Thursday, December 31, 2009

Forget the Baby Whisperer...

Zantac is where it's at!

Turns out it seems Mira's "issues" are stemming primarily from her acid reflux. She's been struggling with nursing for a few days, and the problem really escalated Tuesday into Wednesday. She just wouldn't nurse. She'd scream as soon as I laid her on my lap to start nursing. It was beyond frustrating and worrying. She napped better on Wednesday, but still struggled with every feeding. I was getting so worried that she was developing an aversion to nursing, and that we'd have to give it up. More than that, nursing should be a pleasant, positive experience for both me and her, and it just wasn't.

So I desperately called 2 lactation consultants, and the pediatrician. One discussion with the consultant, and one visit to the pediatrician later... Mira's reflux medication got increased by 50%. Seemed like a lot, but we'll give it a try!

Lo and behold... She nurses with ease, and is sleeping like a champ. Oh, the wonders of medication. *Sigh* of relief from me!

But can you imagine? Her whole life, she's been in so much pain she can't sleep or eat properly. That breaks my heart.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Little Wrastler

Grandma may have been run over by a reindeer, but Mira was able to wrestle one to the ground over the Christmas holiday:

Monday, December 28, 2009

Don't Pass me by!

We're just now back home from a Christmas trip down to NYC/LI for a nice family time. We go down that way roughly twice a year, and every time we go, we get stuck in trrraaafffffiiiiiiccccc. It sucks. It helps remind us why we live in the "country". And when we get in that "Cash Only" line at the toll booths, we stare longingly at the EZPass lanes, with the cars zipping through while we suffer with screaming kids in the backseat....

Not this year!!! Keith had the brilliant idea of stopping at the EZPass service center in Albany and we left the proud owners of THREE EZPass tags (one for each of us, and one a present for my ma). Thruway tolls? A breeze. George Washington Bridge, well bring it on! And the Garden State Parkway? Best of ALL: EZPass at 65mph! Gotta love that express lane. I don't know how we lived without it before, but it was the highlight of this trip! (No offense to the family, of course).

To quote my mom: "I loved it so much, I wished there were more toll booths"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day one with the Baby Whisperer

Mira turned 7 weeks old this past Friday. Up until that day, we were rolling with it pretty well. She would have one good nap in the car seat (due to 3 year old activities in the morning) and we'd get by the afternoon, usually with her napping on me. Not ideal, but not too bad.

Nighttime was, in general, a blessing. Mira might struggle to go to bed, but she'd sleep a good 4-5 hours and then nurse, diaper, and nurse back to bed for another 3-4. Of course, I'm talking a week's worth of data on that, but still. It seemed like we were having a trend, a pattern, dare I say, a schedule.

Then, it hit. I don't know what. A growth spurt, a cognitive development, who knows? All of a sudden, she's nursing erratically and screaming a LOT. Not sleeping well, not happy. No idea what to do.

So, a mom friend loans me "The Baby Whisperer" (a book). I have had a very strong "read no parenting books" motto since Lili was born. But I was desperate (am desperate). I need sleep. I need sanity. I need.... patience. So I've skimmed the book this morning, between screaming and crying (ummmm both of us), and successfully got Mira to nap in her own bed (with much patting and reassuring at the wakeful/restless/fussy stages of the nap) going on 2 hours now.

We'll keep working on it. I know it's a work in progress. I'm creating a mantra: patience. love. care. observe. boundaries. reassurance. patience.

Oh, and what I've learned so far? Mira is a mostly "touchy baby", and a little bit of a "spirited baby". Meaning? She's easily overstimulated. Easily overtired. Needs a LOT of reassurance. And goes from 0-100 very quickly.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cloth Diapers, Part Deux

I've blogged about cloth diapering in the past... And the time has come again because Nicki's Diapers is giving away a one-size fits all diaper cover. Just up my alley.

We've been using Thirstie's Duo's (which I really love) and Bummi's for Mira. Only during the day when we are at home. I know... it's better to use them all the time! But, with her diaper rash and wanting sleep and all that, a combo of disposable and cloth is what works for us.

So... if you happen to be in the market to try cloth diapering, check out Nicki's... They have free shipping on all diaper covers, which is a rare thing to find!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cut it out!

I love to bake. The holidays (well, really winter time.... wait who am I kidding? all year round!) gives me a great excuse to bake and do a little experimenting.

Can you believe I've never mastered cut-out cookies? I guess my philosophy is that they are too much work and don't taste that great anyway. Well, unless you're my friend Anna, in which case you make the best sugar cookie cut outs known to man.... But I digress.

