2.28.2012

A sleep regression. Ugh.

I started to write this post ages ago, but things have been so in flux, that I never got around to posting it.

It started off with Gwen fighting her naps. Mostly just at home on the weekends, but occasionally at daycare as well. She certainly still needs them though.

Then, she became much harder to put down at night. Fighting sleep then as well.

Right at the beginning we also woke at 2 one night and took about an hour to settle again, and have a few more nights of brief wakings.

Thankfully all of the above has gotten better, but the fighting going to sleep is still there. Also thankfully I'm pretty sure I know the reason, or reasons, as the case may be. The first is the four molars she's currently cutting (and possible also her top eye teeth!). Thankfully one is half through, one is breaking through now... but two still have a ways to go. The second is some separation anxiety that kicked in right before her second birthday. She wants daddy and mommy around all the time.

The newest bump on the ride? If she wakes early enough for her morning nursing, then she'll fall back asleep with us... but lately, as she's been waking closer to 6, she won't. And 5:anything is way too early to be up for the day. Thankfully today she and I slept until almost 7!

This girl, she does like to keep me on my toes.

As always, I'm just having patience, and she's been working it out. Hurry up molars!

2.27.2012

monday

Its such a Monday. It is so weird not having Miyano here and knowing that she's not going to be here again, maybe ever. It's a distracting feeling, and couple that with normal Monday dragginess... well I'm having a lot of trouble getting work done.

The weekend was great though. First, my favorite pic that Pat took last weekend:


So sweet.

As for this weekend, Trav was away all day on Saturday for an alumni thing at Lehigh, so Gwen and I had a girl's day. We did some grocery shopping in the morning, ate a nice lunch, then thanks to an early wake-up, Gwen took a really good nap. Afterwards we headed to the mall to redeem a gift card to the Build-A-Bear that she received for her birthday. She loved the penguin, so he came home with us. On our way out we stopped for snack at Auntie Ann's pretzels. I am a sucker for their pretzels. Gwen is apparently a fan of their frozen lemonade, since she asked for a sip and I never got it back!


A quick trip to the Tar.get was made extra lovely by running into a college friend of mine! Small world. Hopefully there will be some playdates in our future, since Gwen seemed quite amused by her 2.5year old son.

Since daddy wouldn't be joining us for dinner and it was getting a little later then I though (plus, I really wanted pancakes!), we stopped at the IHOP for dinner.


The 99c I spent on the bubble pop app for my phone might be the best money I ever spent. It was such a fun day.

Sunday was a little more exhausting. We spent a lot of the day hanging out with Miyano, since she had an open house. It was a great way to get in our goodbyes. Gwen was enthralled with her best friend Joe, and even stood on the stairs with him while he cleaned the wall.


We lost track of time and left later then intended, but it was so good to spend the time with Miyano before she left. And Gwen did this in the car:


Now its back to work... sort of like always.

2.25.2012

creating a picture

Thought I'd share a new skill with you that I just picked up and has already come in handy. "Head swapping." I learned it HERE, but I thought I would share with you my own example. We've all had a time when we take a group picture, and everyone looks wonderful... save one person who's making a face or looking away or blinking. Well, lets fix that.

I shared this picture recently:


Love it!

The original...



not quite so great. (Hello baby who did NOT want to pose for a picture. Hello huge glare on mama's glasses.)

So we open the original in your photo editing software. I'm cheap, so I use the free (but completely awesome) paint.net (that's the name of the program, its not an online editor) to edit mine. And find another picture from the same trip, with a better face:


You carefully select just the face from the other picture (hence why the original paint won't work) and copy it. In the original picture, create a new layer and paste in the head.






Move the new head over the old one and resize (hold down the shift key while using your mouse on the corner dot of the new head to keep your dimensions the same while resizing). Once your head is the proper size for the body its time to clean it up a bit.

Select the eraser function and erase any bits from the new head that don't need to be there... a stray bit of neck, etc. I also used the lasso select tool to select bits where the old coloring and the new coloring were off enough to create a line between them... I then used the blur tool to blend them together.

Wah-la! Happy family photo!

2.24.2012

I was going to finish a post about Gwen's recent sleep regression... but that will have to wait. Today I'm too busy being choked up by saying goodbye to this girl:


my coworker and friend for over 8 years now, who's last day is today, and who is moving back to Japan on Tuesday.  And too busy trying to figure out what is causing my intense jaw/cheek bone pain. Its horrible and so far the ad.vil isn't touching it.

I'll be back on Monday! Have a great weekend.

2.23.2012

2 years in {boobs and pumping}

Work has been busy as my coworkers last day is tomorrow... :-(  But I'm working on getting out a few posts that have been sitting in my drafts folder. 

Tomorrow will be 2 weeks since I last pumped. As far as a regularly scheduled thing... I'm done with that. For the first time in two years, I get to wear a normal bra to work.... and that is pretty amazing!! I'll still pump if I have to stay late for work and miss a nursing session, I have about 6 bags of milk in the freezer too, but I don't pump during the day anymore. Its crazy to say that after 21 months of pumping!

