Wednesday, August 31, 2011

John Paul is REALLY excited about his new overalls.  He loves them.  He never stops talking about them.  So of course we had to take a picture:

New rule...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No feet on the table.

"Real" food!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cecilia's been having a lot of fun with solid foods lately.  She hadn't had anything besides straight, unseasoned fruits and veggies, but I decided to let her try the lentil soup I made this week, since it was pretty thick (and lentils are delicious and so high in iron!).

She is a BIG fan!  The big, soft chunks of carrots were particularly delicious, but she also seems to really enjoy the seasoning (cumin, thyme, garlic, a little salt).  Finally, food that *tastes* like something!

It's a heck of a lot messier than green beans, but she has been SO happy eating the leftovers for the past few days.  Thankfully she's not as bad as John Paul was at this age - very few lentils up the nose, and none in the ears or hair (yet)!

The limitless persistance of a child

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Nothing's impossible I have found,

For when my chin is on the ground,

I pick myself up,

Dust myself off,

start all over again."


Our latest oddities

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I thought maybe John Paul was weird for liking green beans so much from about 6-10 months of age.  Apparently Cecilia's a big fan, too:

Two green beans kept her occupied for probably 15 minutes.  And she actually consumed like, half of one. 

John Paul's latest thing is lining everything up.  He lines up his letter cards.  He lines up his blocks.  Apparently he's also lining up his magnets...

It's hard to see, but he spelled the word "dad" underneath the line.  Yeah, he can spell several 3-letter words (mom, dad, big, bag, hat, yes).  He's basically a super-genius.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Totally weird - my first earthquake!

Cecilia and I were downstairs watching TV when the whole place started rumbling.  For a second I thought John Paul was just jumping on the bed REALLY hard.  Then everything started shaking harder and I thought the water heater was about to explode so I grabbed Cecilia and RAN upstairs!  I turned on the monitor to make sure John Paul wasn't freaking out.  He was totally silent - apparently THIS is what we need to get the kid to shut up when he should be napping...  Things were shaking a little less at this point and I saw a few neighbors outside so I went out to find out what was going on.

It's kind of nice that we live around a bunch of old people - all of them remember earthquakes from like, 30 or 40 years ago and they *knew* that's what it was.  Came back inside and checked facebook immediately after google failed to confirm my suspicions - everybody had statuses up talking about an earthquake, so I figured that must be what it was.  Then I found out it was rated 5.8 on the Richter scale - not too shabby!

Our total damage?  The palms behind a crucifix fell down and a few things I keep on the stove fell as well:

If that's what an earthquake feels like, I'm never moving to California!

Where were you?  Did you feel it?

Marian Devotion

Monday, August 22, 2011

John Paul is really into Mary lately.

Like, the BVM.  Blessed Virgin Mary.

We got a CD in the mail from some nuns and it's his current favorite thing to listen to.  He is CONSTANTLY requesting the Salve Regina or Immaculate Mary or Hail Holy Queen.  He can "sing" them himself (and spent the entire time at the Lego exhibit at the Building Museum singing, "Ave, ave, ave ma-DEE-ah...").

The other day I turned on his monitor when he should have been napping and heard him praying a Hail Mary.  Then he sang the Salve Regina (and immediately started singing Tingalayo, another of his favorites).  Then he prayed the Hail Mary in French (well, he read it from one of his books).   I went to get him after his nap and he had "Je Vous Salue Marie" (Hail Mary in French), "Prayers to Mary" and "Moo, Baa, La-la-la" on his bed. 

He was ridiculously excited at Mass today - we sang "Immaculate Mary" and "Salve Regina" and his eyes lit up as he marched in place singing very quietly to himself. 
Seriously, if this kid doesn't end up getting ordained, his wife is gonna have some BIG shoes to fill!

Too soon!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cecilia is really pretty sure she can walk.  Or at least stand on her own.

She is pulling up on EVERYTHING.  There is no longer a single location in the house where she is safe - I have to keep an eye on her every moment or else she crawls away, pulls up on something, and stands there with a sassy little, "Hey Mom, check ME out!" look.

If it were just that it wouldn't be a big deal, but she's starting to LET GO as if she thinks she can stand on her own.

She can't.

So I'm there with my arms poised to catch her.  I think it's time to get an ottoman or something because I can tell she's dying to get cruising.

Is it possible that we'll have an even earlier walker than John Paul?  He was only *just* starting to pull up at this age, but Cecilia won't do anything BUT.

A new raincoat

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I could resist this adorable raincoat when I found it at our favorite consignment store...

John Paul found it on the couch downstairs and was SO excited.  He decided to model it with nothing on underneath and couldn't be happier!

Okay, maybe he could be.  He freaked out when I wouldn't give him the camera.  But I let him have it once I got a decent picture :P

His masterpieces:

Luckily I got him out of it without a fuss in order to get dressed.  First order of business?  Put it back on!

I was a little worried he was going to insist on wearing it on our walk to a friend's house.  Thankfully, he realized that it's a little too warm outside (and sunny) to need a raincoat!

Random things

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

1.  John Paul's (completely out of nowhere) new verse to "Old MacDonald" - "On this farm he had some...  edamame!  E-I-E-I-O.   Wif a yum yum here and a yum yum there..." etc.

2.  We have entered the stage in which Cecilia is fascinated by tiny pieces of anything.  This does not bode well for us - John Paul tends to shove his mouth full of food and then spray little bits all over the carpet because he...  doesn't feel like swallowing?  I don't even understand it.  I wrestled tiny pieces of peanut out of Cecilia's hands several times today.  Looks like it's time to vacuum 2x/day and limit possible allergens to the table only.  I'm okay with her eating the tiny pieces of apple, but peanuts are probably not the best call...

3.  Cecilia's also very interested in climbing under various things, particularly the table and chairs.

4.  We were walking this morning (my goodness I love this double stroller...) and an old man stopped his car, got out, and wanted to talk to me about how cute the kids were.  If he hadn't looked like Santa it probably would have been creepy, but the kids were obliging and I was happy for a rest (I chose the hilly path this morning and didn't think to plan on a playground stop halfway through, so 2 straight miles of hills was a little rough for my out of shape self!). 

How cloth diapers made us a "greener" family

I decided to cloth diaper before I was even pregnant (or at least before I knew I was!). 

I was babysitting a 4-year-old, and we spent a fair amount of time at the library.  She would spend long periods of time having the library computer read Stellaluna (it was interactive, I'm not negligent!) to her, and I would read whatever magazines they had in stock.  At some point I started leafing through Mothering Magazine (no longer in print, which makes me so sad!) and saw an ad for bumGenius diapers and thought, "Wow, those are CUTE!" 

Okay, I admit it.  The number one reason I decided to cloth diaper?  Because cloth diapers are cute.

Instead of a white paper diaper, I can dress my kid in a diaper with CARS!  Or spaceships!  Or balls!  Or...  Heck, the possibilities are limitless.  And this is before "designer" disposable diapers, which there's no way I would have wasted money on anyway...

And how else could I pay homage to Andrew's ultimate boyhood obsession?

So the cuteness factor is #1.  Plus I think disposable diapers smell pretty nasty, but that might just be me.

Then I saw a comparison of cloth diapering costs vs. disposable diapers.  The average child costs over $2000 to diaper (in disposables) assuming he or she potty trains by the age of 2.  I think we may have spent $700 MAX on cloth diapers, and that's partly because I spend a little more money on the "cute" diapers.  It's possible to spend TONS less.  Anyway, since I knew we'd be having more than one kid, the cost savings are even more dramatic. 

So money was the #2 factor.

I have to admit, at this point in my life I was rather ignorant of environmental issues.  I steered clear of things like that, saying things like organic foods were just a hype to get us to spend more money, and that the environment is doing fine and people are just skewing statistics to scare us (I do still think that a fair amount of climate change is cyclical, but that's another issue).  So the environmental impact was really just an added benefit of cloth diapering.

Then I discovered Google Reader and the world of blogs!  I started subscribing to cooking blogs, and branched out into cloth diapering blogs once we found out we were having a baby.  I found out it was a MUCH bigger world out there than I thought - gone were the days of prefolds and plastic pants, new diapers resembled disposables in their ease of use and were cute, to boot!  And it seemed as though cloth diapering went hand in hand with all sorts of other natural practices.  As I read up on cloth diapers, I began to realize that we could decrease our dependence on paper products a lot more.  We hardly use any paper towels now, having bought wash cloths and dish towels to take care of what we used to use paper towels for.  And I'll admit it, I've even contemplated using cloth toilet paper!   Not quite ready for that step, though...

My cooking blogs and cloth diapering blogs started intersecting, and I found that a lot of moms who cloth diaper and cook are into natural and organic foods.  As I read up on these I began to realize that the difference between "organic" and regular foods has really changed drastically over the years - sure, when my grandparents were kids pretty much EVERYTHING was organic.  But reading about the sheer amount of pesticides that are used to produce the fruits and veggies that we buy in the grocery store (not to mention the fuel that's used to ship them from Mexico and California, which is so often the case) made me much more inclined to buy organic produce whenever possible, despite the cost difference.  And I buy as much produce as I can from the farmer's market when it's in season.

My latest endeavor is trying to purchase and consume less meat, and make what we do eat "good" meat, meaning organic or humanely raised.  To be honest, it's not because I feel bad for the cows or chickens who are living in terrible conditions.  I'm a little heartless, I apologize.  But when I found out that factory-farmed animals produce products that are nutritionally inferior and less tasty?  That sold me!  Plus I don't want to be eating (or feeding my children) animals that have been pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. 

To think, this all started because I wanted to be able to use pretty cloth diapers!

Just a picture

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I don't think this needs explanation...

We have ourselves a climber!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cecilia only really figured out how to pull herself up reliably in the past week, but she sure is tenacious!  If I run to the kitchen for something, she tries to follow and I'm greeted by this:

 Thank goodness she can't actually climb the stairs yet!

Or she'll just hang out on the stairs like this:

She (like John Paul at the same age) also likes using the music cube as a base.  Unfortunately, it rolls away rather easily, so she mostly just ends up draped over it like this:

And she's pretty sure that any pile of toys is a good thing to climb on:

It's time to lower the crib mattress - she keeps pulling up on the bars and if we wait any longer I'm sure she'll climb out... 

John Paul is a BIG fan of this stage - Cecilia likes to pull up on his mattress and watch him play.  He starts jumping on the bed (doing his "WHAT" dance) and she just laughs uncontrollably because now he's shaking her a little bit.  I freaked out a bit the first time, but he's *so* careful, and he's never come close to jumping on her. 

I'm growing to love our carpeting - it looks a little grungy because it gets stained so easily, but it really helps keep me sane given the frequency of tumbles we're experiencing right now!

Poop on the floor

Thursday, August 11, 2011

No sooner am I thinking about how well John Paul has been doing with no accidents during his naked time than this happens...  He TELLS us he needs to pee but refuses to sit on the potty or get a diaper on.  I figured he wasn't serious, because we haven't had an issue in so long.

Shame on me.  But seriously, who poops standing up?

My goal was to have potty training accomplished by the end of the summer.  I have not tried hard at all to accomplish this.  It's not happening and that's okay.  But let's hope this is the last time he poops on the floor...

An interesting combination...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It seems we have combined potty training and homeschooling.  John Paul likes to sit on the potty while I spell words for him or write out math problems for him to solve. 

The question is, which will happen first: Reading or staying dry?  He's already recognizing quite a few words from sight, but he has yet to produce anything on the potty...

He's currently sitting in his chair eating lunch and reciting, "X says 'X' and X says kssss...  Y says 'Y' and Y says yuh...  Z says 'Z' and Z says zuh..."  I think he's a little confused because his vowels all say things like, "A says 'A' and A says ah..." so he thinks that consonants work the same way!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The most ridiculous bribery ever:  John Paul ate his entire breakfast because I was willing to spell a new word for every bite he took.  "Spehws BOY!"  "Okay, I'll spell the word 'boy' when you eat your banana." (shoves banana in mouth) "B-O-Y spells..."  "BOY!!!"  And so on and so forth until all the breakfast was eaten.

I'm thinking this wouldn't work with most 2-year-olds.

John Paul-isms, etc.

Monday, August 8, 2011

1.  John Paul has taken spelling to a new level.  He is constantly begging us to spell different words for him, and he decided to take matters into his own hands at dinner.  "J U speeeehws!"  "...  Juh?"  "JUH!"  Normally he sees letters somewhere and asks us what they spell ("J D E speeehws?"  "Nothing...  It's just on a license plate...") but this one he just made up out of thin air.  Reminds me of Patrick and "Prl prl prl!"

2.  I went upstairs to put Cecilia down for bed when I heard him very loudly counting in his room...  "EIGHTY NINE!  NINETY!"  Apparently he decided that since he couldn't fall asleep (perhaps because he wouldn't close his eyes and was talking very loudly?) he was simply going to count as high as possible.

3.  We've been working hard on using whole sentences to make requests, which has been a rather successful endeavor.  Today at the dinner table he reached for a knife, only to have it taken out of his grasp.  Not to be deterred, he very quietly asked (while the rest of us were talking), "May I pweez.  Have a knife!"  No one answered immediately (because we weren't listening) and he responded to himself, "Yes you may!" and happily grabbed for the knife again.  Luckily he was distracted by a fork before he could cause any damage with a butter knife...

4.  Sister and I were talking about various toddlers and degrees of self-sufficiency.  She thought it was particularly funny when I said, "Yeah, I'm not inclined to be proud of John Paul's many accomplishments.  I mean, sure, he can count to 100, but he can't pull up his own pants."

And that was our hilarity from today.

Our weekend

Cecilia's first visit to her GREAT Grandmother.

On the Eastern Shore, home to an AWESOME playground (with swings!).

Cecilia decided she totally knows how to pull up on her own on Sunday.

And the kids decided to give me a tiny little portrait session.

These kids sure do love each other!

Hanging in the crib

Friday, August 5, 2011

Cecilia sleeps in her crib less and less as the days go by...  This is something I'm hoping to change soon - I'm fine with her in bed with us for as long as necessary, but I know she's going to have to stop napping in her swing soon.  I just have no idea how I'll make this transition, but we've still got a while before she outgrows the swing (and that might be the deciding factor!). 

She does, however, still LOVE to play in there!  She rolls around, crawls from end to end, plays with her toys, bats at her mobile...

One of my favorite things that she does (and it may seem cruel) is when she sees something outside the crib that she really wants

Her face lights up.  She starts panting in anticipation (she may be a puppy.  I'm not yet sure.). 

Then the bellyflops (or crawling) start in earnest.  She goes to it!  But...  It's not actually within reach. 

Most recently this object of desire was the lamp on my bedside table.  She was SO.  Excited. 

The face.  The panting.  The tail wagging (oh wait.  Not a puppy.  But she kicks the lower part of her leg when she gets excited, and it really does look like a tail wagging!). 

She crawls as fast as humanly possible to get to that thing.  And she can't get there.  Most people would be upset by this.  Cecilia doesn't quite realize it's an impossible task.  So she just keeps going.  Repeatedly mashing her face into the bars of her crib, smiling all the while, panting with excitement. 

I eventually feel bad for her (or finish putting away the laundry) and take her out, but she's cheerful all the while.  Makes me thankful for cribs!  The problem with babies crawling this early is that they haven't reached that developmental stage where depth perception is a factor.  I'm sure that, given the opportunity, she wouldn't hesitate to crawl off a table, bed, or down the stairs.  I'm glad that we have a safe place to let her play while we're doing chores upstairs!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Let's face it - sometimes parents get toys for their kids solely for themselves...

John Paul is (still) eating dinner while this is going on.  Cecilia has crawled away to chew on puzzle pieces.  Andrew is diligently working on building a train with all of John Paul's Lego characters.

Saint confusion...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

John Paul really loves our saint statues, especially his own statue of Mary that Sister brought back from Israel.  She also brought him a camel, and these three figurines (St. Therese, St. Mary, and camel) ended up on the buffet before lunch, like so:

He kept asking for St. Therese, so we told him that he could say "Hi" to the saints. 

"Hi Saint Tay-wez!  Hi Saint May-way!  Hi Saint Camel!"

Oh dear...  That's not exactly what we were going for.  Just because it's made of the same material doesn't make it a saint!

Sister and I corrected him saying, "No, there's no Saint Camel."

He looked confused.  "Saint Camel...  Pway fo us!"

I guess if there is a Saint Camel out there that we've never heard of, we're the only ones getting intercessions!

Aunt Sister is here!

Sister (or Aunt Sister) is here visiting us after about 4 months away.  Kansas is too far! 

We have been having a VERY exciting time visiting all of John Paul's favorite places, including the playground, the bookstore, music class, the consignment store, and all his favorite friends. 

John Paul has gotten a little bit obsessed with presents...  Between his birthday and Aunt Sister coming to visit, he's gotten so many that he's come to expect them.  But they're always VERY exciting, both for him AND Cecilia!

"Just because I'm the girl, they think they can make me wear bows..."

Cecilia seems to be taking advantage of John Paul's distraction to grab a tasty number card.

Typical younger child - always trying to get in the middle of the action.

Playing with NUMBERS at the playground!

We've been having lots of fun - Sister has taken John Paul to mass in the morning a few times (where he behaves better than he does with us...), and they even took the metro to the Shrine!  We also tried to go to a movie in the theater - we lasted about 30 minutes and then the kids were both fussy enough that we gave up and left.  John Paul's favorite parts?  The steps.  And the elevator to the parking garage.  Simple pleasures, right?

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