This year I decided to make gingerbread people as a project for me and Lili. I used Paula D's recipe from FoodTV and it's just OK. Actually they are a little hard and tasteless. But it was fun to decorate them!

we even made little jewish people :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Me Me? Okaaay...

What does a "meme" stand for, anyway? As far as I can tell, it's basically a list of info about me. Me. Get it? And since I love to enter raffles and drawings and giveaways, here's a Holiday "MeMe"...

Mama’s Holiday Wish List Meme
TodaysMama and Provo Craft are giving away a sleighful of gifts this holiday season and to enter I’m sharing this meme with you.

1. What 5 items are on your holiday wish list this year?
A tea kettle. A not so fussy baby. A healthy family. Lots of snow this winter. More sleep.

2. What is your favorite handmade gift you have received?
A knitted wool blanket.

3. What handmade gift have you always wanted to tackle?
A knitted sweater.

4. What was the best Christmas gift you received as a child?
Jolene, my cabbage patch doll, with a crib for her that my brother made. Plus personalized bedding for the crib that my mother made.

5. What items are on your kid’s wish list this year?
No idea. Well, anything princessy.

6. What is your favorite holiday food?
I really do like turkey and stuffing with gravy. And cherry pie.

7. What will you be hand-crafting for the holidays?
Not this year! No time with the little baby around.

8. What is your favorite holiday movie?
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (Cartoon version)

9. Favorite holiday song?
It came upon a midnight clear. But it's mostly Rudolph around here lately.

10. Favorite holiday pastime?

Mulled cider, popcorn, and a movie.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


First big snow of the year! This whole family couldn't be more excited. Well, Mira doesn't really understand the cold white stuff yet, but the rest of us are happy to see it!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Never wake a...

Sleeping baby...

Just wishing that she'd sleep a little more!

cute squashy sleeping face

Sumo Mira

So, my friend takes Mira and gets a good look at her and says "Don't take this the wrong way or anything, but Mira looks kinda like a sumo wrestler"

And, at the same time "she looks just like you".

Does this mean I should stop eating Ice Cream?

yes. i got big cheeks and a double chin.
if you gotta problem with that, i can SIT ON YOU!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

In case you didn't know...

Life with a baby isn't always roses and sunshine:

hee hee.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Second Time Around

Parenting the second time around is a little bit different. Yes, there's still the lack of sleep, the mountain of diapers, the spit up, the crying, and the love... but there's also so much more of the "whatever works" kind of attitude.

When Lili was born, I read and took all the advice about breastfeeding and took a stance firmly against pacifiers. Supposedly they only confuse babies. And no bottle feeding until 6 weeks old, that the bottle must come from daddy so as also not to confuse the baby. I took no advice from actual real life mothers who told me: Nah, give 'em a bottle from day one! That way they can never refuse it! What's wrong with pacifiers? Ton's of kids use 'em!

Lucky for us, Lili found her thumb and is now a bonafide thumbsucker. It's been a saving grace. She never loses it (except when it got cut that one time), and she can always decide when she wants it. We have yet to get to that stage where we need to wean her from it, so I have no comment there.

You've all read that Mira's a screamer. She gets very upset very quickly. She also sometimes wants comfort in the form of sucking but doesn't want any milk. How do I know this? Because I try to nurse her and she cries and comes off. And from me, there's no way to get no milk. There's a lot of milk there. So, in a fit of desperation yesterday, I shoved the dreaded pacifier into her mouth. And guess what? She liked it. And guess what else? She doesn't get confused between it and me. And lastly? It helps put her to sleep. In five minutes. As opposed to pacing around the house with her for 30 minutes or more to get her to sleep and then praying she doesn't wake up when you put her in her bed. It's amazing. It's a life saver. And I'm afraid I will become too dependent on it. Not her. Me! Where's the fine line? How and where and should I control the useage of it, or should I just say... Hey! It makes her happy, just use it! Thoughts? Suggestions? Experience? Pass it on to me, please!

she's even cute with the controversial orange thing in her mouth

Oh, and as for the bottle thing... She's had one from Keith (because I wasn't home!) and one from me, and it's working out great. Next time I need expert advice? I think I'll talk to someone who doesn't call themselves an "expert"...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pregnancy Pal #2

Seems like I was pregnant and due around the same time as a lot of my friends! Here's us meeting set #2... An old friend growing up who happens to luckily live near us now had her baby boy about a day after Mira was born, and we got to meet J this morning:

mira's new boyfriend!

And, well, A and I definitely DON'T miss being pregnant:

I can't believe this was only about a month ago...