So 2 years in, and here's where we standing. TL:DR version - Still nursing, and still fine with that!

But, ready to start working towards a VERY gentle encouragement of weaning. I mentioned I'm going to Vegas in October with some of my girlfriends to celebrate one of their 30th birthdays, and I really don't want to pack a pump for that. Its 8 months away and that feels like a lifetime from now, but amazingly soon all at the same time. Looking back at the times that it was so hard (HERE, HERE, and HERE), I never would have pictured us where we are now. Over two years in, and so easy. We'll see what ends up happening, because I really do want this to be a very gentle process, and I really do want it to be a joint decision and not something that I take away from her. She still loves it so so much!

My first step was dropping that pump. So no more sippy cup of milk at daycare. My supply should naturally drop a smidgen from that, and we'll just see where we go from here. I have a kids book about weaning saved in my favorites, and in a few months we'll start talking about it more.

We ended up being pretty lucky with the night weaning. There were a few times that I said I was going to do it, but something always came up. It ended up working out well though, since she naturally outgrew the night time feedings, and slept longer and longer between wakes. Once she was mostly just sleeping through it was easy enough to talk to her about the fact that milkie was tired, that we would say night-night to milkie at bedtime, and that she could have more milkie in the morning. One night of tears, two or three more nights of asking about it but no crying, and we were done. Even when sick now, she doesn't ask for it at night.

I'm hoping that with some patience and little changes day weaning can be the same natural, easy process. Anyone else gently wean an extended nurser?

2.21.2012

great weekend! {picture heavy}

Just because these are too cute not to share, two pics from GG's party last weekend:

Gwen and GG riding in the car ride.

Gwen and Daddy playing basketball.

This weekend turned out great. Friday I left work a little early to come home, grab the dog, drop her at the sitter's, and then head to Willy's for dinner with the in-laws. I just adore watching Gwen and Wyatt play (and eat...) together.



Too cute.



This just makes me look forward to Cape Cod this summer so much more.


Saturday was Gwen's party... I don't have many pictures of that to share yet. A friend took a bunch, so I'm waiting for him to get them to me. However I can share a few and tell you that the day was WONDERFUL!


We set up the ball pit for the occasion... a huge hit! 

Back of her birthday shirt.

Front... says "Team [our last name]"


Loved the cake! The ducks jersey had our last name on in too.
All of her birthday presents were a huge hit. Seriously, people got her the best stuff. A wooden play kitchen (where she now loves to cook dinner while I cook dinner!), puzzles and books, a doll stroller, so many other things and this:


My parents set it up when they arrived about an hour before the party and it was another big activity for all the kids! I'm so glad the weather was nice enough to play on it.

Sunday was all about relaxing and cleaning up. With about 10 kids in attendance, there was plenty of straightening to do. But Trav also had some "cleaning up" he wanted to do:


I so wanted him to keep it this way!!



Monday Gwen and I had off together. A friend stopped by to drop off a present for Gwen (since they couldn't make the party), and so I could give her some nursing clothes I borrowed from her almost 2 years ago! Besides that we did a lot of playing... outside on the slide, in the ball pit:


with the stroller: 

she also arranged some of her dolls/stuffed animals at the table (without any prompting from me!): 


After Trav got home and we ate dinner, he broke out the box to the slide.



There is nothing like a good box to create fun for the whole family: 



It was a great weekend.

2.16.2012

2 years old



Dear Gwenivere,
Today you are two years old, my love. Happy Birthday to my baby who isn't a baby anymore! I can't believe it's been two years. Two whole energetic, rambunctious, playful, ever growing, ever changing, sponge-like years. I'm so lucky to have such an energetic, passionate person in my life. Part of me can't believe another whole year has gone by, but then I look at how grown up you are compared to 12 months ago, and I can't believe you've changed so much in only a year!

1st birthday

There is so much that you can do now. You're counting to 10 (though you don't seem to like the number 5, and skip it a lot). You also say your ABCs, a skill that you practice in the car with your Daddy everyday. You eat with utensils most of the time, and have turned into a little "fruit bat." You know what you want all the time, and that includes picking out your own clothes everyday.


You try out new words all the time, repeating things that we say, and rolling those new words around your mouth to get a feel for them. My favorite phrase you say? "I did it!" which you exclaim with relish whenever you accomplish something you got in your head to do. Lately we hear that a lot when you go pee on the potty... which we've picked up again after a Gwen-imposed break. I love that you have pride in yourself for accomplishing new things. One of the cutest things you say? "Bless you." mostly when people cough, instead of when they sneeze, but cute and sweet nonetheless. My least favorite thing you say? "I no like it." which comes anytime there is something you don't currently want to do, eat, wear, etc etc etc!

Girl, you are nothing if not sure of yourself.

Unfortunately lately you've been very sure that you didn't want your didn't want to changed into your clothes in the morning, didn't want to change into your PJs at night, didn't want to change your diaper, did want to get into you seat for dinner, didn't want... well, you get the idea! LOL. This can be so frustrating, but I know its just you figuring out what it means to be in control of your world.

Until recently you were going to sleep on your own, we'd do your routine, then I'd just lay you down and leave the room, and that was that. Lately though you've seemed to develop a bit of separation anxiety and you get upset when your Daddy leaves the room so we can nurse. We're just taking it slow and right now I hang out for about the 10 - 15 minutes it takes you to settle down and go to sleep. Thankfully you are still sleeping well at night. Mostly you sleep in your crib until 5, then come to bed with us and sleep until 7ish. Occasionally there's a night in there where you need a rump pat or two to get back to sleep once in there, occasionally there's a day you'll sleep in your crib until after 6. Thankfully good night sleep is a regular thing though now.

Thankfully especially since lately naps for us are so hit or miss! You do know how to give me a hard time, that's for sure!

We're still nursing. Twice a day during the week, three times on weekends. What a milestone! This was never even on my radar during those early days, with their struggles to just make it work at all. Such a comfort it can be to us both, laying close, relaxing, breathing slowly. You are always on the move, always talking, except when you're nursing and we can just be together. I don't know how much longer it will last, but I'm going to enjoy every moment that's left.


Gwenivere, I just love you so much, and even in your most frustrating moments, I am so glad you are here and that I'm lucky enough to call myself your Mommy.

Love you always,
Mama



Ps. At two years you are still in size 18 m clothes, size 5.5 shoes, and size 3 diapers! We'll find out height and weight at next weeks doc appt.

2.15.2012

i have a cold





Woke up yesterday with a full-fledged, fully blossomed, nose running down my face, not just the sniffles COLD. Thankfully I was working from home, so I got to stay in my PJs and drink lots of tea.

I did take a shower though, for my husband's sake, since it was Valentine's Day and all. I'm such a romantic. Then I went to bed at 9:15. Don't be too sad for him though... I managed to send him chocolate covered strawberries, so the boy was not completely lacking in the Hallmark holiday love department. (They were amazing, no lie.) I also made him dinner. Dinner which I cannot share pictures of because my head was too foggy to remember such things, but I made us steaks with this sauce and this parmesan asparagus (my first time ever making asparagus!). I don't know that trying two new recipes at the same time was a smart idea, but it turned out well and he enjoyed it all.

I enjoyed my beautiful roses:


And my new bag:



Boy is so sweet.

Gwen loved the CUPCAKE she got at school, and the Valentines from her classmates.

Today I actually had to get up, dressed, and to work like normal. Drank a shake for breakfast instead of eating, so I could fit in a quick makeup job. Just enough to disguise the Rudolph nose.

Work has been busy lately, but the good kind that makes the days fly by. Speaking of which... back to it I go!

2.13.2012

happy to you!

If I promise there is extra cute, will you forgive me for forgetting to turn the video? Gwen was so excited for GG's birthday party on Saturday. So excited:

video

Like, kept putting on her coat and attempting to leave all morning even though we reminded her approximately 300x that GG's party wasn't until after lunch. Like, no nap to speak of because she was just too psyched kind of excited.

She had the best time though. 


GG did too!


The rest of the weekend was all about recovering and getting ready for epic levels of excitement for Gwen's party next weekend. (I'll admit, I'm pretty excited myself!) Food plans were firmed up, final decor items were decided on, house was scrubbed.

Work was so so busy today... but on the bright side, if it keeps up like this, the week will be over before I know it! Also, tomorrow I get to do it all from home in my PJs!

More soon, but for now I have to go snuggle my husband.


Ps. Don't forget, tomorrow is the last day to enter my I Love You Guys Valentine's Day giveaway!

2.09.2012

A Valentine's Day I Love You Guys Giveaway

I've been a fan of Paper Scissors Rock's facebook page for a while. I stumbled on them on another blog and thought their stuff was so fun. A little different, a little quirky, definitely cute. Recently they posted a picture of a new design that I knew I HAD to pick up for a friend. I'm not going to say anything more about the design, because I haven't given my friend her gift yet, but its cute and it got a back and forth going between Pam of PSR and myself.

Next thing I know this little cutie is showing up at my door, and I have the chance to throw a little love out to you guys just in time for Valentine's Day.



I love this clock. The design is so up my alley, and its light weigh but durable. The little owl second hand just makes my day! This cutie is going on my desk at work. A little something to make me smile.

Its a pleasure to do business with PSR too. As I said the design I picked out for my friend is new. So new that its not on the website yet, or in most of the stores that carry their stuff! But Pam was quick to reply to my messages and once we figured out which of their carriers was closest to me, she did all the work of contacting them to be sure the new design was in their next order!



Now on to the giveaway. Valentine's Day is coming, and I thought that would be the perfect opportunity to show you guys how much I appreciate your following along my little slice of the internet here. Enter to win your own Paper Scissors Rock alarm clock, design of your choice! (As an aside, Pam is also holding a giveaway on her site... so you can enter to win a nightlight HERE.)



I'm sure you will find a design you like, not just in the alarm clocks too... she has great wall clocks, nightlights, magnets and bookmarks. Use Promo Code BLOG to get 20% off all orders.

Contest ends midnight on Valentine's Day, winner to be chosen the next day. 

Check out the rafflecopter entry form below... and thanks for the love guys.  :-)