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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Conversations With My Daughter: The She-Said-What?! Edition

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January 12
Lily (praying): Be together. And we had a great day. And we take pictures. And building. And we play in the grass all day long. And a great day. And its not my bedtime. Amen.

January 15
Lily (complaining of hunger): There's a frog in my tummy. Ribbit! Ribbit!

January 18
Lily: Are you upset? (cuddles into me) I'm upset too.

January 18
Lily (rubs her tummy with a pained expression): I think its gas.

January 22
Lily: So how are you today?
Mommy: I'm good. How are you? What did you do today?
Lily (after a long pause): I hurt my feelings. (looks away from me and holds up her hand palm out) Don't talk. I hurt my feelings.

January 23
Lily: Mommy don't say no a me. Its not nice.

January 23
Lily (holding my breast pump): I want to pump some milk. I'm thirsty.

January 25
Lily (holding a long strand of hair in her hand): Mommy can I have my scissors for the eewie? Its from your crotch.

*I debated putting that one on the blog to be read and reread by complete strangers, but hey, why not? I'm sure at one time or another we've all had our two-year-old bring up the subject of things...down there...in public. No??? Oh. Well...then...moving on.

And just for the record, that strand of hair was from my head.*

January 26
Lily (talking to her baby doll that she was "nursing" but then pulled off of her): See those teeth marks? You're biting me. I have to stop. So I have to nurse on the other side. (puts her on other side then pulls her off) Ow. You're still biting me.

January 28
Lily: You're a grownup Mommy. You plug things into the wall.

February 3
Lily: You don't eat flowers, you hold them, 'cause they're special.

February 4
Lily (rubbing her head and speaking in distressed tone of voice): Ouchie.
Mommy: Are you ok?
Lily: Just give me a minute.

February 6
Lily: Look a butterfly. When I get big, big older I can learn to fly and catch it. When I have wings.

February 13
Lily (sitting in her car seat as we're running errands): I thought we going to Home Depot!
Mommy: What do you want to get at Home Depot?
Lily: Stuff.
Mommy: What kind of stuff?
Lily (pauses): Tools for Daddy.

February 15
Lily (admonishing the dog): You can't sniff my butt Toby. Its got poo poo in it!

February 15
Mommy: Is Daddy funny?
Lily: Yeah, he's funny. You're not funny.

February 21
Lily: Its 20 'o' clock. Its time for my bedtime.
Mommy: What time do you go to bed?
Lily: In 30 minutes.

February 21
Lily: When I'm big, big older I'm going to get poked by a cactus. When I'm at school I'm going to get poked by a cactus. And then I'm going to squeeze the blood out. And I'm going to say ow! that hurt!.

February 24
Lily (in the bathtub): Daddy, I'm washing my crotch so I can go to the museum.

February 25
Lily (pointing to an item on a menu): What is that?
Mommy: Its an appetizer.
Lily: I like applepizers.

February 26
Lily: Oh! I got bitten by the door.

February 27
Lily: I'm not a little baby anymore. Sometimes I plug lights into walls.
*See January 28 quote for explanation. :)*

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Our Valentine's Day + DIY Painters Tape Canvas Art Tutorial

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Before February completely gets away from us (holy heck! how'd it get to be almost March anyway?!), I want to fill you in on what we all got for and received from each other this holiday.

I got a little creative this Valentine's Day. Usually we'll go out to dinner as a family (the day before or after to avoid the mad holiday rush) and Andrew and I will exchange cards. I may even get flowers in the deal. This year however, I decided that it would be neat if Lily joined in and made something for Daddy since she's old enough to understand what the holiday is about and loves any art/craft project I toss her way.

So while browsing my Pinterest boards for ideas that a 2.5 year old can do...and enjoy...I came across this. After a trip to Michael's and Walmart for supplies and a last minute painting session which ended literally minutes before Daddy came home Valentine's Day, we ended up with this:

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Its a super easy project that is a win-win for both parent and child since they get the chance to cover themselves (and hopefully the canvas) in paint and you end up with an adorable piece of art hand-painted by your little one.

Supplies you'll need:

Canvas (mine was 10x20)
Painters tape (I used Frog Tape)
Scissors
Acrylic paint
Brushes
Cup of water
Dropcloth or other protective material (I used a brown paper bag)

Most of the letters were fairly straight forward but I was having some difficulty figuring out how to do the O in the word love. I didn't want to just make it a square with sharp corners, I wanted it to look realistic and so I tried doing a regular round O but it wasn't going well. Then it occurred to me to just make it a heart. I wouldn't have to worry about the center then, all I would have to do is cut out the shape and tape it down around the outer edges. So that's what I did.

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As you can see it took some work (and many tiny pieces of tape) getting the heart taped down but I was happy with how it ended up. I wasn't looking for absolute perfection. After all its a kid's project, its not supposed to look perfect right?

Also, while I used Frog Tape for my project, you could use other kinds of painters tape. During a Google search I came across a brand of tape that is specifically for use on canvas. I just used what I already had on hand.

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After everything was taped off I selected which paint colors I wanted and set Lily up on the front porch. I told her to go to town. She did. But she didn't stop at the canvas. She gave herself a mani and pedi too.

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We actually had to wait till the day after Valentine's to surprise Daddy with his gift since it wasn't done drying in time. When the tape was (carefully) pulled off I noticed a couple of spots where the paint leaked through under the tape. No biggie though, I just dabbed a little white paint on those spots. Its best to paint over the tape completely so that when you peel it up the letters are fully exposed and don't blend into unpainted areas of the canvas. I had to help Lily with a couple spots. I also realized I should have taped up the sides of the canvas too but I don't mind that there's paint on the sides. Like I said, its a child's project, its not supposed to be perfect.

Later that night, after Lily took a shower, we got to enjoy the gifts Daddy brought home for us. I received a box of Little Debbie Cherry Cheese Danishes and a large Hershey Kiss (the man knows the way to my heart) and Lily received her very first bouquet of flowers. She wasn't too terribly impressed with her flowers. She was far more interested in tearing one of the roses apart to see what was inside. Oh well. She has many years of receiving flowers ahead of her. She helped me eat my goodies though. I can see the merit in chocolates over flowers too. :)

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Adventures in Solid Food: Why We Practice Baby-Led Weaning + Reuben's First Food!

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Reuben's been showing signs of being ready for solid food for a couple months now (he tries to grab whatever's on our plate or in our hand, he can sit up well on his own, he's start to get a hang of the pincer grip, etc.) but I knew I wanted to wait till he was around 8 months old to start. Why you ask, when most people start at 6 months...or even earlier? Well, here's where it can get pretty messy since every mom (and dad) has their own opinion about when to start baby on solids but I'll just give you my (hopefully) nonjudgmental point of view.

I exclusively breastfeed (EBF) my kids for at least 6 months. That's what most pediatricians, the World Health Organization, the Academy of American Pediatrics and other various child developmental experts recommend. For me, that means no cereal at 4 months (to help them "sleep through the night") and no sips of Mama's juice or licks of Daddy's whipped cream. Just good ol' booby milk.

*I say all this although when we were in Maine last year I did let my sister Rachel let Reuben suck a tiny bit of apple juice straight from an apple just picked off the tree and my dad also dipped his finger in orange juice straight from the fruit and let him try it - so I'm not a stickler if its from the actual fruit and not juice laden with added sugar and who knows what - I do draw the line at dairy though.*

In Lily's case I EBF her till she was 7 months old to the day and now with Reuben we made it 2 days shy of 8 months. I do this because we practice baby-led weaning (or baby-self feeding or whatever you want to call it) in our house meaning no mushes, purees or mashed foods are given to our little ones. I believe that my milk is enough for them until they're developmentally and physiologically able to handle whole, solid food on their own. I mean, have you seen my son?! He's a big, healthy boy who's been gaining weight steadily so I know he's doing great on breast milk alone.

They're are several reasons why I wait an additional month or two beyond the recommended 6 month mark, but here are just a few of them:

:: Studies have been shown that a longer period of exclusive breastfeeding can increase a baby's resistance to illness.

:: Delaying solids helps give the baby's digestive system time to fully grow.

:: The risk of food allergies may decrease when you delay solids (not that we have any history of allergies that we are aware of).

:: And on a selfish note, the longer I can elusively nurse my babies, the less solids will replace nursing sessions, and the longer I can delay my period. I sure do like the sound of that.

As for why we have chosen to do baby-led weaning versus the more popular parent-fed, spoon-fed baby food route? Well, its like breastfeeding versus formula feeding. Who wants to take the time to make a bottle at 2 am when you're deliriously tired when you can just whip out a boob and blam! you're done?! (And if you bed-share like we do, at least in part, then all you have to do is roll over, you don't even have to get them out of their crib!) Well that's how baby-led weaning works. No jars of baby food to shop for (or make healthier versions of at home) and then heat up and spoon feed your baby. You just give them some of whatever you're eating and there you go! Also, like breastfeeding versus formula feeding, its cheaper.

So here we are again, about to dive head first into solid food. Metaphorically of course. Although that does sound kind of fun. Maybe a mashed potato mountain or a pool full of peas?

Weird daydreaming aside, Reuben had his first taste of solid food this weekend when we went out for Indian Saturday night. Andrew was holding him in his lap while trying to shovel a spoonful of rice into his own mouth when Reuben helped himself to some rice from Daddy's plate. And he loved it. Of course. So I set him up in the high chair and let him go at a pile of it. Not much actually made it into his mouth as wily as rice is, the little buggers. But he had a blast trying to pick up the grains and smashing them into the tabletop.

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Click here for more information on why you should delay solid foods.
Click here for more information on baby-led weaning.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Little Moments

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Those precious moments that make you want to silence all thought so that you can focus on the child in your arms at that moment...

When you're playing hide and seek around the house with Lily and when she finds you she squeals, throws herself into your arms burying her head somewhere under your arm and whispers "I so love you."

Or when its still dark out just after Daddy leaves for work and its just you and Reuben in your bed and he's cuddled into your side, post nursing session, happily playing with his feet and gazing fascinatingly up into your eyes.

These two rock my world.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Valentine's Party at the Park

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Last week the kids and I met up with some mom friends and their kids at a local park for a Valentine's picnic. To say there was an overload of red and pink and hearts would be putting it mildly. There were red and pink decorations and food and even red and pink boxes for the kids to decorate...with red and pink heart stickers of course.

Lily had so much fun decorating her box to put her Valentine cards - that the kids exchanged - in. A week later and she's still rearranging stickers and finding new ones to put on it. Reuben had fun too, sleeping in the carrier on my back or sitting on the blanket in the grass playing with toys and watching the big kids running around. He was quite the hit, at one point he had at least 4 little girls surrounding him talking to him and trying to help him calm down when he started crying. Poor boy missed his morning nap. And afternoon nap too since we were there well into mid afternoon.

I think I need to step it up in the creative party planning arena. An amazingly put together bug birthday party one day and then two days later, all this? Luckily there's Pinterest to the rescue. The creatively challenged (and list obsessed) part of me thanks my lucky stars for that. :)

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^^Lily made out well in the Valentine department.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bugging Out

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I didn't do much blogging last week because we were so busy around here. Most nights I crashed about the time Andrew went to bed which was between 9 and 10. It was a good kind of busy though and it helped get me out of the funk I've been in for the past few weeks or so. There was a birthday party, date night, Valentine's Day party at the park, shopping excursions to pick up craft supplies for Valentine's projects for Daddy, making said craft projects for Daddy and an impromptu trip to the library.

Last Saturday night (not last night), I stayed up till 2 am (which technically would make it early last Sunday morning) making cupcakes for Lily's friend Emilie's 3rd birthday party. The party had a bug theme. I ran with it and had a ton of fun decorating the cupcakes with ants, caterpillars, spiders and whatnot. And getting a sugar rush from sampling all of the candy...

Its so hard to believe Emilie is already 3. She's only 4.5 months older than Lily. Sigh.

Emilie's mom Sunny is extremely creative when it comes to planning parties. Oh the decorations! I'm talking paper mache bees and ants and butterflies made out of wire and stockings and spray painted. And the food. Honestly, only pictures can describe how adorable it all was.

So here ya go.

The woman is a genius I tell you.

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^^Hunting for bugs. Luckily they were the plastic kind.

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^^Making caterpillars.

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^^The birthday girl taking a whack at the pinata.

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Happy Birthday Emilie!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Day of Love!

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I'll be back later to show you what we have planned for today. Head's up, it includes special crafts made by Lily and Reuben for Daddy and a one of Andrew's favorite dinners, all with a heart theme.

Much love to you and yours!

Love, The Erohs