Monday, November 23, 2009


Okay, so I have no witty title for this post... But! Lili had her first dental cleaning this morning, and she was a rock star! While other kids wailed in the adjoining rooms, Lili opened her mouth wide and was a model patient through the whole thing. I rather think she enjoyed it. They started out staining her teeth pink to see where our problem brushing areas are, and Lili got to pick out a new (purple) toothbrush. She choose grape toothpaste for her cleaning, and she was enthralled by the orange dental floss. It was a very colorful visit overall, and she didn't complain once. I'm very proud of her.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


After kind of a rough day, this is the kind of thing that melts the heart:

We had a busy fly by day. The morning whirled by, mostly because I slept until almost 9(!) thanks to Keith taking Mira early in the morning and then Lili later in the morning.

Lili and I spent the afternoon together at a High School production of "Cinderella", which was kind of fun during, but turned into total melt-down on the drive home because Lili was so tired.

Mira did very well at home with just daddy and didn't even need a bottle while we were gone. It gives me hope that I will get to see New Moon sometime soon.

But when we got home from the play, both girls were wailing and Keith and I were dragging. The rest of the evening was tough, as Mira wouldn't be put down at all, and so by bedtime we were all a little strung out.

When we tucked Lili in, she asked if Mira could lie in her bed too, and there you have it: the 2 minutes where no one was whining or crying, and we could appreciate being parents!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Womb Friend

Today, Mira (and Lili and I) got to meet a friend that we've been waiting for 9 months to meet! One of my friends from the Moms Club was due with her baby girl the same day as I was, but baby C was 5 days late. Her big sister, L is a good friend of Lili's and so we went over to their house this morning to meet Mira's new BFF and to let the new big sisters play together.

Amazingly, both babies were happy at the same time for a few minutes (C more than Mira) and so they hung out together while we cleaned up the playroom:

Lili and L were also occupied together for a while, coloring:

Saturday, November 14, 2009

2 weeks...

Two weeks and one day old! Mira is doing pretty well. We get some sleep at night, she's getting some baby fat on her body, and she's cuuuute. BUT she is rarely awake and not crying, which is kind of frustrating. She really really loves to be held, which is something that I wished for (a cuddly kid), but now kind of want someone a little more independent...

Lili and I had a morning (about an hour and a half) alone together this morning running errands. It was nice to get out, and get a break from the baby. Lili initially didn't want to leave Mira at home. She said "I want Mira to come too because otherwise I will miss her". Very sweet. I hope she loves her like that forever.

We also finally got a new digital camera, because the two we had are both broken. Not a great thing when bringing a new baby home! So we tested out the new camera by taking a succession of pictures of Mira being burped. Here's a good one:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

First Day at "Normal"

Well, today is the first day with Keith back at work, and us back to a "normal" routine at home. So far, so good. Mira slept well last night, and has been sleeping through most of the day so far. Lili had preschool and Mira and I dropped her off and picked her up, much to the delight of the teachers, who had been eager to meet Mira. The only hitch in the morning was a baby diaper blowout at the same time as a preschool toilet poop at the same time as we were supposed to leave for school. Oh, and a big spit up onto the car seat straps... Will have to wash those soon!

Hopefully all the sleep Mira's getting today will not interfere with tonights' sleep. I'll just have to assume she needs all the rest she can get for right now!

I was even able to give Lili a (uneven) haircut today because the weather was so nice that spending time on the porch was an option. We're also working on a "house" today, courtesy of her new booster seat shipping box... Tres fun! She goes inside and says "I'm a real grownup!"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

mira's first bath

mira had her first bath today, and it was with lilian! we put the baby tub across the big tub and gave both girls baths at the same time. of course mira screamed through the whole thing, but it wasn't too bad. now she looks very different; a bit whiter, and with crazy fuzzy hair! sorry no pics of the event... we had our hands full!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Found objects = new toys!

So, with the basement done, we have been spending time down there unpacking boxes and organizing all our stuff. Our kitchen in Ithaca was way huger than this kitchen, so we have mostly boxes of kitchen stuff that we don't want to get rid of but don't have room for upstairs.

Anyway! The futon is down there now, and we're starting to get Mirabel's room ready for her. Slowly. It's amazing how much more stuff there is to do with one more person in the house. We've done at least 2 loads of laundry a day, up from one load every 2-3 days.

In the midst of unpacking boxes and searching for things, I came across my wedding dress, along with accessories, some of which I never used. I gave Lili a veil that I made but didn't wear for the ceremony. She loooooves it and it will become an addition to the dress-up bin.

