Saturday, December 28, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Presents from Santa!

Cinderella Legos for Lyla...

A CD Player toy for Kallan!

and stockings!

Awesome musical globe from Aunt Lois

New Sofia board game!

Grandma's getting into it

Grandpa and Lyla playing the new game


Love and snuggles from my girlie

Friday, December 27, 2013


Okay, despite the title of this post, this has literally nothing to do with cookies, and I am honestly going to ramble and vent for the next little bit.

I'd like to start this out by saying a) I very rarely vent about other people on the internet.. which means I must be pretty annoyed and b) moms! leave each alone!!!!! SHEESH.

So here's what happened. I was shopping yesterday, and the owner of the store was one of those sort of pushy and overly talkative ladies, who I don't usually mind too much because I can sometimes be overly talkative, too. Anyway, so I am finally checking out and we have the following conversation.

Lady: So do you work in the area?
Me: No I'm a mom to two and I'm in school full-time, too.
Lady: See, I never got that, why go back to school and have kids. I mean your focus is here with your kids, and then you have to change your whole focus? I mean, I don't know.
Me: (kind of perplexed) Hm, yea it can be challenging.
Lady: Like people used to give me a hard time because I wasn't in the store much while I had my kids. And this lady came in, and she was a great day care provider. And she said it best, she said, "You only have one go around with your kids." So I just don't know why anyone would choose to do school and have kids. So your sure about the dress? It's really great for three seasons blah blah blah......."

And then I mumbled and grumbled my way out of the store, something like: "Well, my husband's home when I'm gone..soo... just two days...." basically defending myself to this obnoxious lady for no reason whatsoever.

I wish I would've told this lady to freaking mind her own business!

I wish I would've told her that, maybe unbeknownst to her, not all families can afford to have someone stay at home. Maybe if we were more financially secure at this point in our lives, I would not finish out my education. But that is simply not the case, and I know that to be true for a lot of couples. I would never judge a mom who wants to go to school or needs to work to make a living to support her family. Moms work part-time. Moms work from home. Moms work full-time. Moms stay at home. And they are all great moms! Why is this so hard for people to grasp??? I literally don't understand the whole "mommy war" issue.

And then I would've told her that I'm 100% positive that being out of the house for two days of the week makes me about a trillion times happier when I AM at home. I will honestly say that I've struggled (a lot at times.. particularly in the winter) with being a stay-at-home-mom. I love spending all this time with the girls, and if I had to do it all again, I would, but it is no easy task. I am the type of person who easily gets cabin fever. I'm antsy. I'm not used to routine or staying in one place. Play dates, story time, pool time, errands... all great ways to get out of the house. But in terms of emotional stability, those were barely enough to keep me going.

I once had a long talk with my OB.. I think about breast feeding or something and going to school and how it would all come together. I will always, always remember what she told me. "The best thing you can do for your kids is to be happy yourself.  And what's right for someone else, may not be the right thing for you."

So yes, lady, I agree. I only get one "go around" with my kids. And I also only get one life to be me. I'm being the best mom I can be because of what I do, not in spite of it. There's no 'cookie cutter' way to be a perfect mom. There's no such thing as being a perfect mom. So what does everyone have to get on everyone else' case? It irks me to no end. Yes, I go to school, and yes GOD FORBID, I am away from my children for two days of every week. But the days I'm home, I smile more, I laugh more, and I enjoy more.

And finally, I'd remind this lady that not everyone has a cushy job owning a successful business where everything is absurdly overpriced.

The end.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Long Overdue Update!

Okay so first of all, I've been neglecting my DSLR in favor of my iPhone. Ummm, not okay, and I will be making a point to start working on my photography again! But for now, here's an iPhone pic.

I don't know about you other moms, but daylight savings is kicking our butt this year. Lyla is sick so her sleep schedule is all wonky anyway, but we are getting up early, staying up late, and getting up at odd hours of the night. And yet, here I sit, updating my blog at 12:30 am. We never learn, do we???

