their carpetted play area. Yikes. So I had to buy something, and what I bought was this. The downside - she won't take it off. The upside? Well, I think Mom is off the hook (although we may need a Robin oufit for Julia, because how cute would that be?) And she lets us call her Gwen in public, you know, to protect her secret identity.

She misses school a lot, and so do I. I'm on the Board now, and I'm really looking forward to the new year. Gwen will have a completely new class, and I think she's going to do great. It'll be interesting seeing how Julie does on my work days. I think she's going to be getting into everything she can. Thank goodness for the Ergo. When she's on my back, I can't see what she's getting up to, for one.

Julie is a completely different kitty than her sister. She's quiet and thoughtful, but she has her on ways of letting you know what she wants. We tend to think of Gwen as the drama queen, mostly because she always has been. We called her the Lady Gwendolyn from a very early age. Julie's not dramatic at all. But that doesn't mean she doesn't have her her own ideas. She just tends to be a little more agreeable about getting her way. She's got this toothless grin combined with the bunners wiggle that will charm the bejeebers out of you. She's babbling now, often at the top of her lungs. Her favorite at the moment is MAMAMAMAMAAMAMAMMAA. A couple of times she's stopped at Mama, though, so I'm calling it. She also made a vague gesture today that I'm choosing to interpret asthe milk sign. Because I can.

The two of us were sick this weekend, which totally sucked because we had plans. Parties, people. Plural on the parties, including James' 3rd birthday. James currently has a major crush on Gwen, and I really wanted to watch Jim watching James. Plus, all my peoples was there, with all of the kids, and Jules and I were stuck at home. But Jules kept sneezing great big baby germs everywhere, and I was basically warmed over Death on Legs, so no parties for us. Which meant we were alone for Julie's big moment.

She sat. All by herself! She is a sitting up baby!

(That's Chompers, by the way. The rest of the world call the giraffe Sophie,but we call her Chompers, because that's what Julie does. Chomp her.)

I'm not sure why I'm so excited about this. It isn't as if she's been staying where I put her for weeks now. She rolls all over the place. She's nearly crawling, and will be any day now. She and Gwen are opposites that way. Gwen sat much earlier, and then stayed there. She liked sitting. She'd play with whatever toys she could reach, and if she couldn't reach it, well, then, maybe she didn't need it. Julie would let herslef fall onto to her tummy so that she could navigate her way someplace else. But now she can sit. She is officially no longer a blobby baby. And her mama is officially happy about it.

The other big news about Julie is her food. She's been on solids for almost 2 months now, and I was following the same pattern I did with Gwen. I've also been pureeing food like crazy: peaches, nectarines, plums, mangos, sweetpotatos, aspatagus, peas, and pumpkin are all stashed in my freezer. I introduced foods carefully, 4 days apart, just like the chart said to. I gave her a spoon to play with. And my happy little passive baby was having none of that, thank you!

First she squawked at Jim while I was out. I didn't think too much of it though - it could be hard for me to tell when she was done, too. But then it happened again. And then it happened with me, 3 meals in a row, and then the light clicked on.
This baby would like to feed herself, thankyouverymuch, and she'll have what the rest of us are having ifyoudon'tmind.

I'd run across the term babyled weaning in various blogs, but I hadn't really paid much attention to it. Because Gwen did just fine, you know? I didn't need to learn anything different. Besides, wouldn't she choke? Now I've been googling BLW like crazy (although it isn't weaning in the sense that I'llstop nursing her. It's more baby led feeding.)I offered her some finger food, and the kid went nuts. Ever since then, she's been happy as a clam - unless I try to spoonfeed her. So this morning I made extra oatmeal with raisins,vanilla and cinnamon. I tend to make it thick anyway, and I spread it out on a plate to cool it off some more. Then I broke it into pieces and gave them to Julie, along with cut up peaches, bananas, and blackberries and raspberries. Lunch was steamed carrots, plum, and a cheddar cheese stick. Dinner was a teething biscuit and, a Costco pizza crust, plus a little of Gwen'shot dog bun. I'd been cutting up her food into very small pieces, but everything I'm reading says to give them stuff they can hold onto, so I branched out a little more. It's really all about putting her incontrol of what she eats,and she is loving it.

I will admit that I'm a little nervous. My other book, which the rest of my posse used, is adamant about waiting until certain months to introduce certain foods. This stuff says to just throw it all in there until there's a problem. Really? I am nervous. I'm also doing it, because look at that face. She'll sit there for an hour, working on getting food into her mouth. She gags a little, which is normal. Especially with the cheese, since she was intent on getting as much as she could into her mouth at one time. But she's learning. Gwennie never ever choked. Julie hasn't either, even if she gags here and there.
Julie likes blackberries. Can you tell? Here's another difference - Gwen got fed in her Bumbo for a long time, because she was dinky and it was easier. Julie is dinky, too, but Julie mad the Bumbo move because she ws busy twisting around and dumping stuff over. High chair for you, missy! SHe doesn't seem to mind.
So that's us. For the moment, anyway. Beach tomorrow, hiking with our pals on Saturday, Jim's company picnic, and then it's Labor Day.So the weather will finally get hot.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Grandma

My grandmother, Betty Evans, is a wonderful, talented woman, and I love her very very much.
Look how beautiful she is. She turned 90 last month.

