Saturday, July 29, 2006


I was in the middle of a long post about our trip, and it was almost finished, and then it got lost. The electrical outlets in our kitchen quit working for some reason, and in the process of trying to fix that Gabe accidently turned off the power to our bye bye post. :(

It was a good one, too!

Oh well. I'm not going to write it all out again. But we did have a wonderful trip. Sharon and Jim are married and Sharon looked radiant and Jim looked like the cat that swallowed the cream. :)

It was lots of fun visiting my family. Grandparents, great-grandparents and uncles all enjoyed seeing Jonathan (the last time anyone saw him he wasn't walking yet, so this was a big change!) Jonathan loved exploring - playing on the grass in the sprinkler, watering the plants on the patio, playing peek-a-boo behind doors in the myriad of rooms (compared to our little house, anyway!)

Gabe and Christopher and I played a couple of rounds of Settlers, which was lots of fun, and we ate really good food (my mom is a great cook!) and generally enjoyed ourselves.

And now for a few pictures:

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Any ideas?

Jonathan has been waking up mid-nap, about 30 minutes in. Yesterday this happened twice in one nap, and today it has happened during both naps. He goes right back to sleep if I go in, lay him back down, and lie down with him for 2 or 3 minutes. It is a little strange. I don't mind helping him back to sleep, but it seems like he's not sleeping well if he's waking up in the middle...ideas?

I guess we're not nursing anymore.

Jonathan has been going to sleep in his crib so well lately! Even on our trip up to Fresno and to my parents' house, naps and night time just weren't an issue. We would simply get Jonathan ready for bed, lay him in his crib, and lie beside him for a few minutes while he went to sleep. It works every time and it works fast. I love it. :)

So last night we tried an experiement. Instead of nursing to sleep, we went through the rest of Jonathan's "get ready for bed" process, and then just put him down in his crib like it was naptime and lay down beside him. For some reason, something struck him as really funny about this. I have no idea what he was laughing about, but he giggled off and on for about 20 minutes without really getting closer to going to sleep. It was pretty cute, though. :) Anyway, I decided that this wasn't getting us anywhere, so I kissed his hand through the mesh, said "night night, I love you" and left. He was asleep a few minutes later, with nary a fuss.

So I guess we're not nursing anymore. He's been nursing so little lately, and hasn't really been all that interested, so I think it is probably an appropriate time. It sure feels weird, though! I mean, I've been nursing a child for the last 15 months, and now we're done, just like that! I guess it isn't really "just like that", since we've been cutting down for months...but the final switch from nursing a little to not nursing at all still feels really strange.

Even stranger is that in another 26 weeks I'll be nursing another little person. I can't quite wrap my mind around that yet.

Friday, July 21, 2006

We're packed and ready to go!

In case you can't tell, Jonathan is in the suitcase. :) We were getting ready to pack it and he climbed right in!

We're driving up to Fresno for the wedding of two dear friends of ours: Sharon and James. Hurray! Then, since Fresno is half-way to my parent's home, we'll continue on and spend a few days visiting them. It will be interesting to see how Jonathan handles traveling. The last time we went on a trip he was only four months old (and he slept all day and cried all night...but we're not thinking about that, ok?) :) I have high hopes that this trip will be much better. Besides, it will be fun to show him off to his grandparents and great grandparents. My mom hasn't even seen him walk yet!

Fresh tomatos

I was picking tomatos yesterday to give to friends (we have WAY too many tomatos, and since we're leaving for a few days, I didn't want them to go to waste.) There was a pretty good pile beside me, but after awhile I realized it was getting smaller. I turned around to find that Jonathan had strewn the tomatos all over the yard, and had also decided to take a bite out of one! At least he likes eating vegetables!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I tried something new

and it worked!