So Kallan is 13 months now, and I think people say this about every age, but I really think this is my favorite age. Every time she says or does something new, I'm positively giddy! I just remember how exciting it was when Lyla's words started snowballing and snowballing... and now she says stuff like, "It really hurts my feelings when you say I can't have teddy bears now." Now she's telling us little stories about things she remembers (always starting with yesterday, even if it was this morning or months ago)! And now when Lyla says something new, it's fun, usually funny, amazing really... but this age, this beginning stage of talking, is where it all begins. And I said earlier, I am just GIDDY!

I made a list of Kallan's words and some protowords (wow, my SLP classes are actually relevant to my life, whaddya know!) so here they are:

Mama, dada, ba (ball... also up), up (occasionally), boo (indicates something she wants), buh (book), buh mo mo (brown mono... Lyla's lovey that Kallan is now obsessed with, too), no-no (no), dat (that... definitely her favorite word).

Some other things I want to remember from this age:
- Kallan has a couple books that are her absolute favorites.. "Global Babies" and "What's Up Duck?" In "What's Up Duck?" when I say, "heavy" (it's a book of opposites), Kallan makes grunting noises, like she's lifting something up. I have no idea where she got that!
- She is babbling non-stop! Well... I guess technically she is using "jargon." Am I boring you with my new SLP knowledge yet??? Anyway, non-stop talking! She can get her point across!
- She is a goof! She likes to act like she is going to feed you something, and then right before it gets to your mouth, she eats it! She cracks up laughing! Sometimes, she will be just entertaining herself and will start laughing. I love it!
- "I love how she crawls like a jolly dinosaur." - Erik. Yes, she crawls like a jolly dinosaur. I have yet to catch this phenomenon on film. Hopefully video to come soon.
- Her lovey is a blankie, and when she sees it, she loves to go smoosh her face in to it and snuggle with it. She is just a big snuggler and really loves to hug and play with baby dolls... really anything soft.
- She likes to bring Lyla her brown mono... well now she has started trying to keep brown mono for herself. This has negatively affected sisterly relations.

And that's all I can think of now.

So Lyla... what's she up to? This age is so much fun, too. Lyla has such a great memory and imagination. She is so curious, always exploring and creating. And she's always listening - something we have to watch out for sometimes.

Things to remember:
- Lyla has some "friends" that she calls the Jingseya's
- She loves Kallan so much, and loves to hug and be around Kallan all the time. Kallan usually gets mad.
- She can spell her whole name.. she thinks of it as one word, and she recently got upset with me when I tried to tell her about her first, middle, and last name, and how they are separate.
- Lyla can "read" several books and can recognize a lot of words. If I ask her which word says "Ball," she can guess by which letter it starts with.
- If I say something like, "You might be cold if you don't wear a jacket," she lifts her hand and says, "No no, mommy, I'll be fiiiiiine."

Smart, sweet, sensitive, as always.

Also, sorry for the lack of posting, but school has me busy out of my mind at the moment. I am loving every minute of it, though! First of all, I'm so glad to be with other people, not talking about babies. I mean, I love getting together with moms to chit-chat/whine about our lack of sleep or getting spit up on or pooped on. But it's nice to go to class and talk about ... anything but babies really. Unless we are in Language Development, where we were talking about babies for about half the semester. By the way, now whenever Lyla says something, I catch myself thinking, "Oh she is using a contractible copula." and other really nerdy things like that. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Kallan is ONE!

Oh my, I seem to have forgotten how fast babies turn into toddlers. The other day, Kallan was up later than Lyla (because she was working on a massive poo, in case you were wondering ... surely you were), and I was just shocked at how much older she was acting already. At the time, she was trying to put a ball on top of the armrest on our couch. It is slightly slanted so it kept rolling down to her feet. She would say, "Uh-oh!" and try again. Eventually I moved her over to the lower area of the couch to see if she would put it on there... she wasn't interesting in doing that. Then I gave her the wrong color ball, and she tossed it.  I was so amazed, watching her determination, as she tried over.. and over.. and over.


 Kallan's personality just cracks me up. She is very sweet and gives non-stop hugs and kisses. She absolutely loves music! Maybe this is weird to say about a one-year-old, but I would even say she is passionate about music. She dances all the time, and she dances with her whole body. Erik says she "dances furiously." She is not interested in the TV at all, unless there is a song on... she will drop whatever she is doing, scurry over to stand right in front of the TV and proceed to bop and wiggle until the song ends. As I said, she is a very sweet, little baby, but she easily becomes FURIOUS and throws little baby tantrums when she doesn't get her way. If Lyla takes a toy from her, she will chase her down and head butt her! Not going to lie, it's a little bit hilarious.

She is a bit picky. Bottles have to be piping hot. There should definitely not be milk mixed in. Milk in general is ick. Bananas are thrown to the ground. And if you give her a food that she does not like, she will let you know that she is not happy about it!

What else to say?? She says: mama, dada, baba, uh-oh, ba (ball), dat (that), and possibly "get it." Also possibly Yaya (Lyla). Possibly "all done." It's hard to say sometimes. But even when she isn't using real words, she is constantly telling us stories. Her favorite word by far is "dat" and is pointing non-stop and saying "dat" to get over to see something. She loves to explore and check things out.

She took her first steps on September 30. Right now she can take 3 or 4 wobbly ones on her own. I'm so excited because she is getting heavy for me to be carrying around all the time (yep, I'm weak). She pretends to make calls on her toy phone. She will "brush" her hair with a brush. She gives kisses and signs "more" and "all done." All in all, she is just getting too grown up, too fast. Can't wait to see her hilarious little personality shine through more and more.

Lyla has been having so much fun playing with Kallan lately. Kallan follows her around everywhere, and sometimes Lyla loves it, sometimes she hates it. I'm sure she'll have similar sentiments all through high school! But Lyla calls her, "My baby," "My googers," or "sweetheart." She loves to hug and kiss her, although a little too forcefully for Kallan's liking. She likes to crawl around with her, and the other day she said, "Kallan I really like doing things with you!" Another time she said, "Kallan come back, I don't want to be without you!" Then five minutes later she was saying, "Kallan, you CAN'T come in here with me!!" and slamming the door in Kallan's face. Ah, true sisters.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Second Opinion Success

Some time ago, I brought Kallan into her pediatric ophthalmologist and was told that she should have surgery by the time she is a year and a half.  I went home feeling uneasy and tense.  As you can imagine, the news didn't sit very well with us.

Well, we decided to do something about it, even if it meant driving three hours away to see a different pediatric ophthalmologist. Which it did.

So on Monday, we began the three hour trek. I was feeling discouraged at the time. What if we drive all this way and they look at her, and say "Yep, she needs surgery?" and then we just have to turn around and go home?? I was worried that it would be a waste of time.

But it was truly amazing. I felt put at ease immediately when we got to the eye center. There were lots of little ones, there were books, toys, a fish tank (maybe that's why I felt less stressed!). We were called in quickly and saw a resident doctor and then an eye alignment specialist. They looked at Kallan's eyes for an extensive period of time. Kallan was very cooperative (for the most part).

We finally got to see the doctor who looked at Kallan for a bit longer. She then told us that she personally would not operate on Kallan from seeing her today. One of her eyes is still crossing minimally with the glasses, and that eye is weaker than her other eye. She thought that by using a patch, 14 hrs a week, we could eliminated the need for surgery at all. She did not agree that there is a timeline by which a baby needs to have surgery, and she said if the eye is not strengthened, surgery wouldn't do much good anyway because it would not teach her to use that eye more.

This doctor was on the same page as us, wanting to try anything else before resorting to surgery. Erik and I left the appointment, a handful of eye patches, feeling so relieved and happy. Even if Kallan does need surgery, we will feel a lot better about it if that time ever comes.

So lesson learned: when it comes to your child's health, no question, no appointment is a waste of time. If you are not comfortable with something, it's okay to actively seek information. Doctors make mistakes, doctors do things differently! If you and your doctor aren't on the same page, look elsewhere. This goes for specialists, pediatricians, therapist.. whatever! We are so happy we did!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tearful Threes?

Maybe you've heard of the "terrible twos." As far as I can tell, this does not exist. I asked a lot of people about this so-called period of life, and they all said, "three is worse." Oh great.

So now, I have a three-year-old. So far, this age is amazing. Lyla is joking and laughing with us, having long conversations with us, she's sharing more, being more gentle, becoming more independent and outgoing... a lot of good things. She is such a sweet, sweet girl.

Okay, but there are some parts that I might call terrible.. or rather, difficult and new. She has started lying. The amount of whining has increased exponentially. And add moping to the list of fun behaviors at this age.

But the worst part for me has been on a personal, emotional level. Lyla has always been a bit sensitive and very aware of and in-tune with her emotions. Now she can describe exactly what she is thinking and feeling, and in a lot of cases, it is heartbreaking.

When I used to come home while Lyla was with a sitter, she would say, "I cried." Now she says, "I missed you, I didn't want to be home if you weren't there." Like, really?! I just want to wrap my arms around her and never let her go. Of course, we would like it if Lyla would sleep in her own room... but she says, "I really don't want to be all by myself in here." Combine that with a extremely pathetic pouty face, and now she's got me in her room until she falls asleep, and then she later ends up in our bed. I remember once she said to Erik, "If you go back to sleep, I will be so sad." And her face just gets so sad when she says these things! She definitely has us wrapped around her little fingers.

One night she woke up screaming and crying. I ran in to comfort her, and she was trying to tell me something, but she couldn't string a sentence together because she was so upset. When she finally calmed down, she said, "They got Kallan!" I almost started crying. Lyla had just described to me, for the first time, a nightmare... in which someone "got" Kallan. I can't imagine what sort of nightmare she was having, I couldn't even bear to think about it.

All this to say, this age so far has me very teary eyed. I think I am experiencing for the first time a hard truth that I will be living with forever... you can't protect your child from every sadness, from every hurt. You just have to be there when those things come. I wish I could. I wish I could wrap her in a bubble of happiness and unicorns and butterflies and Dora the Explorer. But instead I will be waiting around with band-aids and hugs and kisses... and chocolate.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Book Reviews

It has been forever and a day since I put any good reads on here. Largely due to lack of time, partly due to lack of reading any good books! These days, I have my nose stuck in text books for the most part. And I'm not sure anyone is interested in a recap of Anatomy & Physiology for Speech, Language, and Hearing...4th Edition! It was expensive.. doesn't make it interesting. Okay it's sort of interesting in a boring, monotone, textbooky sort of way.

What I DO want to share with you all, is Mo Willems, my current favorite children's books author. He has several series for different age groups. We really are loving the Elephant & Piggie books right now.

There's humor that a toddler can get and parents can appreciate. These books are fun and interactive. The illustrations seem simple but contain perfect detail of expression and interaction between Elephant & Piggie. Willems perfectly depicts these two friends having a blast, having adventures by simply enjoying each other's company. I just love these books, they crack me up, and I'm more or less an adult, so you other parents should enjoy them, too!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Lyla is 3!

First, let's take a moment to appreciate these pictures.

That cutie little Baby Lyla is now a giant three year old! Unbelievable.

Lyla's Favorite Things:
Brown Mono, Dora the Explorer, purple and green, playing doctor, chocolate ice cream, her cousins, the beach, grape juice, diggers (bulldozers), princesses, fruit, doing everything on her own, going to the park, singing songs and playing on her ukulele, maps, her kitties, the library, spotting things, and pretending

Lyla's Least Favorite Things:
Potatoes, wet sand on her toes, water in her face

Lyla is....
Smart, silly, imaginative, funny, intuitive, creative, loving, sweet, stubborn, thoughtful, polite, independent, adorable... amazing in every way! She is, above all, a thinker. She is always connecting the dots, absorbing everything we say and putting in her own context. We love this about her, but we have to be quick on our feet all the time!

Things we are looking forward to this year:
Starting dance class, playing in the snow, apple picking & cider doughnuts, another holiday season with family, another summer on the beach, and so much more! We can't wait to see what sort of things Lyla has in store for us this coming year.

Lyla, thanks for teaching us all about being loving parents! Just in this past year, I've learned so much about patience, about what things matter and what is just fluff, and how to find joy in all things. You are truly a blessing to us. I know I would not be the same person I am today if it weren't for you! I can't wait for this year, and all the years to come, that we have to spend together as Mommy & daughter. Love you to the moon and back, times infinity! Keep growing up, but a little slower please!!!!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Kallan-10 and 11 Months

Sorry blog, I have been neglecting you!

I missed last month's update, so I will roll these two into one.

Kallan...11 months old tomorrow! By the way, did you know that 11 months is only one month away from ONE YEAR?!  The other day, I was thinking about both the girls' upcoming birthdays, and I got a little teary-eyed when I realized that soon I would have a 3 year old and a 1 year old! Unbelievable.

Our sweet little baby is all over the place, getting into everything! She crawls all around, mostly chasing after her big sister (who can be heard yelling, "Kallan, don't come to see me! Kallan, don't come over here!"). She pulls up on and tries to climb on everything, which makes me an extremely nervous mama. But she is not interested in having help! If you help her pull up, she will sit down and do it again on her own. If you try to steady her, she will yell and whack your hand away. She is definitely little Miss Independent.

Kallan is already displaying some younger-sibling tendencies. She follows Lyla around wherever she goes and wants to be doing whatever Lyla is doing.  But if Lyla takes a toy from her, you will bet she will be screaming and crying, and even yelling, "Mamaaaa!" It's kind of amazing how soon kids figure out how to work the mama-system!

Her laugh is the most adorable little laugh there ever was, and she is always smiling and laughing! She is such a happy girl (aside from the full blown temper tantrum she had the other day... but let's just forget about that). She loves to crawl around to find people, and once she sees you, she lets out and excited giggle, and motors over to you as fast as she possibly can. Adorable.

She is a noisy little girl, always babbling and making noise. She loves to try and imitate Lyla! She says mama, dada and ball, and Yaya is potentionally, Lyla, but we aren't sure. She has learned a lot in the past couple of months, like how to "roll it, and pat it", "so big" and how to hand a toy to mommy. Most importantly, she has realized how much fun it is to throw food instead of eat it! She will even occasionally mimic blowing a kiss!

She loves - blueberries, watermelon, banana, her blue blankie, being mobile, playing "roll the ball" with Lyla, going outside, music, avocado, the Ergo, and playing in water

She dislikes - diaper changes, getting dressed, coming back inside, Mom giving her a bottle, getting buckled in carseat or stroller, and pacifiers

In the words of Lyla, "Isn't it so lucky that we have our baby??"

Hopefully once we get our new computer, I will be able to post more. On the other hand, I will be in school full time, so blogging will definitely be hanging out in the back seat.

Thanks to Giving Tree Photography for these amazing pictures!

Monday, June 24, 2013

9 Months

Sleep: Kallan has started going to bed a bit earlier and has ditched a third nap. She usually gets up once or twice a night for a quick eat. Not too bad!

Milestones: This has been a busy month for Kallan. She has started clapping and sort of waving. She bangs toys together. We have started on a couple of finger foods, and she is starting to get the hang of her pincer grasp. My favorite thing she does is dance to music. She wobbles her head back and forth or bounces up and down. Even as a newborn, she has always really enjoyed music. No crawling yet, she is too interested in standing up and can stand on her own for about 15 seconds! Oh and I almost forgot... But we counted "mama" as her first official word this month! It melts my heart; she knows it and abuses it!

Feeding: We started some finger foods for snacking. She sometimes just plays with them and mushes them up! So far she likes avocados and watermelon quite a bit. I also hit my breastfeeding goal of 9 months! Woo-hoo!

Ups: We have been loving our outdoor time. Lots of time spent at parks and the beach. Kallan loves getting out of the house. Whenever we head toward the door, she starts laughing and kicking her legs like crazy. Kallan is really vocal, and I love listening to her talk. Sometimes I hear a "dada" or even a "yaya" but it's hard to say if they are real words. She definitely says mama, not going to lie, I'm pretty ecstatic that it's her first word! She is definitely showing a lot of determination. As soon as she started pulling up on my fingers, she wanted to let go and stand on her own. As soon as she would fall, she would get right back up and try again. Now she is obsessed with standing up! She and Lyla are little buddies now, and they can entertain each other occasionally so I can do other things or even just take a deep breath from a rough morning. They like to sit in their beds and they just laugh at each other. Who knows what they're laughing about, but its adorable!

Downs: We can't get her to sleep anywhere other than our bed! I don't mind having her in there too much but she crowds me and I don't sleep that great. Also, she is a huge mommy's girl, which at times I love. But other times, she will not accept a rocking session with Daddy. Poor Erik wants to give me a break, but she wants mommy only! Oh well, I am lapping it up!

Kallan is such a happy baby, always full of smiles and giggles. She has a cute little toothless smirk that is almost always on her face. I love watching the wonder and joy each day brings her. It must be pretty amazing to be a baby!

Saturday, June 15, 2013


The best part of having two kids is watching the love between them. It is so special.  It has been so fun watching Lyla take care of Kallan and to see their love really grow.  Becoming a big sister was a huge adjustment for her, and we are so proud of her. She loves to help out, and helps with diaper changes and feeding Kallan. She likes to bring Kallan toys (ones that she herself doesnt feel like playing with of course).

Lyla loves to make Kallan laugh and is constantly making noises to make her smile.  She misses her when she is sleeping, and she always wants to make sure we are bringing Kallan with us when we go places.  She is always saying, "Awww you are so cute, Kallan" or "Our baby is so big!"

When Kallan cries, she always says, "It's okay, we are here!" And she calls Kallan "sweetie" or "sweet pea." It just melts my heart. At the same time, I can't believe how grown up she seems sometimes, I just wish time would slow down for a minute!

And Kallan just adores Lyla. When she wakes up in the morning, she has a real serious face on. Then when we go to the living room to see Lyla, she flashes her a big smile. They have become real buddies, and I am so excited to watch their friendship grow over the years!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kallan: 8 Months

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately. Our building got hit by lightning some time ago, and our internet has not been working. On top of that, Lyla got out of bed one morning and went and mashed on the keyboard, and of course, half the keys are broken. Nothing important, just the period, apostrophe and enter buttons. Any period you see here has been pasted, and I guess this will be one huge run on paragraph of a blog post. EDIT* Ok I went back and copy and pasted spaces in. Might be time for a new computer. . .

 Sleep: Kallan has been sleeping about the same, usually getting up once or twice a night. I sort of, accidentally started us on bed-sharing during a teething episode as I was too tired to rock her any longer. I put her down with us in bed, and lo and behold, she magically fell asleep on her own. So she has been sleeping with us for the past month, and I really love it so much, but we have started moving her back to her bed for at least the start of the night. Napping has been much better, thanks to a white noise stuffed animal from my sister-in-law.

Milestones: Sitting unassisted like a pro now! And she is a babble machine, full of mamas, the occasional dada, lots of blah blah and nah nah. She has become a noisy little baby, and she can really yell! No interest in getting up and crawling or anything like that. No complaints here!

Feeding: So far peas and green beans are a favorite, also squash and sweet potatoes. Basically veggies = yay, fruit = yuck. Silly girl, just wait until she has some local peaches!!!!!

Ups: Seeing more and more of her little personality every day. Kallan is a little snuggle machine and mommys girl to the extreme. She is quite social and doesnt mind strangers too much so far. Mornings have been amazing lately. I wake up to see her sleeping next to me and Lyla climbing into bed with us, dragging her pillow and blanket along with. Those are the moments where I am reminded how blessed I am to wake up and see both my girls first thing in the morning... on the other hand I am usually also very tired :). Things feel a bit easier now that Kallan can sit on her own. Lyla brings her toys to play with, so I can get a couple of other things done while both girls are entertained. Kallan loves to watch her sister run around, Lyla makes her laugh so easily! I think Lyla has more fun with her now, too, now that she is becoming more of a little person rather than a rolly, cute blob.

Downs: I would really like for Kallan to sleep through the night, of course! But oh well! Someday! It is kind of tough because Lyla started sleeping 12 hours straight through the night early on and never went back. I dont want to compare, but Im kinda like uhhh why cant you do that! (Sorry for the lack of apostrophes, it kind of hurts to look at that past sentence). Other than that, I think things are going really well now, I think we have got the hang of things at home. Of course, now that Ive said that, something will happen to completely throw a wrench into our routine.