Wednesday, October 31, 2007

well baby check, 6 months

L weighs 13 lbs, 2 oz -- which is a little more than 1/2 lb more than she was at 4.5 months. She's still in the 10th percentile. She grew a .25 inch, to put her at 25 inches.

The pediatrician suggested I start giving her 2-3 meals of solids a day in addition to breastfeeding on demand. She's doing fine -- developmentally she's on target and she looks healthy -- she's just petite.

Her 2nd bottom tooth broke through last night. It explains why she's been unusually cranky the last few days.

National Blog Posting Month

I've decided to participate in NaBloPoMo this year. (Click image above to go their website and learn more.) The purpose is to post daily throughout November. I'm not sure I'll be able to keep up and post daily, but I'll do my best. I'm expecting lots of "this is what we did today" posts, but maybe the regular posting will encourage my writing ability. I used to think I had a talent for writing, but lately I feel that I've lost too many brain cells to pregnancy . . .


I threw our 4th annual Halloween party for the kids on Saturday. We ended up with 20 kids here, but thankfully a few moms stuck around so it wasn't too overwhelming. The party has really evolved since the first one when I invited mom's group friends only. This year we invited kids from the boys' enrichment program and neighborhood kids, as well as families who have attended the past 4 years, and I admit I was feeling pretty stressed Saturday morning. Somehow, amazingly, it all came together and everything that needed to get done got done.

The boys had a great time, although C was annoyed when people thought he was Robin Hood (he was Peter Pan) and he kept saying "Does this outfit LOOK like it's Lincoln Green? If it was Lincoln Green, then I'd be Robin Hood!" (in the book, which we read an abridged version of recently, they always talk about the merry men being dressed in lincoln green.)

Trick or treating happens tonight, and I hope DH doesn't have any calls to run so he can walk the neighborhood with the boys. He loves doing that -- and I don't. Halloween has never been a big holiday for me . . . but I won't spoil it for my kids.

I do realize (once again!) that I should buy Halloween candy to give out that I don't personally like . . . as I keep dipping into the bucket. Yea, not so good for mom! I'm sure I'll be handing out handfuls tonight just to make sure we don't have any left. In years past we've given out trinkets, but candy was the cheapest way to go this year.

Monday, October 29, 2007

6 months old

L is 6 months old today. It's funny how it's hard to remember life without each child after they're born.

She is a delight. Rolling, grabbing, and working hard to sit independently. She prefers being held 24/7, but I know it's only a matter of time before she's crawling, walking, running -- so I'm doing my best to live in the moment and enjoy each moment.

She's primarily breastfeeding and we've just started offering some baby foods. So far, she likes bananas and yogurt and turns her nose up at squash. We've started offering her a sippy cup, but I think she is only interested in chewing on it. She still has only one tooth that has broken through.

She likes to watch her big brothers and is pretty patient with their boisterous selves. She likes to try to help me type and wants control of the mouse and also the remote control.

She doesn't nap much -- maybe an hour or 2 every third day or so. She sleeps well at night, usually down for a solid 6-7 hours. She catnaps while nursing, but isn't interested in being moved away from me to nap any longer. She's mostly a happy baby, though, so I guess she doesn't need much sleep. She takes after her father in that -- definitely not me!

I'm still her favorite person, but she'll let her Dad or aunt hold her for brief periods of time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Or, perhaps a better title would be "wishing for sleep!"

DH is out of town for a few days. His flight left Monday morning, and we knew we had to be out of the house by 7 :15AM or so. At 5:15, our smoke alarms started going off. They are hard-wired into the house with battery back-ups, so when one goes off, they ALL go off. We saw no smoke or fire, so he went up in the attic to check and found no fire. We don't know why they went off, but they didn't stop beeping until all six of them were removed from the ceilings. C woke up, but N slept through the entire thing -- about 15 minutes of alarms --without even stirring!

I don't sleep well when DH is gone, but I was exhausted and hoped that L would let me get a decent night's sleep. I fell asleep around 1AM and was woken by a phone ringing just before 6AM. My sister's car broke down on the freeway and she was stranded. Another early morning outing was in store for the family! (Thankfully, she is fine and her car is already repaired.)

Last night, I think L is gearing up for her 6 month growth spurt (plus teething), so she was awake and needy every 90 minutes or so. Another early morning because the boys have their enrichment program so we needed to be out by 7:30. I considered skipping it, but today was picture day and I didn't want them to miss out on being in their class picture.

DH returns tomorrow and thankfully his plane lands around noon so I won't have to get us all out of the house in the early morning. If I'm lucky, I might get a nap in the afternoon :)

Monday, October 22, 2007


L's first tooth came through on Saturday. It's one of the lower front teeth, and I think that's why her cheeks are bright red at the moment (apparently bright red cheeks can be a symptom of teething.)

N asked DH to take off the training wheels on Saturday and is successfully riding his 2-wheeler! It took him about 10 minutes after the training wheels were removed to get the hang of it. Of course, he's still a bit wobbly, but he's doing great!

Friday, October 19, 2007


I'm not eating these days. While I vaguely remember going through a similar thing after C's birth, I'm pretty sure it was in the earliest days of his life and I got over it rather quickly.

I'm especially glad my mom will be here in a couple weeks because she will cook all the meals and even hold the baby so I have no excuse not to eat.

For the last 2 days, DH has come home after 9PM and I've realized the last thing I ate was breakfast around 7. And somehow I wondered why the weight has been melting off?

Intellectually, I know it's not healthy. But, I can't eat while L cries, and she only wants to be held by me non-stop when she's awake -- which is pretty much all day. This one doesn't need much sleep it appears. The effort of creating meals is pretty much devoted to the boys, and even if I make myself something -- if she's been crying while I prepare it, I can't eat it because I'm sick to my stomach.

And everything these days is from scratch -- where even a few months ago we would eat out or grab fast food -- our budget won't allow that kind of waste at the moment. Cooking from scratch is labor-intensive and . . . I keep writing excuses, don't I?

I need to eat. I need to just plan out meals (that include me!) and make them happen.

(I'm drinking plenty. And I am eating some. But I realize my caloric intake is too low at the moment. I make sure my boys eat regularly and well, and I feed L on demand. I'm not neglecting anyone but myself. I just want to make that clear in case anyone had concern about my children.)

Thursday, October 18, 2007

running laps

N is an active, healthy, rambunctious, mischievous, physical child. Between sitting on his brother when he wants to play and loudly protesting simple requests, it can be exhausting to try and help him find better ways to interact. His first response has always been to strike out -- either physically or vocally.

He had gotten much better for a few weeks, but started struggling again. I tried having him do push-ups a couple months ago, and while they did seem to begin to help, it wasn't physical enough. So, I've started having him run laps in our backyard.

I don't argue or even converse with him when he starts acting out. He already knows it's inappropriate. I simply say "Nate, go run 2 laps" (or 5 or 8) If he balks, I add more laps on until he finally goes and runs them. He ALWAYS goes and runs them. I count them out for him and when he comes back in, he's usually expended enough energy that he can make better choices.

Today, he's run 23 laps and it's 1PM. Yes, that seems like quite a bit, but I haven't had to raise my voice once. His brother feels that he's safer (he is often the brunt of physical reactions.) N is much more cooperative after his runs, and much more willing to listen calmly as we discuss better ways to ask someone to play, respond to a request, etc.

I'm grateful that something is working!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

St. Gerard of Majella's Feast Day

Today is the feast day of St. Gerard of Majella. He has always held a special place in my heart and my prayer life.

I was saying daily prayers to him, beseeching his assistance in adding a child to our family -- not knowing that C was nestled safely in my womb for many months (I was 28 weeks along before finding out I was pregnant.)

I continued calling upon him during the remainder of my pregnancy and then again during my 2nd pregnancy. I found a small statue of him that sits on my dresser long before I was expecting L. A few months ago he fell and broke his arm. I kept his hand safe, but just today finally glued him back together.

When I hear of someone expecting, I often send one of his prayer cards along to the expectant mom. He is the patron saint of expectant mothers, among other things.

He was a tailor, apprenticed out at a very young age to help support his mother after his father's death. He patiently waited for admission to the Redemptorists, who didn't want to take him because of his frail health. He performed miracles throughout his life, which earned him the name of "Wonderworker."

One story I love is that he was forbidden by his superior to perform any miracles without permission. A man fell from scaffolding, and St. Gerard stopped him in mid-air while he went to ask permission to save him. He received permission, and the man floated gently down to the ground.

He was also able to bi-locate and was often seen caring for 2 families at the same time during the plage of the early 1700's.

When we baptized L, we were asked to name a family patron saint. It was easy for me to choose St. Gerard.

We'll make some biscotti in honor of him today (he was Italian) and perhaps the boys will sew a little bit in honor of his time as a tailor.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Mother Talk Review: Deceptively Delicious

When I first heard about this book, I couldn't wait to read it! I have one child who is a picky eater, and a husband who turns up his nose at any vegetable except canned green beans and raw carrots.

Jessica Seinfeld created a cookbook that is a delight to look at and then filled it with tons of recipes that sneak in extra vegetables and fruits. She took kid-friendly recipes and added in various fruit and vegetable purees to increase the nutritional kick.

I love cookbooks, and this one hit all the big points for me -- color pictures of the food, simple how-to's, recipes that are unique and delicious. The beginning of the cookbook has some great basic information -- from stocking your pantry to specific how-to's on creating purees. After the basics are covered, it moves into the recipes -- including breakfasts, mealtimes and desserts.

My boys have been helping me cook more and more these days, and I debated about asking their help with these recipes. While I knew my 5 year old would be eager to eat any of them (since he eats most vegetables happily!), my 6 year old can refuse to eat a dish if a vegetable is even mentioned in the same room as food prep. I decided to ask their help on one recipe, and try another without their knowledge. I handed the book over to my boys and asked them to pick a recipe to try.

They chose Chicken Alphabet Soup -- I think because they liked the look of the large pasta letters in the picture (which I was unable to find at our grocery store.) Her trick for the soup is to stir in cauliflower and sweet potato puree instead of adding any recognizable vegetables. The recipe is very simple (broth, chicken, pasta and the purees) but it tasted good. Both boys liked it, and I never thought of adding puree into chicken soup before -- usually I just add chopped carrots.

I decided to try her brownie recipe, even though the thought of spinach in brownies made me grimace. She added carrot & spinach purees to the recipe -- and warned that the spinach flavor wouldn't disappear until the brownies were completely cool. Ummm, for the first time ever I threw brownies away. I didn't tell my boys or my husband about the spinach, but they all took 2 bites and wouldn't eat more. They definitely had an odd taste.

I didn't want to end on that note, so I tried her Angel Food Cupcake recipe, which added yellow squash to the batter and carrot puree to the frosting. This was a success, with everyone eating their cupcakes and not even noticing the flavor of squash in the cupcakes.

I also tried her ketchup recipe, which the kids liked just fine and had fun helping me prepare. We actually don't eat a lot of ketchup around here, but we eat enough of it that I liked the idea of having a healthier version on hand. It freezes easily in smaller portions that should last a few months.

Overall, it's a great addition to my cookbook collection. I will definitely try more of the recipes in this book. I like having some tried & true ways to add more vegetables to our diet.

My only complaint is that the recipes lacked nutritional information. I would have liked to see the calorie counts, fiber content, etc. for each recipe.

You can check out a few of the recipes from her book at the book's website.

If you'd like your own copy, it's available at Amazon and other bookstores. The publisher is also running a contest if you'd like to try & win a copy!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

things about L

Just a few things to say about L --

She's very ticklish and laughs a LOT!

She anticipates being tickled even! If someone comes near her, and she thinks she might get tickled, she'll start to giggle. It's very cute ;)

I can see that her muscles are growing stronger, but she hasn't mastered sitting independently yet.

When someone else is holding her, and she catches sight of me, her arms and legs start flailing -- as if she's trying to fly out of their arms and into mine. When I take her, she snuggles her face into my neck and holds on tight. She will glance up and grin at whomever was holding her, and then snuggle right back into me. It's very sweet :)

Her eyes light up when she hears her brothers & her father, and especially when she catches sight of them. They dote on her right back.

Her sleep is so - so these days, but we're managing.

old friends, good friends

My friend, A, visited last weekend. While I was a bit worried about her visit, I needn't have. It was wonderful to see her and spend good chunks of time with her. She was great with the kids, and was a welcome extra pair of hands.

I am grateful that we've stayed in touch all these years, and that our friendship hasn't suffered from distance.

I had much more that I wanted to say, but L nurses so often and I can't type and breastfeed at the same time, so that's all I have time for now.

Thanks to those who prayed for my special intentions. I'm hoping that things are improving, but I'm not sure of the outcomes yet.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A Prayer for Special Intentions

I truly believe in the power of prayer. We're going through some tough times right now, and I'm doing my best to trust in the Lord.

If you're reading this, I would appreciate a prayer for our special intentions - specifically regarding DH's employment. I have a special affinity for St. Gerard and we have taken him as the patron saint of our family. I found this prayer at

Almighty and loving Father,
I thank you for giving St. Gerard to us
as a most appealing model and powerful friend.
By his example,
he showed us how to love and trust You.
You have showered many blessings
on those who call upon him.
For Your greater glory and my welfare,
please grant me the favours
which I ask in his name.

(Mention your needs here...)

And you, my powerful patron,
intercede for me before the throne of God.
Draw near to that throne
and do not leave it until you have been heard.
O good saint,
to you I address my fervent prayers;
graciously accept them
and let me experience in some way
the effects of your powerful intercession.


old friends

A friend is coming tomorrow for a visit. I'm amazed when I think that we met in 1987! Other than my family, I've never stayed in touch with anyone this long! We usually connect only a couple times of year now, but when she's in the southwest or I'm in the midwest, we try to see each other.

I'm grateful that we have stayed friends. We met when we were both starting college -- literally a lifetime ago. Our lives have changed so much in the last 20 years (as they should!) but it's comforting to have that connection to my 20 year old self.

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed at life, and a little nervous of potential judgment by her. She has no children, and I know she is of the opinion that couples should have no more than two. I feel that I have to be an example of grace -- that I should be able to effortlessly handle my children and my home. Unfortunately, I'm feeling rather graceless these days.

The truth is -- she won't judge me. We couldn't have remained friends this long if there was judgment by either of us. Deep down, I have to believe that she accepts me and my choices.

But, I still can wish that things were a little more together around here. And, hopefully the boys won't act like hellions.

rolling, rolling, rolling

Our little girl rolls both ways with no trouble these days.

After a few nights of solid sleep, she was up this morning at 3AM. Not hungry, but wide awake! I watched the Top Chef finale while she giggled and cooed and then finally decided to eat and settle back to sleep around 5:30.

I pulled out the cloth diapers yesterday. Money is ridiculously tight right now, and dropping $10 for a pack of disposables cuts into our budget too much. Thankfully, I still have many diapers from C & N, so we can start up again with no expense. I kept telling myself I'd start using cloth when I was on top of laundry, but that hasn't happened. Maybe using cloth will help me get back on top of my laundry? They make her bottom so big in cloth! I will have to bump up to the next size in onesies just to fit in her new diaper butt!
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