In other news, Mira is doing well, and Lili is adjusting very well to being a big sister. She's had spells of regression and whinyness but overall she really loves her little sister and has shown us that she can be very helpful too.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Settling in

Well, the first week with a new baby is undoubtedly a roller coaster. Here's a little of what's happened so far:

Lili's already bonked her in the head with a wooden stool.
Lili's tried "nursing" a stuffed animal.
Mira has had more awake periods, looking around and is very interested in Lili.
Grandpa Lee and Keith have really almost finished the basement!
Omi has cleaned our kitchen to a sparkling sheen
Two family members have head colds (Keith and Lili)

What I'm looking forward to in the short term:
My milk supply leveling out
Getting into some sort of routine
Taking a shower :)

Here's a picture of the 2nd time Lili's held Mira:

Friday, October 30, 2009


It's a girl!

Mirabel Ray, born at 3:09am, 10/30/09
6lbs 15oz, 19.5 inches
Successful VBAC!

Things I hope I'll never forget:
The feeling of my water breaking
The feeling of controlled mega pushing (or as they said to me "rock star!")
The feeling of the rest of her body coming out after her head
The feeling of discovering it was a GIRL and not a BOY

Things I hope I will forget very soon:
The feeling of it taking 2 hours and countless tries for the epidural to go in
The feeling of morning sickness for 20 weeks
The feeling of out of control contractions

Sunday, October 25, 2009

39th week notes

This morning I woke up and thought "I think I'm gonna be pregnant forever". Rationally I know this can't be true, but do you know any pregnant women who are rational? Exactly.

Luckily, it was a sunny relatively warm fall day and thanks to a husband who can roll well with mood swings, we ended up with a good productive day. Keith finished the basement on Thursday evening and so we've been able to clean and start unpacking things into the room. Lili's thrilled with having another room to play in and opening all these new boxes is exciting to all of us. Except when we're like "WHY did we keep this thru TWO moves??"

We are getting rid of a lot of old college stuff, and one of them was an Engineering Design Sketchbook. Keith was all for throwing it in the recycle bin, but I thought Lili might get some use out of it, so here she is working away at freehand engineering design:

our future engineer

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Got Carrots?

Growing a baby? I'm totally over it.

Growing our own food? Never ceases to amaze me!

Friday, October 16, 2009

38 weeks... still pregnant!

So. 38 weeks today. Hanging in there. Barely! Things seem to be moving along, as far as I can tell. Please. One week more. Or Less. Please!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lili the budding chef

Lili has been making "Lemon Meray" (lemon meringue) Ice Cream in her bath at night. Here are the ingredients:

Lemon juice from a lemon
Ice Cream
(End Quote)

Yesterday I remember that there was also apple juice involved.

What do you think? She's ready for "the Next Iron Chef", or maybe FN's "Challenge: Preschool Ice Cream"!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Knitting Season

As the weather gets cooler and fall TV premieres begin, I find my hands a little more idle... So I started knitting again, after taking a many-month hiatus (like, almost 9 months!). Plus, I'm really trying to "pass the time" until this baby comes, and knitting is a great distraction for me.

Here's a project I started in February, that I just completed: A wool soaker (#2, see #1 here).

I really really really like the color scheme on this one. It's too bad I'm convinced I'm having a boy, because this is a really cute girly diaper cover :)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Come together!

The progress on the basement is really coming along. By tomorrow morning, with any luck all the trim around the windows will be done. Only a couple minor mishaps, and a lot of polyurethane. Here is a picture of the front window. The paint color looks warmer in daylight, but you get the idea.

Hopefully, the majority of the flooring will be completed by the end of the weekend:

Most of the work for the basement has been done after Lili goes to bed. We were worried at first that all the sawing and hammering would keep her awake, but so far so good, and we've been at this for about 2 weeks.

36 week ultrasound showed the baby head down, and back to the left side so it's positioned well for delivery. I'm at 1cm right now, which I'm told is not unusual for a second pregnancy. I'm hoping and hoping to deliver around the 22nd, so you all can send your thoughts that way!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Moon Cookies

Tomorrow is the Chinese Moon Festival. I don't really know anything about it, except that it happens during a full moon in the fall and you celebrate by eating traditional moon cakes (bean paste filled concoctions). My mom and I both agree that the reason we both "like" moon cakes is because of nostalgia, and not necessarily because they taste good. But neither of us is sure about that statement, either.

Anyway, we have had a library book out for a few weeks now and I realized that we can use this book as a very nice tie-in to the moon festival, seeing as how I don't really know much about the traditional festival anyway. "The Moon Might Be Milk" is about cookies. Bits of the moon are combined to create (sugar cookie) moons! Lili asked if we could make the cookies, and so in honor of Moon Festival, that is what we did today.

Unlike most of the baking I do with her, I let her do most of the work, because, frankly, I didn't really care about how the cookies turned out. I don't love sugar cookies the best. So we donned our aprons and made a little bit of a mess, but ended up with some beautiful "moon" cookies.