This morning when I put Jonathan down for his nap, he fell asleep in my arms like normal, and also like usual he woke up and screamed as soon as I put him down. Only this time, instead of just figuring he'd have to cry himself back to sleep, I went right back in (about two seconds later, if that!) and told him "no, Jonathan, it is time to go to sleep" and lay him back down. He tried to pop back up a few times, and each time I just lay him back down with a firm "no, it is time to go to sleep." Then I got a pillow and lay down on the floor next to him. He cried a bit (very half-heartedly though!) and popped his head up three or four times just to make sure I was still there, but then he went to sleep!!! And after awhile I got up and left, and he stayed asleep. :)

I'd been wondering how in the world he always seemed to know the instant I walked away - now I think maybe he just wasn't really asleep yet, and was still in the "check to be sure she's still there and everything is ok" mode. It is really uncomfortable to hang over the side of a pack-n-play, so I think I was just leaving too soon. But lying on the floor next to him is quite comfortable, and I don't mind doing that for five or ten minutes!

So. Yay for new ideas, particularly new ideas that work! :)

Isn't parenting the most glorious and frustrating experience of trial and error?

More fun things we're doing

I've been working hard, lately, at creating fun things for Jonathan to do. The fact is that he's just not interested in toys. They don't move and he can't climb on top of them. Therefore they are not interesting! This means that keeping him entertained requires some serious creativity on my part (and also some times when he just has to deal with the fact that "Mommy is doing the dishes right now. You can go play and when I'm done I'll come play with you.")

Anyway, this morning we went for a walk together (his idea! He grabs my finger and heads to the door - it is very cute) and later we played on a "mountain" of couch pillows. He crawled up to the top, then I'd grab his legs and he would "slide down!" I think he was actually trying to say "slide down" by the end, which was pretty cool.

Friday, July 14, 2006


"Down" means "up", "down", "in", "out", and "anywhere other than where I am right now!"

"No" means "no" and "something is not right with my world and you need to guess what it is right now!"

Two words with such a variety of meanings, and used constantly, make for a frustrated child and tricky parenting! Vocab, kiddo, vocab! :)

Neat park!

There is a new set of play equipment in La Mirada Park. It was specifically designed for kids ages 2-5, and it has built in shading "umbrellas" overhead. Even at high noon, most of the equipment is in at least partial shade. I have to be a bit cautious about letting Jonathan play on it, because there are openings for ladders and such where he could conceivably just walk off into empty space, but so far he's being pretty good about it and I'm learning to let him be a boy. It is just so much fun to stick your foot over into thin air! We're working on "holding on tight!" while doing so. :)

Anyway, if you're near the La Mirada area and you have kids, I highly recommend it. Jonathan and I will probably be there most weekdays, so look for us! :)

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Other fun things we've been doing


Playing in caves

Reading with Daddy:

And, um, drinking... (in my own defense, I believe I was asleep at the time!) :)


Yesterday was actually a really good day, complete with bubbles, building blocks, and crayons.

I'm realizing that Jonathan is growing up. And I'm working hard to keep ahead of his new skills. :)

In the morning when we went out to do errands, I put Jonathan's shoes on and explained that since he was such a big boy with big boy shoes, he could walk out to the car with me. And he did! He walked all the way out, and didn't even complain about holding my hand in the parking lot!

We got bubbles at Walmart while we were out. Bubbles are wonderful things. Jonathan delighted in them and I discovered that he could say "bub-bl, pop!" It was very fun until it was time to stop!

Later in the afternoon I sat him down at the table (assisted by a very fat phonebook!) to try out crayons for the first time. He loved it! He wanted ALL the colors out to choose from, and he would very deliberately pick them up and move them from one side of the paper to the other, back and forth, in some sort of pattern that was indeciferable to me but obviously very important to him! His favorite color, evidently, is green. It is pretty cool to have my very own first-born son's very first crayon picture hanging on my refrigerator. It makes me feel like a "real" mom. :)

One of those days

I don't want to do anything. I need a maid, and a nanny, and a personal assistant to do my errands. Meanwhile I will be lying on the couch if you need me...but please don't need me, ok?

There are lots of things on my list for Thursday. Shower. Chores. Errands. VBS work. I don't want to do any of them. You'd think a shower would sound good, but you know, that would mean getting up!

I'm afraid what I really need is a good kick in the pants. ;)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Most people...

get sciatica in the third trimester. Me? I get it in the first.

I don't think this is fair, do you?

Working toward sentences...

Yesterday Jonathan and I went over to Jessica's house to spend some time playing in the backyard, and in their wading pool. The goal: to wear Jonathan out completely so putting him down for his afternoon nap would be easier. :) Mission accomplished!

Anyway, what I meant to blog about: while Jonathan was playing in the pool with Brigid, he fell over and landed with rather a thump. Instead of being upset, he very clearly said "down, bump!" and then got on with the serious business of climbing up the slide.

If I were my grandmother, I would now write in the babybook with great pride that Jonathan's first sentence was "I fell down and went bump!" But I'm not my grandmother. So I'll just enjoy the fact that my incredibly intelligent and amazing son just put TWO words together! :)

Yay Dirt!

Jonathan loves dirt. What used to be my lettuce patch (and is no longer, due to way too much summer heat!) is now his play patch. He sits in it and dribbles dirt over his legs and claps his hands in excitement. He is such a little boy! :)

Monday, July 10, 2006

Ok, so you haven't seen CUTE

until you've seen Jonathan dancing to Benny Goodman. :)

Fewer than 200 days!

In theory, that is. :)

One down...

Jonathan is napping, and I didn't nurse him to sleep. Today is the first day of our attempt to wean him. It actually went surprisingly well. I waited until Jonathan completely fell apart and asked for "ni ni" (without me suggesting it to him) before trying to put him down. Then we got a cup of milk, his favorite teddy bear, put on his "night night music", and settled down in the rocking chair. He was sad, because this was definitely not what he'd been expecting, but I discovered pretty quickly that he preferred to cuddle on my chest facing me, and didn't want any milk, and then he calmed down pretty quickly. He went to sleep there about half-way through the cd. I thought he was asleep enough to transfer him, but, well, that may just not ever work anymore. He's been really hard to transfer for a few months now, and I guess I may just have to live with it. Anyway, he woke up when I put him in his crib, and cried. I stood there with my hand on his back, patting him, for awhile in the hopes that he'd go back to sleep, but no luck. And that position will make your back hurt after a very short while! So I gave him one last pat and left. He wailed and stood up, but that actually didn't last very long. I think because he really was so almost asleep, he lay back down in about five minutes, whimpered/cried off and on for another 15, and then was really asleep.

Considering that I had been braced for up to an hour of crying, this was pretty wonderful. :)

I'm thinking of taking him to a park today before his afternoon nap, in an attempt to thoroughly wear him out prior to attempting this again. My guess is the more tired he is, the easier this will be. Besides, he loves the park, and I want to make most of his life full of really happy things, since I'm taking away one of his comforts.

I am still planning to keep the bedtime nursing, at least for awhile. I don't want to wean cold turkey and I think having one "connection" nursing time will be good for us.

It is nice to have a plan, and I think we're making the right decision. Wish us luck!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Mopping the floor

This looks like much more fun than the standard way of doing it. :)

Yay Savers!

Savers is a wonderful place. :) It is the sort of place I probably shouldn't go very often - I think I could probably "save" myself right into the poorhouse. But it is an awfully fun place to shop. Today I went in for clothes and shoes for Jonathan, and puzzle pieces for a family ministries craft project. I came out with shortalls and two pairs of shoes for Jonathan, puzzle pieces, and an absolutely gorgeous skirt for me.

Ok, so the skirt wasn't on my list. And it also won't fit for about a year and a half. But I got it for $6.49 and it looks brand new and it probably cost more than $70 originally. And what an incintive to lose the baby weight! And did I mention that it is gorgeous? :)

By the way, thanks to Jessica for the tip about getting shoes there. You were right - I found two pairs of nearly new shoes for 1/4 the cost of the same shoes (pretty much) at Walmart.

Quote of the day:

"Weaning is going to be a wocky woad."
- my husband :)

I'm afraid he's right.

But I'm also sort of thinking that weaning, per se, isn't going to be the issue. Or at least not the main issue. Yes, on occasion Jonathan will tug on my shirt and ask...but it is fairly rare. The bigger problem is that nursing to sleep is his routine. Not just nursing before sleep, but nursing until completely asleep. I have, in the past, tried to nurse him to "almost asleep" the way they tell you to in the books, but it just doesn't work. I have a kid who wakes up the moment I move away and wails unless he's completely out. (To be fair, he has on occassion nursed to calmness and then gone to sleep in his crib...but these exceptions are few and far between.)

So I think the issue is sleep, really, not nursing. And I am not looking forward to dealing with this one. Jonathan is an incredibly stubborn little boy. We've seen that since he was very small, and it is getting more obvious as he grows. I know that eventually, this trait will become perseverance, and will probably be one of his greatest assets...but right now...! The most basic things are often met with stubborn disobedience and then tantrums. Repeatedly. Naptime, even when he asks for it, can be a pitched battle. This afternoon Gabe listened (I was out of the house, thankfully!) to Jonathan cry for an hour and a half because he had awakened as I moved away after nursing him down, and we decided that it really was naptime and he really did need to stay in his crib and fall asleep. (Jonathan had been acting tired earlier, had requested to go "ni ni" and nursed himself to a light sleep, so we knew that he did need the nap.) I hate doing this, and it goes against almost everything in me, but I don't know what the better option is. The "help your baby sleep gently" books haven't worked for us from day one, and not for lack of trying them. My mom says that they wouldn't have worked for me, either, which is somehow comforting and also not very helpful. I gather I wasn't a very cooperative baby. ;)

I think the hardest thing about this happening now is just that - it is happening now. While I'm pregnant, and tired, and finding life to be very hard. I'm already set to cry over next to nothing, so dealing with tantrums and screaming naptimes feels like more than I can handle. I will handle it, but I am less than certain that I will handle it well under these circumstances, and that is another worry to add to the pile.

I wish there was a checklist that I could follow that would promise a happy, sleeping, weaned child at the end (and preferably throughout, as well.) But all the checklist books don't seem to apply to this child. I'm starting to wonder if perhaps all the "how to" books for child rearing only really work on passive, easy children.

So: does anyone out there have a stubborn, strong-willed child that has been weaned successfully? And who goes to sleep without a battle? Because if so, could you please tell me your secret? :)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Ok, so the best laid plans sometimes just don't work out the way you planned them. I think I'm about ready to give up on my plan to nurse Jonathan until he self-weans. Pregnancy-sore breasts and a biting toddler are more than I think I want to deal with, particularly since I know he's not getting really necessary nutrients from it anymore. And besides, I think I'm just tired of nursing. 15 months is a long time, and I'm going to be doing it again in just over half a year. Besides, I'm tired.

I've been leaning this way for about a month, I guess, and since the pain seems to be growing, not diminishing, I think it might be a reasonable time to wean. Besides, he bit me!

Jonathan nurses three times a day right now: two naps and night-time. He always nurses to sleep (or just about to sleep) and putting him in a crib without nursing to sleep first results in a wailing banshee. I'm not willing to go the "cry it out" route, because frankly I don't think it will work with my very stubborn son. And I don't think it would be good for any of us.

He already has a "night night" cd which we always play when he's going to sleep (up to this point, it has played while we nursed.)

Has anyone read any good ideas or techniques? What has worked for you?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

laughing babies

This is one of the sweetest and funniest things I've seen in a long time! Thanks to Sallie at A Gracious Home for finding it. :)

Happy morning

The house is clean (thanks to the long weekend!)

Jonathan and I had breakfast together, then he chose a book off the shelf and we read it together on the couch.

We spent time playing peek-a-boo around the corners while I started the laundry.

I made a tower of couch cushions for Jonathan to climb on, and he played happily and let me read a book (Dune is amazing, by the way).

As it got closer to naptime, we cuddled on the couch and listened to Wee Sing Bible Songs.

He's asleep now and I have time to take a shower, blog, do a few chores, and maybe plant some flowers.

It is a beautiful morning. :)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Blogs of Beauty

This seems like a pretty neat idea. Click on the picture to read more about it. I've nominated some of my favorite bloggers...take a few minutes and nominate your favorites, too!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

First haircut!

After about two months or more of agonizing ("what if he looks ridiculous? What if I cut his ear off?") I finally cut Jonathan's hair. We put on a Baby Einstein video (thank you, Jessica!) and Gabe helped keep him still and gave lots of moral support and a few suggestions.

I didn't cut his ear off, and he definitely doesn't look ridiculous. In fact, I think I can safely say that this endeavor was quite a success. :) Check out the before and after pictures: