Thursday, May 29, 2008

A busy weekend led right into a crazy week. We have lots of pictures but little time for blogging. Over the holiday weekend we successfully traveled from Iowa City to Franklin, WI, (Milwaukee suburb), Evanston, IL, and back home again with no major catastrophes. We found a fabulous park for a picnic lunch in Rochelle, Ill. (almost exactly half-way between here and my sister's place in Wisconsin.) The boys both slept well in the car (drive time carefully planned around full bellies and tired boys.) And since we're not above making ourselves totally ridiculous in the name of toddler entertainment, we all survived. Not to mention, we had a great time in both places. In Franklin, Ed got to play with his cousins (and eat Katherine's birthday cupcakes) and Daniel was very tolerant of the pinching and kissing from the extended family. (Note: Aunt Nora took the photo at right with Daniel in her lap. She titled the file "yes, my cheeks are substantial.") Then in Evanston, Ed got to take his first trip to the beach (late afternoon and slathered in sunscreen, which he calls "sun scream" and for good reason, since he hates when I put it on him.) He LOVED the beach. Enough that I may have to get over my own aversion and take him to our local sandy spot (I find it a bit gross because it's a reservoir created on the Iowa River, which is not a pristine waterway!) He played at the water's edge for quite a while, scooping sand and dumping it in the water. The water was cold, but not enough to send pains up your legs. He actually stayed relatively dry until we carried a bucket of water up to where Gram was sitting with a sleeping Daniel. Then he dumped it all over himself. Here is a series of beach shots and a video.

We waited until after the trip to let Daniel try some rice cereal. He doesn't quite know what to make of it at this point, but he's not rejecting it either. I had hoped it would help fill him up and encourage sleeping through the night, but so far that has not happened.
In health news, Daniel has conjunctivitis again--no surprise, given that Edward had it last week. I asked the doctor yesterday if we could expect them just to continue to pass it back and forth. He didn't miss a beat: "Well, that's how we stay in business." A doctor with a sense of humor--what a treat.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Some people might be offended to hear a doctor refer to their baby as "squishy." Not me. I love fat babies, especially mine. And our doctor agrees. She was using the term endearingly.

Daniel weighed 17 1/2 pounds at his four-month check-up yesterday and was 26 1/4 inches long. Both of these are close to the 90th percentile for his age group. His head circumference, 16 3/4 inches, is not quite up to Geraghty/Kenyon standards (only 50th percentile) but he has plenty of time to continue expanding. Grandma Kenyon rightly pointed out that these percentiles are opposite of Edward's infant growth trends--he was always about 50th percentile for height and weight and 90th for head. For some perspective, I found a web page with information about infant growth, and it says to expect babies to double their birth weight by 5 months. Daniel is already well ahead of that at 4.

In fact, 3-6 month clothing is meant to fit babies up to 16. 5 pounds. Daniel apparently is announcing from an early age that he will not tolerate a wardrobe full of hand-me-downs. I had to go buy some 6-9 month pants because all of Edward's clothes in that size were from the height of summer--all shorts and rompers. We're still only seeing highs in the 60s and 70s, so I don't think it's quite warm enough for Daniel to wear those--especially since it's much cooler than the daily high when we leave the house in the morning (more like high 40s or 50s.)

With an overall glowing report, Daniel now has the go-ahead to start trying some rice cereal. I think we will wait until we return from our weekend trip to start that particular adventure. Watch for photos next week.

So after the appointment yesterday, with Edward still napping at Grandma and Grandpa's, we took the opportunity to hit the store for a few new pieces for Daniel's wardrobe. On the way out of the store, I saw out of the corner of my eye, a woman walking toward the store talking on a cell phone. She saw us and said, "Oooo--there's a baby!" I didn't quite realize she was talking about us until I turned the stroller, she spied Daniel and exclaimed, "A squishy, JUICY baby!" I turned and smiled, saying, "Yes, he is a chubby one." She replied (to me or to her friend on the phone?) "I LOVE juicy babies!" I'm not sure what "juicy" implies, but I just had to laugh.

Since the text here is all about Daniel, I'll end with Edward's new favorite video of himself. He laughs out loud and demands, "Do again!" after each viewing. Then he goes to repeat the performance and says, "Get camera!" Simple child.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

And the hits just keep on coming...

Ed woke up with a pink, crusty eye this morning. John stayed home to take him to the doctor while I took Daniel to daycare and went to work. I'm in the final week before a major project is completed and it would have been very difficult to miss a day. The doctor confirmed conjunctivitis in Ed's right eye and prescribed drops. John says the first dose went well so let's hope the novelty doesn't wear off. John also said the doctor said we could use the same prescription for the other eye when (not if) he transfers it from one to the other. He also indicated that it was quite likely that Daniel would catch it from Edward. Great.

Edward likely did not get it from Daniel though, since that was a month ago.

Is is possible to have two kids healthy at the same time? Perhaps not when daycare is involved. I guess it remains to be seen in the coming weeks/months/years.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Daniel upgraded to the full-size crib this weekend. John looked in on him an hour after he went to bed last night and reported back, "He looks like someone who's spent his life in a twin-size bed and then goes to a hotel and finds a king size." In the cradle, he slept with his arms outstretched and they flopped out through the slats. Here, his arms don't reach the sides.

But this is a quasi-real-time shot--he's actually sleeping next to me as I post, so I will keep it short. His cough is better, but now he has a rash on his feet and legs. I thought it was hand/foot/mouth disease, which Edward had during his first summer, but the rash has extended further than would be expected with that. He has no fever and is not acting like it bothers him though, so the phone triage nurse said we could wait until his scheduled well-baby visit on Thursday.

He hasn't been sleeping all that well at night though--regressing to waking to eat at least twice a night. Ugh! This morning he got up at 5 and then was back asleep in his high chair by 6:30. Bummer, since we can't join him in his mid-early-morning snooze. John left him the paper in case he woke up while he was in the shower.

Daniel wore his first shorts on Saturday, but only for a few hours before a leaky diaper forced a change. We need more shorts weather though because he's mostly outgrown all the 3-6 month clothes and is ready for 6-9 month, but Ed's clothes in that size are from a much warmer summer. No pants to be found!

Funny story from Ed's week. We went to Target one late afternoon for a baby gift for some friends. Ed always wants to know where we're going and then talk about it the whole way there (can't wait for the four-hour trip to Milwaukee and Evanston this weekend! With any luck he'll sleep a few of those hours or we may be batty from the constant questions.) So along the way he started talking about guitar, and I was assuming he was talking about John's instrument, which they sometimes play together. But he was clearly frustrated with my responses, and I finally realized he'd conflated "Target" and "guitar." So now we talk about the big, red T at Target and I think he's got it straight.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

We took Daniel's four-month picture yesterday, but didn't quite get to the blog posting. Gram and PopPop arrived just after Edward woke up from his nap, so there was lots of playing to do. Also some mocking. Anticipating their arrival, I did not get Daniel completely dressed after changing him so his thighs were on full display. They are quite a sight to behold. John says his legs are so fat you can't really even tell he has knees. The cheeks are also evidence of his eating prowess. Gram says the blog pictures are great, but don't even come close to capturing the real thing. She was in serious withdrawal--it had been more than a month since her last visit!

Shortly after they arrived, we were sent away for dinner and a movie. What a great Mother's Day weekend treat! We had to make it an early movie and a comedy because we knew there was no way we'd stay awake otherwise. We've had a couple of long nights with Daniel waking up coughing again. I thought it was getting worse between Wednesday and Friday so I took him back to the doctor on Friday. Their assessment is that it's just a virus and that this happens to be how Daniel is affected. Some kids get ear infection after ear infection, others get diarrhea all the time. Apparently this is what we can expect as he works his way through the various viral manifestations circulating at daycare. He's definitely not as bad as he was the last time through, so let's hope for a quick resolution so we can all get back to sleep.

Anyway, we saw Baby Mama, which met all of our movie parameters--comedy, 96 minutes, 7:25 p.m show. As we were leaving (having thoroughly enjoyed it, even laughing out loud at times) John looked at the line of people waiting to buy tickets to the late shows and scorned, "Ha! They're not gonna be in bed in 40 minutes!" Sad, but true. We take sleep where we can get it.

I'll share now the Mother's Day present my sister-in-law sent me after playing with photoshop this week. She has four kids, so she knows all the tricks to successful photos:

Monday, May 05, 2008

When we got home from work/daycare on Friday our neighbor had a mini-roadroller parked at his house. Edward was intrigued. This neighbor has beautiful landscaping and a lawn worthy of a golf course. He also works for a local paving company so has access to various equipment for projects to keep it looking this way. This weekend his plan was to roll the lawn to flatten it out. As prime candidate for most generous neighbor of the year, he offered to do ours as well, but the many dips and humps in our lawn are really the least of its problems, so we politely declined. When he started working on it late Sunday afternoon (he had to wait for it to dry out as much as possible from recent rains) John and I were inside getting ready for an evening event to benefit the public library. Grandma and Grandpa, who were here to babysit for the evening, were outside with Edward. I sent John out with the camera so he was there to capture this amazing moment in the life of a young boy:

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Even though we've worked out the dinner timing so that Daniel almost always eats right before we sit down to our own meal, he's not been a very pleasant dining companion of late. We set him next to us in his aquarium bouncy chair on the floor, but he soon tires of that entertainment and creates a fuss. In the last two weeks John and I have become quite adept at one-handed eating because we've had to pick him up to stop the wailing. We decided that what he really wanted was to be part of the action, so on Friday, I readjusted the highchair straps to the infant settings and let him sit there. No fussing from him or from Edward, who was convinced that sitting on our ancient green step-stool was a major treat. We know the transition was a success in that regard because when Edward threw his ball this morning and it bounced into the kitchen under the highchair, he shouted "It hit Daniel's seat!"

This week was picture day at the daycare. We somehow had a few extra minutes in the morning before we left, and I managed to snap a couple of pictures. I had set Daniel on Edward's bed for a moment and Edward wanted to climb up next to him. Apparently the school photographer also got a shot of both boys together (this option is offered, but I hadn't requested it because it seemed like too much to ask of the daycare staff who already have enough to keep them on the run!) So we'll see how those turn out.

We ended up having another spontaneous photo session on Saturday when Edward asked to hold Daniel. He doesn't ask very often, but he usually is interested when he brings it up. Daniel had just woken up from a nap and was surprisingly subdued so Ed was able to hold him for quite a while before he started wiggling away. It's hard enough to get a good shot of one kid, and this was another reminder of the near impossibility of one shot that captures both boys' best looks. Each of them had a great shot where the other was not at the top of his game. Here are the two we wish we could somehow stitch together:

Here's the best alternative:Daniel is getting closer to sleeping through the night. If only I could hold him off until after 9 p.m. for his last meal, I think we'd be there. But he's been hungry and exhausted closer to 8 so that's been his bedtime lately. Friday and Saturday nights he needed his pacifier a few times, but didn't demand more food until after 5 a.m. Unfortunately, he thought that playtime should follow that breakfast and we weren't too keen on starting our day that early. I guess we just have to consider it a step along the path to returning to a normal sleeping pattern. Speaking of sleep, I can't believe he slept long enough to allow a complete blog post. I sat down to prep the photos and assumed I'd be interrupted at some point before finishing the project. Daniel was awake when we got to church this morning, but conked out soon after mass started and snoozed right through to the end. (Good thing too because Edward can be a handful, though I was reminded of why I keep taking him when I heard him echo "Thanks be to God" after the congregation's response to the first reading.) We've now been home for nearly an hour and he's still asleep in the car seat. As much as I hate lugging that thing around, I do love the ability to extend car naps into the house!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Special birthday post for Aunt Nora. Short and sweet because I'm trying to do this quickly and quietly while Daniel sleeps right behind me in the office. Translation of Edward's first performance--he's a sunflower seed, he gets water, then he grows tall. He learned this at school this week.

Second video demonstrates Daniel's growing conversation skills.