Bonus! They don't taste like a 3 year old made them. They're actually kind of decent. SO... here's to a full moon. May I possibly go into labor this weekend! (36 weeks today... that's "full term"!)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lili Big Cousin

We've been in MA for the past few days, visiting my new beautiful niece. Lili finally got to hold a newborn and she couldn't have been more thrilled. Alexa has been sleeping a lot whenever we are there, but apparently is awake most of the night :(

We had a good trip visiting, but this will be my last before the baby is born! I'm definitely feeling that last month... really physically ready to get the baby out, but also not so sure I'm ready to deal with a newborn again! Lili is starting to understand more about life with a baby, and I'm so grateful that she got to "practice" being a big girl around Alexa.

We'll be sad to kiss the babe goodbye tomorrow, but looking forward to when she can meet her new cousin, too!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Welcome Autumn!

We are pleased that the leaves are turning colors, and the air is crisp with Fall in the mornings. Welcome to the new season, with Shan's Pumpkin Pie in the oven and a little fall Fairy:

Monday, September 21, 2009

Cars, Bikes, and Ferries

This weekend, we finally had the time (and the beautiful weather) for Keith to accomplish one of his summer goals: Biking (at least) 100 miles. Since the distance from our house to my parents' house is 120 miles, Keith got to surpass his goal and rode the distance in 10 hours and 10 minutes.

Lili and I drove to my parents' on Friday, and Keith spent the day Saturday biking across northern New York, through hay fields and wind farms. Unfortunately for him, it was a little windy that day, but that only made the challenge more worthwhile (right?). We're all very proud and impressed by his trip, and surprised at the fact that he was more tired than sore by the whole thing. The next big biking goal in the family? My mom wants to bike around Lake Champlain!

We took the ferry home (as usual), and I was able to capture Lili's joy at being on the ferry on a beautiful day, with her daddy:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Making the most of it

This pregnancy, that is... It's been a hard road since the beginning of this gestation, from being so sick I could barely function to now being so big I can barely function... But one thing that I have made the most of is my ability to read! I've read more books in the past 8 months than I have probably in the past 8 years. I started with familiar re-reads and branched out with the help of my local librarians and friends to a random assortment of fiction. I wish I had kept better track of everything I read, but as in the term better late than never, I'm going to attempt to list them out here, in no particular order...

The Twilight Series
The Time Traveler's Wife
Harry Potter books 6 & 7
The House at Riverton
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
The Dog Walker: a novel*
Never Let Me Go
The Undomestic Goddess
Love the One You're With
To Have and to Hold: a novel
The Secret Life of Bees

currently on: The History of Love
wanting to read: The Help

* Loved this book!

Obviously, I'm a fan of fiction. And as you can see, a mix of real writing and bad chicklit. I love the chicklit stories, but some of them had such bad writing that I could hardly get through them. I'm hoping to get through about 4 more during this pregnancy, so any suggestions would be great!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I'm an AUNTIE!!!

A Big Huge Welcome to my new baby niece Alexa!

She's gorgeous, no? Born 9/12 in the evening after giving her mama a hard labor!

My brother is now a proud papa:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mini Martha

We're a far cry from the perfectionism of Martha Stewart around here, but still... These pink cupcakes are a thing of beauty.

Lili was inspired by the book Pinkalicious to bake pink cupcakes for a potluck we went to last night. Whenever we go to the library, it's inevitable that if the book is pink, about princesses, mermaids, or anything fancy, we end up reading it multiple times per day. She can currently practically recite Fancy Nancy back to us. Is it just a phase? We'll see...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pasta Bake

A few (several?) years ago, Prego (Campbells) came out with a product called "Prego Pasta Bake". It was only available a short while, because people realized it was kind of a redundant product. I'm making it for a potluck tomorrow, and I was searching the 'net for the "recipe" to discover that no one has listed it right out. Luckily, I saved a label from one of the jars, and so here it is, in its original form(ish).

Prego Pasta Bake
1 jar Prego pasta sauce
1 jar water
1 lb box dry pasta (penne, ziti, or rotini)
8 oz mozzerella cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 425F. In a 9x13 baking dish, stir to combine the pasta sauce and the water. Stir in the dry pasta, cover the pan tightly with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover, stir, and sprinkle the shredded cheese over top. Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly.

Easy Peasy. And really quite delicious. You can stir in other stuff, like sauteed veggies or crumbled cooked italian sausage in to the pasta before sprinkling the cheese in. Way easier than regular baked ziti, and it's a one pan wonder...

Cloth Diapering

Okay, so I broke down and decided to enter this contest. It's a contest for some Fuzzi Bunz cloth diapers. The reason I've been waffling about entering is that we've actually tried Fuzzi Bunz before and I didn't know if it would be fair for me to enter. I didn't have a fantastic experience with them, and so I decided to enter the contest to try them again with baby #2. Maybe we'll have better luck this time.

