Thursday, August 23, 2012

First Word!

Cal has been babbling for quite a while.  He has the "Bababababa", "Bwabwabwa", "Dadadadada" and "Mamamamama" down.

He hadn't been saying any of these with intent until last Friday.

Cal started crawling all over the house and saying "Mama. Mama. Mama".  He knows where my office is and would crawl into my office saying the above.

I got video proof.  And here it is:

He has done this several times since too so I know it's not a fluke.  If I am in the kitchen, he will crawl in and say "Mama. Mama. Mama".  It's funny that he crawls all over the house asking for me.

Such a cutie!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Boat Trip

A few weekends ago, we made the trek to Cathlamet, Washington to my in-laws' boat.  They have it moored there and consider it a vacation spot.

I made an extensive packing list beforehand and packed for myself and the boys for the weekend.  We needed to head back to Portland on Saturday night because I had to work for a couple of hours on Sunday morning early.  Even so, just being gone for 24 hours has its challenges when traveling with two small boys.

In order to beat traffic (my in-laws' idea, not our's), we left Portland close to 7:00.  This would put us in Cathlamet around 8:30 which is well past both boy's bedtime.  I needed to remind myself to roll with the punches and this weekend was going to be special and outside our normal schedule.  

The drive was uneventful.  Both boys were pretty much awake the entire time which is fine with me.  We arrived at the boat, unpacked the car, made up the beds in the cabins and relaxed for a little while.  Jack slept in the captain's quarters with my in-laws at the end of their bed.  Jason slept in the front of the boat in his own room and I took the salon with Cal.  It worked out well because Cal is still up a billion times at night and I needed easy access to the counters for his bottles.  Sleeping with Jason in the front wouldn't have been very easy.

The boys amazingly enough went down to bed fairly easily around 9:30.  Again, this is late for them but it's okay.  I laid down with Cal and settled in.  As expected, he was up a million times.  Jack woke up excited around 6:30 and it was game over.  He isn't quiet and so my in-laws were up too.  Jason slept in while the rest of us were up and enjoying some coffee.  We took our time getting ready but needed to be presentable around 10:30 so we could head into town and watch the parade.

It was Bald Eagle Days in the town and they always have a celebration with a parade, booths, vendors, activities for the kids and a fireworks celebration late on Saturday night.

We made our way up to the parade.  Jack in his stroller and Ca in the Ergo.  I made sure to get them both slathered in sunscreen beforehand.  Jack LOVED the parade. I think his favorite part was scrambling to pick up the candy that was thrown out by the floats, cars and people.  The parade was mostly old cars, firetrucks, police cars, some horses and it seems, a ton of political candidates.  Jack didn't love the loud horns that the trucks honked.  He spent a lot of time covering his ears.  He must get his sensitive ears from his Mama.

After the parade, we found some lunch at one of the food vendors.  Aside note: I had one of the best iced mochas in my life from a little coffee shop on the main street.  Yum!  We made the trek back to the boat where the boys napped and I pumped.  The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting and playing on the boat.  Jack loved going from my in-laws' boat to Bill and Vicky's boat (my in-laws best friends).  He wore a super cool life jacket of course.  It was just easier to keep it on him the whole time rather than putting it on and taking it off when we boarded a boat.

Since Jack loves playing with rocks and being outdoors, we went on a walk around the marina.  He was able to throw rocks, kick dirt, play with ants and just be a boy.  We shared a huge Hawaiian ice and started getting ready for dinner.

Jason had tried to convince me before the trip that Jack would be able to stay up for the fireworks.  I was NOT convinced.  The fireworks didn't start until after 10:00 which is well past Jack's bedtime.  Lynn, my mother-in-law suggested we put him down to sleep at his normal time and just wake him up for the fireworks.  I didn't think that would work either.  I gave in and decided Jack could stay up.

We had a lovely dinner of camping type foods and visited around a campfire.  There are campsites around the marina and some family friends had rented a campsite.  It was easier to eat there rather than squeeze all hundred people (not really) onto one boat to eat.

Everyone took turns keeping Jack occupied and busy.  I got him into his jammies close to bedtime and put some shoes on him.  We packed up the car so we wouldn't have to do it after the fireworks.  Jack played for a while and started getting kind of whiny and fussy which are his indicators that he is getting tired.  Cal meanwhile, in his jammies, slept in the Ergo.  He was happy as a clam sleeping on Mommy.

The fireworks finally started and that kept Jack occupied.  He really enjoyed them!  Even though he covered his ears a bit, he loved all the colors and pointing out the shapes that they made.

Here is where the night went downhill fast.  Once the fireworks were over, it was time to go.  We got both boys in their carseats and they both started crying.  It was 10:30 and they were pooped.  Jack kept crying "Nana pum too!"  (Nana come too).  I said "Nana is in the car right behind us" (which was a total lie) and after about 3 minutes of crying, Jack fell asleep, followed quickly by Cal.

I drove, which sucked because I am usually in bed by 9:30.  The drive was quiet until we got to Kalama, Washington.  Then Jack woke up and started crying for Nana again.  That in turn woke Cal up.  I swear to God, no amount of consoling them helped.  They cried from Kalama, all the way to Mill Plain Blvd in Vancouver.  For those of you not familiar with the area, that is about 30 minutes of solid crying.  It sucked.

At one point, Jason looked over at me and said "And you want more of that?".  It was such comic timing that I just laughed hysterical.

Our boys are both good in the car and I don't get upset when they cry a little, but my nerves were absolutely SHOT by the time we got home.

As we quickly got the kids in bed, I realized that I had left Jack's pillow at the boat.  Oh.My.God.  It was like the world was ending how much that poor kid cried.  I felt awful.  This was after midnight and he needed to go to sleep.  He cried for a few minutes and then crashed.  Cal was still sleeping with us at the time so he just came to bed with me.

Lessons learned:

* Don't keep children up much past their bedtime
* Don't leave beloved pillow behind
* Comic relief works in tense moments
* Going to the boat is a lot of work but Jack clearly loved it

Beauty Favorites

Don't be too shocked.  I actually shower and get dressed every day.  I might not put on makeup or do my hair, but when I do, the following products are my favorites.

I am a huge fan of Garden Botanika's products.  When the physical stores closed, I was so so so disappointed.  I still order online but I seriously hope that one day they will open a store again.  I would be shopping there every week.  

I could sing praises about all the products from this company but if I had to choose my favorite, it would be the Garden Botanika Almond Creme lotion and shower gel.  The smell is amazing, the lotion leaves your skin soft and not greasy feeling.  This is my go-to product for my body and hands.  I use it at least twice a day.

I read about this product online and was hesitant to try it because it's spendy.  What if it didn't work?  I would be out $30.  But, I LOVE IT!

I have a condition on my arms called Keratosis Pilaris.  More commonly referred to as "chicken skin".  It makes my arms look super ugly and gross.  I am embarrassed to wear short sleeves or God forbid, tank tops.  

Even after a couple of days using this specialty product, I am pleased to say that it WORKS.  My arms are improving.  The product itself claims to reduce the chicken skin, redness and dryness associated with Keratosis Pilaris.  The lotion itself is thick, which I thought would be counteractive to what I thought was my problem skin.  Turns out, KP is caused by dry skin.  I am using it twice a day as instructed and my arms are hydrated and soft.

My arms are less red, and the bumps are starting to shrink.  The $36 that I spent at Ulta for this lotion is money well spent!  If you have KP, I highly recommend DERMAdoctor's KP Duty.

I have very naturally curly hair.  I have tried pretty much every product under the sun, every brand, every type from gel, mousse, pomade, creams, waxes.  Nothing works.  Or if it works, it works for a very limited time and my hair gets "used to" the product and loses its effectiveness.  

I have used this product for several years, ever since finding an awesome stylist who gave me awesome information on my curl type.  It doesn't leave my hair greasy, or sticky or stiff feeling.  It's spendy but since I don't style my hair every day, one tube lasts a long time.

If this product is ever discontinued, I am in a world of hurt.  Nothing comes close to how awesome this product is.  TIGI Curls Rock Curl Amplifier.  If the folks at TIGI are reading this, you can send me a free crate of this.  I won't object.

The first thing I love about this product is the smell.  It smells like lemon-lime soda.  It makes my hair smell amazing!  

I use this in conjunction with the Curls Rock Amplifying Creme.  I love the DevaCurl products, including the No Poo shampoo.  I do like their styling gels but my hair typically needs more hold than it provides.  I find that when I use this as my finisher, my hair is super soft, my curls are springy, they bounce and I get so many compliments.  

DevaCurl Set It Free:

I bought a travel size Set It Free, No Poo shampoo and their awesome conditioner to take with me to Denver.  I can't wait to style my hair and enjoy how it smells every day!

Nail Product

I don't treat myself to manicures or pedicures often but when I do, I like them to last a long time and be free from chips and dings.

I love this OPI RapiDry Spray Nail Polish Dryer.  You spray this on almost immediately after the final coat of polish.  It contains ingredients that help your manicure set in about 45 seconds.  I can have the nail tech spray this on and almost immediately reach into my purse to grab my keys without worrying about dings in my polish.

I am getting a manicure and pedicure this weekend in preparation for my business trip.  You can be sure that I will be toting my bottle of this along.

It was hard for me to pick just one makeup favorite.  Like my nails, I don't do my makeup often (I work from home, what's the point?) but if I had to pick one item I couldn't live without, it would be cover-up.  I have terrible, hereditary undereye circles.  I have tried beauty products that claim to clear them up but guess what?  They don't work.  I have the type that are due to blood vessels too close to the skin.  The only thing that works is a good concealer.  I have tried many, many brands.  They either look cakey, like I am obviously wearing concealer, or they crease after an hour or so.  Not this one!

I searched far and wide and found that Temptu does an awesome job at covering my circles and staying put.  I put my foundation on first (if I am wearing any) and then concealer so the concealer doesn't come off.  I love the creamy consistency and I can either apply it directly from the stick or by using a brush.

I hope you found some of these products and reviews helpful!  They are what works for me and my hair/skin/body.  And by the way, my blog is not cool enough to have sponsors or ads, so all of these reviews are mine and I was not compensated for them.  Again, not cool enough.  Haha!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cal is 7 Months!

I am a few days late (bad Mommy!) but it's been crazy busy at work.

My "little" Cal.  You are 7 months old already!  I put little in quotes because even though you are still a baby, you aren't little.  You are getting so big.  So much in fact, that I am starting to wonder if you are going to be even taller than your brother.

Here are some things that you are up to this month:

* You are busting out of your 9 month size clothing.  Like I said, you are getting big, both in height and weight.  If I had to guess, I would say you are close to 21 pounds.

* You are army crawling all over the house.  And boy are you fast!  If you see something that interests you, you will skoot your way over in mere seconds.  I have video of you doing it and it's hysterical.  I have never seen a baby move so quickly on their stomach.

* I am not sure if our hardwood floors are inhibiting you but you are having a hard time actually crawling.  You will get up on your knees, but when you try to move forward, your legs slide out from under you.  I think your pants are slippery against the floor.

* Sleep is going a lot better.  You generally only whine for a minute when placed in your crib at night.  You usually sleep from about 8-11 and then again from 11-2 or even 3.  Sometimes, if I am lucky, you will sleep until 4 and then wake up when big brother starts tearing through the house around 6:30.  You like to sleep and could sleep longer but those darn noisy brothers!

* You LOVE to eat.  If you had your way, I think you would exclusively eat solid food.  You had your first "table" food the other night.  I made a roast chicken dinner with veggies and you got little bits of everything.  Your favorite was the roast carrots.  I try to make a point of feeding you either a snack or bits of food at dinnertime so you can eat with the rest of the family.  You also got solids at breakfast and again around 4:00 when I get off of work (I love feeding you).  There aren't too many foods that you don't like.  Your favorites are still mashed bananas and pureed carrots though.

* My goodness, my happy smiley baby is still pretty happy and smiley.  BUT, you are teething.  It's miserable.  I surely wish you would push a tooth out so you can get back to being happy.  For about a month, you had a white cap on your gumline.  But it disappeared.  There goes any hope for a tooth!  I am guessing that you will push one through on the 18th.  I have a theory as to why.  Let's just see if I am right.

* You started taking baths in the actual tub rather than in your baby tub.  I think you like it although I really have to watch and hold on to you because you can't sit for very extended periods of time.

And to end the post, here is a cute picture of you.  Although every picture is cute.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Miscellaneous

These days, I am not feeling very inspired by anything and as a result, my blog posts have suffered.

At any rate, here is what is on my mind.

* I have donated over 900 ounces of milk.  I am amazed by this and so glad I am able to help out.  One lady was so grateful that she made Cal the cutest dinosaur blanket and gave us a set of pumping bottles.  Another lady gave us a jar of homemade apple butter.  It's awesome meeting their sweet babies too!

* I made the best roast chicken dinner last night.  It was enjoyed by all!  Well, except Jack.  He is so darn picky.  Cal enjoyed it though.  He had exactly what we had and ate almost all of it!  His favorite were the roasted carrots I diced up.

* I stimulated the economy yesterday.  I had to hit up Babies R Us for a new carseat for Cal since he's almost outgrown his infant seat.  Also, now with two boys eating solids, a second highchair was in order.  Let's not talk about the extra items that somehow ended up in my cart.  After all was said and done, I spent $230.  Ouch.

* We went to a family reunion on Saturday and it was potluck style.  All that yummy food makes me salivate thinking about it!  My contribution was a cookie salad.  Trust me when I say it was delicious.  We had a good time but had to leave after about 2 hours because it was Jack's nap time and he was starting to act out.

* Cal is teething.  I think I have whined about that several times the last few weeks.  He is miserable.  Most days he is fine, but other days, like yesterday, he just fusses all day.  No amount of teething tablets, pacifiers, ice cubes, cold teethers, frozen washcloths, Ibuprofen or rubbing his gums is helpful.  He just stays miserable.

* Jack has quite the bit of attitude lately.  I blame the "Terrible Twos".  He says "NO!" a lot when we ask him to do something.  He doesn't want to share toys, even if those toys are meant for Cal.  He throws on average, one good tantrum a day.  It's frustrating but manageable for now.

* Sleep is going fairly well in our house.  Cal still cries a bit when going to sleep initially but usually less than 5 minutes.  It's mostly fussing, not crying, which makes me feel better, but it still sucks to hear him cry.  He is down to about three night wakings.  For a few days, he was only waking twice.  I can handle three but would love for him to get back to two.  When he goes back down in his crib after a night feeding, he doesn't even fuss anymore.  He did for the first couple of days but that stopped.  He quickly learned that his crib is a nice place to sleep.

* While Cal is sleeping better, I am not.  You would think that less night wakings would be good right?  Well in theory, yes.  However, I now wake up and just stare at the monitor.  Or I wake up because Jason is snoring, or because I am too hot.  Most nights, I wake up and it takes me an hour to go back to sleep.  Amazingly enough I am not tired though.  My body must be used to sleep deprivation.

* I can't believe I am going to admit this but while working, I generally have the tv on.  I turn on NBC in the morning and due to my laziness, don't change the channel.  This had led me to get sucked into Days of Our Lives.  I swear I am now invested in these characters.  I haven't watched soaps since I was a teenager during summer break.  I am such a loser.

* I am getting ready for Denver.  I have my plane tickets booked, my hotel booked and am already making a mental note where I want to eat dinner each night.  I still have to order a cooler for all the breastmilk that I am going to be toting back.  I have researched the TSA website to make sure I can carry a large amount (I can in case you were wondering) of frozen breastmilk.  Packing and carry-on items are going to be interesting.  If you have ever traveled with 200 ounces of frozen breastmilk as a carry-on, let me know how that went.

* Cal is down to two pacifiers.  Meaning, we only have two left of the ones he likes.  The only ones he will use are of course, discontinued.  We have tried getting him to use others with no luck.  After trips to four Fred Meyers, WalMart and Target, my paci search has turned up zero.  I finally went online and paid an arm and a leg for what I believe are the right ones.  Let's hope they are because if he loses his pacis, we are in a world of hurt.

That's about it for the week.  Maybe something inspirational will come to me in the next couple of days and I will post something interesting.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sleep, Glorious Sleep

Last night, I put Cal in his crib and he fell asleep without crying and slept for 10 hours straight.  It was so nice and peaceful in our house and I managed to get a good night of rest.

Wouldn't it be nice if the above was true?  Because it's not.  Not even close.  It hasn't been horrible per se but it hasn't been great either.

We started with Ferber on Friday.  I had the house and my mental state all prepared.  Jack was spending the night at Nana and Papa's so I could focus on getting Cal to sleep and not worry about having to take care of both kiddos in the middle of the night.

Ferber Night One

Cal went down at 8:15.  He had a full belly of milk and was comfy in his jammies and a sleep sack.  I tried prepping him and talking to him about how he was going to go night night in his crib.  I put him down in his crib on his back and he immediately cried.  He rolled over onto all fours and cried for a while.  I knew he was tired because he laid down and just fussed.  After the initial three minutes of crying, then another five minutes of crying, and then another couple of minutes into the ten minute session, he went to sleep.

He woke up several times during the night but I made sure to only feed him three times instead of the usual 6 or 7 that he is used to.  The plan was to get him to break the cycle of micro-feeding.  I would prefer he drink a full bottle so his belly is full rather than tiny amounts every hour.

Every time I would put him down in his crib, he would fuss for less than a minute but then fall asleep.  He seemed to learn very quickly that the crib was his place to sleep.

He woke for the day around 6:30 and was happy and forgot all about the torture he endured the night before.  I consider night one a success.

Ferber Night Two

Night two was a little more challenging.  I decided to continue with the night one schedule for intervals.  I am trying to be as gentle as possible if that makes any sense.  Jack was home and I first put Cal down in his crib and let him fuss for a few minutes.  He was out in less than 5 minutes.  Then I brought Jack to bed.  I had talked to him extensively about how Cal would be in his room from now on and how he would probably cry a little bit but it was okay.  I also made sure to tell Jack that he would be sleeping with the door open just a little (we had closed it all the way before so Jack couldn't run out into the living room in the middle of the night).  I also stressed that when we went to bed, we needed to be quiet so Cal wouldn't wake up.  Fail.  Jack was NOT quiet going to bed.  Cal wasn't quite asleep.  He had just stopped fussing.  So by bringing Jack in to bed, this disrupted the whole process.

It was well after 8:30 by the time I got both boys in bed and calmed down enough to sleep.

It was hotter than Hades on Saturday night and Jason was out with friends.  I was doing the wakings by myself.

Cal woke up a lot.  Like probably 4 times from 10:00 until 3:30 when I finally gave in and slept with him on the couch.  It was just too much.

In retrospect, putting him in with Jack was probably a big change.  He was wearing a Sleep Sack so he was probably too hot.  And he didn't nap well on Saturday so that probably wasn't smart - the whole Sleep Begets Sleep motto.

Ferber Night Three

A little change up.  This time, both boys went to bed at the same time.  Cal had napped well on Sunday so I was hoping that would help.  Plus, I had him in a light sleeper instead of the Sleep Sack because once again, it was hot.

He had some trouble going to sleep but I think that is because Jack was in the same room as him (again).  He will get used to this piece I am sure.  I went in after the initial 5 minute wait.  I waited another 7 minutes and went in again.  Then, during the 12 minute stretch, he got quiet.  I poked my head in ever so slightly and he was asleep.  Well, at least he looked asleep.  I couldn't see his eyes.  I did hear him breathing on the monitor so I know he was okay.

Cal slept until 11:00 or so and then woke to eat.  He had quite a rough time going back to sleep (fussing/whining/crying for about 5 minutes) and I was praying the entire time that he wouldn't wake up Jack. Thank goodness, he didn't.

He then slept until 2:00am and went back down fairly easily after his bottle.  He cried for less than a minute.

Then, somehow, a miracle occurred.  He slept until 6:15.  That is unheard of!  He only woke twice last night.  Amen!

I napped with him for another 30 minutes and we were awake for the day at 6:45.

Thoughts For Tonight

I know this is not necessarily going to solve all of Cal's problems sleeping.  I also know that I can't expect him to wake up only twice per night.  However, I am hopeful.  We are in a much better position than we were with Jack.  Jack didn't sleep even remotely well until he was close to 18 months old.

I plan on getting a fan for the boys' room since I don't like keeping the door open.  Not only can the cats get in, but they can hear every little peep that is made in the living room since we have a small house.  The fan will help with the heat as well as create some white noise.

I really really really hope this is the start of better sleep.

As I type this, Cal is enjoying his nice, long afternoon nap.  Sleep Begets Sleep.  Let's hope tonight is another good night.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Kid Randoms

I have so much stuff to write about my boys that I thought I would do a whole randoms post dedicated to them.

* Cal is teething.  The world's happiest baby has turned into a cranky, non-sleeping (not that he was sleeping before), crying mess.  No amount of teething tablets, baby Advil, cold washcloths, teething toys, gumming whatever he can find, is helping.  It is getting really tiring for me so I can only imagine who HE feels.  I can see a whitecap but it's been there for weeks.  I don't have any hope of it popping through soon.

* Jack has been in a stage lately where all he wants is me.  Everything is "Mama do it!".  He doesn't want Jason to get him dressed, change his diapers, help him pee in the potty, wipe his face, or do anything.  This can be problematic since I work during the week and can't take breaks to change diapers or wipe faces.  Often times, this results in temper tantrums.  I guess he really loves me.

* Speaking of potty, Jack has been going pee on the potty about twice a day, sometimes more.  I made a potty treat box.  Every time he goes on the potty, he gets to pick out a treat.  This kid is bound and determined to pee.  He knows he gets a treat so he asks to go potty and will sit there for a half an hour if we were to let him.  The treats are silly little things like stickers, juice boxes, books from the Dollar Tree, and other small trinkets.  I figure it gets him to sit on the potty so why not?  Now if we could just get him to poop on the potty.......

* Jack is eating pretty well these days.  He is still a picky eater and pretty leery of anything new.  I have to remind Jason and his mom not to force him to eat anything that he doesn't want.  Don't make him take a bite of something otherwise, there are disastrous consequences.  Case in point:  Jason gave him a bite of French toast at a restaurant a few weeks ago against his will.  Jack threw up all over the table in the restaurant.  He has a super sensitive gag reflex and won't eat something unless it's his idea.  Jack's favorite foods are:  blueberries, cheese quesadillas or cheese in any form really, pizza, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (he would have one every lunch if it were up to him), ravioli, pasta with spaghetti sauce, apple slices, bananas, any fruit under the sun (strawberries are a recent favorite), and chicken nuggets.  Some of those things maybe aren't the healthiest but at least my kid is eating.

* Cal is really into blowing raspberries.  He has been able to do it for quite some time but lately it's all the time.  Don't get too close when you are feeding him because likely, you will get it spit all over you.  Last night I was feeding him yogurt (one of his faves) and he would take a bite and then blow a raspberry.  I was covered.  He is lucky he's cute.

* Speaking of Cal and eating, we are way more laid back this time with feeding Cal.  He has been getting tons of new foods and is tolerating them very well.  I don't have worries about allergies or reactions and his pediatrician is fine with him eating like he is.  He has gotten all the stage 1 fruits and veggies and we have moved to stage 2 as well as yogurt and some whole foods.  I gave him a few Puffs the other day to see how he would do and he did great!  He loved being able to feed himself.  The first time Jack got a Puff, he threw up.  See what I mean about that sensitive gag reflex?  Cal's favorite foods are peach yogurt, fresh mashed banana, pears, and Baby MumMums.  The little stinker doesn't like any of the food I made for him.  It might be the texture or something but he won't eat it.

* Cal is on the move.  He gets up on all fours, rocks back and forth and then scoots himself forward.  He isn't crawling yet but he is awfully close.  He will just hang out on all fours for minutes at a time just watching the world go by.  He's so cute.

That is about it for these guys.  I will get a boat trip post out soon.