She's always been amazing. One of my earliest memories is walking with her on the beach, and I have countless others of walks we took in our woods on our mountain. I rember her telling me the names of the flowers, and how to tell what poison oak looked like. I remember skinnydipping in swimming holes, and using the old outhouse, and sleeping outside on a mattress under the stars. I remember listening to the range cows in the morning, and eating millet and carob and so many peaches my stomach hurt. I remember driving up to Oregon to see Shakespeare with her and Papa after I graduated from high school, and driving her and Papa through the lashing rain on the Great Ocean Highway in Australia, on the wrong side of the road with a cliff just feet away.

She's got her foibles - she couldn't find a decent cup of coffee in the whole country of Australia- but don't those make us all more interesting, anyway?

She has an extensive collection of old books, some really old, some just the old cloth-covered kind you remember from your school library when you were a kid. She's the one who understands why I always liked Little Men much more than Little Women, and why my favorite Louisa May Alcott book is Eight Cousins. She's the one who owns Eight Cousins so that I could read it. When I told her I really like Albert Terhune (old-time pre-Lassie collie stories) she found me a copy of one of them. She reads poetry and fiction and histories and just about everything you can think of. She ate health food and grew organic vegetables and composted and practiced yoga way before any of that was cool. Now she mostly does Tai Chi. She's good at it, too.
My grandma. Old-school California girl, from way way back. I love her. My daughters love her. And every time I get sad that my girls never got to meet my papa, I thank the stars that they are getting to know my grandma. Because she is incredible.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Gwennieism of the Day

Standing in front of me, facing outwards, while I'm putting on her tights:

Mama, I can't do this while you're breathing down my neck.

No, I don't know where she picked that one up.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Julie, Julie, Julie

You woke up all bright and shiny today - even the people at nursery school remarked on it. You flirted with people at the store. You grinned at Gwennie and sang little baby songs all day long.
Right now, you're charming your daddy, who is your biggest fan. You are head over heels about him, too.
There are more pictures of you, but the camera is out in the car, and it's raining. I'll post them tomorrow. Right now, it's late, and both my girls are awake, and I need to fix that.
Happy 3rd Month Day, little person of mine. We love you.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Julia Laughing

Just chillin'....

when something caught my fancy...

....huh. Guess you had to be there.

March Goes Flying By...

Technically, this was in February, but there you go. We went to see Disney on Ice in my brother's schmancy box seats at the Shark Tank. Adessa and Keidi came with us, and we all hung out watching Mickey and the gang.

The girls definitely looked liked princesses, and were very excited. Adessa said that Minnie would be very happy to see her. Gwennie kept jumping up and down, saying, "Look, Mommy! It's Ariel! It's Ariel!"

Quick side note: Gwen still vastly prefers the name Ariel to her own, and Jim has now morphed from "Handsome Prince" to "Eric" (or really: Hansum Piiince to Aaay-ic.)

Julie mostly watched the Moby Wrap or the inside of her eyelids. She wasn't impressed by the seats at all. But the girls thought it was great. They could see everything, and there was room to run around during the intermission. Added bonus: I scared the concierge with my awesome breastfeeding skillz after the show. First time I've done that with this kid.

We had a great time. Gwen decided Tinker Bell was even cooler than Ariel, but since she really hasn't seen Tink since then, Ariels returned to princess supremacy. I have been hearing good things about the Tinker Bell videos, though, so those may be in our future. (Although, y'know, in Peter Pan, Tink? Is not so nice. Kinda weird to have this whole re-do of her. )

Then we sat around and watched the baby in her funny clothes for a while. She's grown out of her little peapod bunting now.

My girls are still great friends. Gwen started story time with her baby sister.

She also "braved" her little sister when Julie got her shots. I'd like to point out that when Gwen got her first shots, I had Jim there for support, and I still cried. This time I had Gwen and Julie to deal with, and I couldn't cry because I've been trying to convince Gwen that shots aren't that big a deal. She announces every time we see the doctor: "I don't have to get shots today!" Her last few appointments have been for ear infections, so he was able to comply. We were at the doctor's a lot last month. Julie had blocked tear ducts, Gwen had a double ear infection (and allergies, it turns out. Dang.) and then Gwen had a weird unexplained fever that I had checked out because of the ear infections. Plus, Jules is still seeing the OT for nursing issues. We're doing much better in that department, but there's still room for improvement. I've been to the eye doctor (my eyes have matured, it seems. I need pregressive lenses now, yippee for me) and I also had some poison oak on my face and ahem, close to the milk supply checked out. And no, I don't know how I caught it there. But it sucks, I can tell you that.

I just like this shot of Gwen.

Then, something big happened. Something very exciting in the Land of Gwen. A big, big deal.

She started ballet.

It's just a small class, taught by Keidi's 14 yo neighbor. There are only 4 of them in the class - Adessa, Gwen, another 2 1/2 yo from Mt. Hermon, and Keidi's foster-niece. They dance in the downstairs foyer, and we sit on the steps and watch. But oh, these are happy little girls!

Gwen's a little disturbed by the fact that her ballet slippers are white rather than pink, but other than that, ballet class is the best thing all week. She'd go every day if she could. I think I'm going to be watching a lot of these classes throughout the years....
I am so lucky.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Happy 2nd Month Day

You are growing so fast. Friday you gave your daddy such a big smile, he got tears in his eyes. (He'll tell he didn't, but I saw them. Of course, you're still waking him up a lot at night.) Today you laughed for the first time, and smiled big at me. You've figured out the nursing thing, and you're doing great.
Gwennie croons, "Oh baaby giiill!" at you all day long, gives you your pacifier, and puts blankets on you in the swing. She even shares Rutherford with you. You look up at her with love in your bright little eyes. And me? My heart just fills up and overflows.