So, the pros first: they're an all in one cloth diaper. That makes them super easy to use. They come in cute colors, and they use snaps (as opposed to velcro, which can be a pain to wash). They are very soft, very absorbent, and very easy to wash. Poop stains come out with a stint in the sun (amazing!). Since they're all microfiber, they are very trim, which is rare for cloth.

Now the cons, and the reason I stopped using FB's: they're pretty expensive, compared to using cotton pre-folds and covers. The snaps make them slightly harder to get on the baby. They didn't have a one-size when I started using them (they do now). And the big kicker for me: they became water repellent after a couple months of usage. Not so great for a diaper... It turns out that the method in which I wash my clothes causes almost all my fleece to become water repellent. Even when I switched to non-petroleum detergent, and no fabric softener. Even when we switched STATES to a different water system. I don't know what it is! It could be our washing machine? I know plenty of people who use regular Tide detergent and fabric softeners who have no trouble with fleece becoming hydrophobic. But, that's why I had to stop using FB's. It was maddening after spending all that money on them.

Eventually we switched Lili to cotton diapers in covers, which worked fine. We've tried many styles: Bummis, Prowraps, Gdiapers... But here's one of my fave pics of Lili, when the Fuzzi Bunz were working well for us:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

3 day playdate

We had a visit from some far-away friends over the holiday weekend, and for once the weather cooperated! It wasn't too hot or too rainy, it was juuuust right. It's been a long time since we've seen these friends and it's always so cool to have our two girls playing together. Maia is one week younger than Lili (but maybe a foot taller :), and they had fun times playing pretend. I thought the cutest thing was that Maia called Lili "Tiger Lily" before she got here. I don't know why I think that's so endearing but I really do.

Two girls with their daddies...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

And so it begins!

Today was Lili's very first day of preschool. She started the day off right by sleeping in a little bit, and then having a nice full breakfast. She was very excited about going to school, and had no trouble when we dropped her off. Lucky for me, Keith stayed home from work today (to paint the basement) and so was able to come with us for the big pre-school drop off and pick up.

We had a productive morning painting, and Lili was as smiley as can be when we picked her up. She was excited to tell us about her day and she was sad that she doesn't have school every day. I'm sure that will change, eventually.

Meanwhile, we've made great progress painting the basement. One more coat with the rollers and we'll be ready to go buy some trim! Hurrah! Most of the credit must go to Keith because he is the more thorough and meticulous one when it comes to home-improvement projects.

Oh! Why are we painting the basement? Yeah... because there were some fixes to be made to the walls, and we had to rip out the cat-stink carpet, and the walls were this soul sucking shade of light gray. Gray. Who lives like that? The goal is to have the room done (painted walls, new window, door, and floor trim, and new laminate flooring) by October 1. We're in pretty good shape for that to happen.

Eight more weeks until the baby is due!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fun with computers

Someone said "why pay double for a mac?".

what's the answer?

So that you can do fun, relatively useless things like spend half an hour in front of the photobooth feature to make pictures like this:

she's an angel! (most of the time)

and here I thought she had a big head from too many people telling her she's cute...

Friday, August 28, 2009

Get Ready... Get Set...


Fall is fast approaching, and with that is our first season of a scheduled life. No soccer yet, so I can't claim any soccer mom status, but we have preschool, possibly chinese school, gymnastics, ballet, and our regularly scheduled activities with our moms' club. It will be very interesting. I've resisted having any set schedule, but I think with a new baby on the way it will be good to be forced to get out of the house.

Preschool orientation was this morning. We're all pretty excited around here!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Princess Potato Farmer

So you know from earlier posts that we started a backyard garden this year. It's been moderately successful; the basil is non-existent, but the mint and the parsley did really well. The onions got overtaken by the potatoes, but the carrots were a surprising success. And, although it has been a very wet season and we have a rather shady garden, the zucchinis have produced just enough to use and give a few away.

But because of the wet weather in all of the state, our tomatoes suffered from late blight, so we didn't get to harvest as many as we wanted to, and even sadder was the hacking down of the tomato forest (they had gotten huge before the blight set in). The potato greens were also very affected by the late blight and so I had assumed that they would be trashed. But Keith and Lili diligently dug them all up today, and they're quite beautiful, and of decent size too!

Ironically, we just bought potatoes from the farmer's market :(

How many do you think this cutie could sell if we brought her there?

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Lovely movie. (The book was better, no surprise).

Good casting. Fairly good adaptation (I would have made the movie longer, maybe 2.15). Wonderful, beautiful costumes. I wasn't so impressed by the soundtrack, even though reviews told me I should be... I give 3.5 out of four.

Friday, August 14, 2009


You just can't have 4 generations of asian women in one house without making dumplings...

Developing Art Skillz

Up until now, Lili has primarily just scribbled when drawing. She can somewhat fill in shapes and add to things that I have drawn, but for the most part when she draws by herself, it's mostly scribbles.

We arrived at my parents' house yesterday to visit with them, and my grandmother. Lili and my Puo sat down to draw together while I had a rest. I heard Lili telling Puo that she was drawing a monster, and when I went over to take a look, sure enough she had drawn a recognizable(ish) object! A monster blob, complete with 2 belly buttons, arms, legs, hair, and 2 antennae ears. She then proceeded to draw one of her favorite storybook characters, Beegu. I had to remind her that Beegu was yellow, but besides that I think she did a pretty good job.

It really amazes me when she breaks out with some new "developmental milestone".

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Blankie or Bust

"You can watch a show if you let me wash your blankie"


Five minutes later...

"(whine) I want my pink blaaaaankeeetttt (sob)"

Note to self: next kid gets at least 2 of the same comfort item.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Elusive Belly shot

Okay, people (Tera), here it is! The elusive belly shot. This was taken at almost 27 weeks (I am right now at 28 weeks). I have to say, that it is really hard to feel cute when you are pregnant and it is 85 degrees out, with high humidity. I finally asked Keith to take a belly shot if only because we should have at least one for this pregnancy.

What do I think so far? I've been carrying very low, and as they say in Chinese "jian jian", which kind of translates to "pointy", all of which culminates in the fact that I think it's a boy in there. I am so certain, that I will be really shocked if it isn't.

The nausea finally passed around week 25, after which I had a couple of weeks of feeling grrreat! But now, I just feel big and tired, and I expect that will continue for the next few months until the end. I've been feeling lots of guilt over the fact that it's harder to play with Lili and that I just can't give her the energy she wants. But, all that prepares her for the months following the birth, I guess.

She asks about the baby a lot. What it can and can't do when it's first born, what it will eat, what she will be able to do with it. I really appreciate how in tune she is with the whole process. I'm hoping it won't be a huge shock to her, we'll see.

Anyway, here it is! If I can eke out any belly cute-ness in the next few weeks, I'll post another. Who knows, maybe a haircut will help?

Funny picture

Whoa. It's been awhile since I posted! This means either (a) nothing is going on in our lives, (b) we are so busy that I don't have time to post, or (c) our camera(s) don't work very well and so I'm not photo-documenting like I previously have. Let's just say it's a combination of (d) all of the above.

So what is new? Summer is seemingly almost over. We've beached it pretty well, and generally are currently enjoying the summer harvest bounty (blueberries, peaches, sweet corn, and zucchini. major cherry tomatoes are on the way). I am into my 3rd trimester now, and simultaneously thinking that time moves very slowly and very quickly. Lili seems to be dropping her nap, which means a more temperamental kid and a more tired and short tempered mom. We are just so in synch! Lili starts pre-school at the very beginning of September and we hope to be able to complete our basement fix-up by the beginning of October.

That's all for now, and I leave you with a hilarious picture of Lilian eating a strawberry (it was in late May... I'm just cleaning through pictures right now!)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Three and Carefree

Lili is three years old today! 3 seems like a big milestone, I think because now she is no longer considered a toddler. Lili is old enough for preschool. She is potty trained. She can carry on great conversations. She even came up with a wonderful haiku-ish poem in the car today:

"The sun is dry. The sky is blue. The rain is wet."

And, Lili will be a big sister soon. My brother was 3 years old when I was born, and if the family photo albums are any indication, I was a pretty big impact on his life. I hope in a good way. And I hope that Lili will continue to be the precocious smiley little princess tomboy that she has developed into.

Here she is this morning, in her "Birthday Rainbow Dress", about to open her morning gift:

And, I just realized the title for this post can have a double entendre... she is three and it's a carefree age. But, we are also 3 members in this family and it seems a more carefree time than when an infant comes along!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Grand tour of MA

Whew! Lili and I just spent a long weekend in Massachusetts, visiting college friends, and my brother and sister-in-law for their baby shower. In four days, we visited 4 different MA locations, as well as a stop into Providence, RI.

Things I discovered on this trip?

Lili rides really well in the car, especially when there's only 1 parent to whine to.
She is capable of asking "why" about 5 times per mile.
I am very capable of navigating major suburbs.
Air conditioning is niiiiiice. (but really I knew this already).
My belly is the same size as Alicia's. But she's 8+ months pregnant, and I'm only 6.
Apparently perfect strangers that bag my groceries at Trader Joe's think it's OK to tell me that I still "have a long way to go" in this pregnancy, and to remark that I look like I'm having twins.


But I don't mind. I had a great trip visiting people I love and spending time with family!

AND... came home to 2 nice sized zucchini from the garden. Bonus!

Friday, July 24, 2009

First Harvest

Well, not really the first harvest, but the first reasonably sized one. Despite all the rain (or maybe because of it?) we have had many many peas (snow peas and sugar snap peas), maybe for a whole month now. The raspberries are just starting to ripen, and we have gotten 3 little tomatoes so far. The tomato plants are HUGE, and we have a few small zucchinis to speak of too!

All in all, very exciting for our first year gardening here. And this is going to sound cheesy, but I was thinking that as my body's "fruit" is ripening (the baby), so is the fruit of our garden. Fruits of our labor.

and, is she the perfect model, or what?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Camera Suggestions?

Our (8 year old) digital camera is dying... Any suggestions? Give me the pros and cons of your suggestion, too please!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Naps have been iffy lately. Some days, Lili will fall right asleep; heck some days she even asks for a nap. On those days, she'll often sleep for 2-3 hours in the afternoon. Then again, often on those days she also stays awake until 10 at night.

On days with no naps, we can be guaranteed of a very whiny cranky child by 5:30pm and pretty much count on a bedtime of 7-7:30, which is wonderful. Well, really it's one of those tradeoffs, because she is a bear to deal with when she is cranky (yes, inherited from me).

Today, there was no nap. And then I took her for a couple of errands, not 2 miles away from home. She fell asleep just as we were returning to our own driveway, and I thought she'd wake up on the transfer out of the car, like always. But you can see here... half an hour after being unceremoniously deposited on the couch, and she is still snoozing. Here's to still hoping for a reasonable bed time. I really wanted to finish that movie I was watching!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

She's not shy

Something Lili often says when she meets new people is "I'm not shy". This was never more evident than today.

We attended a free kids concert as part of the Burlington International Waterfront Festival (which is part of the Lake Champlain Quadricentennial Festival... whew! mouthfuls!), and one of the performers asked for audience participation. Lili was very gung ho about it and volunteered, even though I don't think the performer necessarily wanted her to. Whatever, he was game! The song involved each participant to say a particular phrase about the lake whenever the mike was shoved in their face. Lili was a pro, saying "rainbow trout" every time it was her turn. Oh, and she picked Rainbow Trout because she is currently obsessed with rainbows :)

Also, we were interviewed for the local news at the concert and Lili got to see herself on TV. The first thing she said after seeing herself? "I didn't smile!". Next time, she'll be camera ready.

Here's a little video snippet of her singing. You really have to strain to hear her squeak out "rainbow trout". But it was so cute. So worth it. I was so proud of her I teared up!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

This thing they call Nesting

So. Nesting. It is, supposedly, a phenomenon of pregnancy. I can't say that I experienced it very much with Lilian, but for this baby... as with everything else, it is so different.

For the past month, I have been consumed with thinking about getting a dresser. I don't know why, but I must have a dresser. So yesterday, Keith found one I had also eyed at Burlington Furniture, and we bought it. Too bad two of the runners are broken. Nesting Foiled, count 1.

Same day as the dresser purchase, Keith discovered that the crib we have been meticulously saving for the baby has been recalled. Suffocation risk. Known fatalities. And the company that distributed it is now out of business (big surprise). Grrreeeaaat. Nesting Foiled, count 2.
(Note: we should be able to return the thing to Target. But we don't have a Target in Burlington. So maybe a trek to Plattsburg?)

And, we are working on the downstairs family room. I'm removing trim from the doorways and the windows, and Keith is repairing a closet corner. All in preparation of painting and putting down flooring so that the space can be livable. Nesting in progress, count 1.

Off to buy paint!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

VT Tourists for a week

We had a good visit from our friends S&C, and because it was raining or gloomy much of the time, we weren't able to beach it as much as I wanted to. But, we did do a lot of the touristy VT things that I have been meaning to check out. Stowe, Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Cabot Annex, and the Trapp Family Lodge (they have a nice parking lot... I stayed in the car while Lili slept :).

But, by far my favorite place this visit was the Magic Hat Brewery, which is only a couple miles from our house! I've never sampled several beers in one sitting and it was really interesting to me to discover that I don't really like lagers, but I do like hefeweisens. My favorite was the Circus Boy, which will be very easy for me to remember because Keith unicycles. I only sipped! So don't worry about the baby.

Lili's big score at the Brewery was the tie-dyed ear plugs they gave away on the factory floor. She wears them well: