Saturday, December 31, 2011

Meghan is 4 Months Old!

Gumby!



Meghan is 4 months old! We have traveled nearly two weeks of this month and this has caused some set backs in Meghan's sleeping. Can't be helped I suppose, we travel frequently, but it is a bummer. We are hoping to get her back on track after the holiday travel. Since Colin had pink eye and Meghan has a runny nose we havn't gotten her weight/height checked yet.


Sleeping: Overnight sleeping is less than 3 hrs at a shot (often less than that even) and she often just wants to be snuggled. She prefers the company of mommy and daddy overnight to being in her bed, but she has good nights and bad nights. She usually naps 3x a day (sometimes 4) for about 40-50 minutes each time. If we are home all day she naps more consistently, but she also sleeps very well in the car seat/stroller. She doesn't seem to do as well if I have to transfer her into the stroller if we have to go get Colin from school.

Tri-pod.
Likes:
  • Colin. I have some cute videos of Meghan laughing at Colin if I can ever figure out how to get another copy of the software to upload them from the camera. 
  • The bath. Still a big favorite! All things are better at bath time.
  • The TV. She is mesmerized by the lights, just like Colin was. If Colin is watching a show and we are in the room, it is hard to pull her gaze from the TV. 
Dislikes:
  • Dirty diapers. She really seems to notice when she has a wet diaper. This seems like an obvious statement but Colin was never seemed bothered by it. Meghan's mood rapidly improves after a diaper change.
  • Teething. Bummer, another kid who seems to really suffer when teeth are on the move. 
  • Loud screams/noises. Colin has some trouble with volume control and poor Meghan seems quite startled by his random outbursts of loudness.
  • Bottles! She has done very well this month taking a bottle. I finally found a nipple that she likes and she took to it like she has been doing it all her life. Nothing special, just the new version of the standard medela nipple. I purchased a hand pump and it had the newer style in it, wala! Just in time for me to leave her for a few hours to give a talk!

New and Notable:
  • Her ability to sit up is improving, but she isn't stable at all. She is much happier during tummy time play than Colin ever was.
  • Colin started solid food at 4 months but Meghan doesn't seem to be showing are the readiness signs that Colin did at this age so we will hold off for a bit yet. She is very interested in the food we eat and wants to put everything in her own mouth but since she can't sit up on her own yet we are waiting.
My happy girl.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Meghan is 3 Months Old




Oops, this is late. The pictures weren't (okay maybe they were on the 20th) but the post is. Couldn't be helped unfortunately!
3 months old
Weight: 14 lbs 3 oz 
Height: 23.5 inches

Sleep: Pretty good. Her naps have yet to regulate, but she generally takes one or two morning naps between 9 and 12 for a total of 90 minutes I would say, an afternoon nap around 2 for about 45 minutes and an early evening for about 30 minutes. We have moved up bedtime to coincide with Colin's so we can get both kids down and away by 8. She had been sleeping 5 hrs at least but this is no longer an every night thing. She rarely gets up more than three times but I have to stop nursing in bed because it is way too easy just to fall back to sleep snuggling with her and this is going to come back to bite me I know it.
munch munch
Likes:
  • Her hands. They are always in her mouth these days and she has much better control over them
  • The bath. She gets very fussy in the evening right before bath time, this is her way of telling us she is ready to go to bed. On two occasions now she has actually smiled when I asked her if she was ready for a bath. The bath takes my fussy baby into smiles and giggle and then it's p.j's and one last meal and she is out.
  • Her reflection. After the bath we usually play "Who's that baby?" in the bathroom mirror. She is all smiles and coos for 'that baby' (although in the early part of this month this was not true, she hated getting out of the bath and would cry so we didn't play any games!)
Happy girl in the bath.

Dislikes:
  • Bottles. Oh man not another one! She is doing better but doesn't take more than an ounce or so and never gets into a rhythm. She will be forced to try once a day until she figures it out. This child must take a bottle, I will be teaching in the spring so she doesn't have the luxury of being picky.
  • Being buckled into the car seat when it isn't moving. She is totally fine once we start moving or if I just set her into the car seat briefly without buckling it, but if you strap her in and then try to say put your shoes on, forget it! scream fest. I now have to plan out our exits so I have everything ready to go before I buckle her in.
  • Being stopped at red lights. See above! Stop the car, start the crying. Although this is generally just for the first few minutes she is in the car after that she falls asleep pretty quickly.
Pulling away from the couch to try to sit up.

New and Notable:
  • Teething. The doctor confirmed she is teething, her bottom gums are swollen and raw and she is drooling quite a bit as well as munching on her fingers. I have given her a few teething toys to chew on but this seems to make her more cranky, rather than relieve the pain.
  • GIGGLES! Meghan giggled for the first time on November 3rd while we were all at a playdate for Colin and a couple of his little buddies. She was nursing and then just started smiling up at me so I tickled her a little and she started giggling. It took another week or so before Sean was able to hear it since she seems to only like to giggle in the early afternoon but not so much after 5pm when Daddy is home. Thankfully I was able to get those first giggles on my phones video camera so he could hear it (thank you Dawn for taking the video) but I haven't downloaded it to the computer yet.
  • Sitting up. Sort of. She can do the tripod sit and wants to sit up but she can't hold it very long before folding completely in half. She often will try to pull herself into a sitting position when she is semi-reclined, it is pretty cute to watch.
    Silly smile.

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    Back to the Bronx.

    We are always so busy in the summer that we miss out on the fun things right here in NYC. Now that it is fall we have full weekends with nothing planned, and this last one the weather was perfect for a trip to the zoo. We ended up purchasing a membership which will pay for itself in two trips so I'm pretty sure we will get our moneys worth out of it. Here are the pictures from our day.

    I actually make some appearances in the pictures in this post! Colin and I took a second to pose with a giant rhino statue.
    Sean trying to help Colin get a better look at the flamingos. Sean kept trying to focus it on one animal then hold it steady for Colin to look through but the second Colin got near it he pulled it out of position. Oh well we tried.
    We actually had to wake her up to feed her after sleeping soundly in the stroller for nearly three hours. The combination of crisp air and constant motion kept her out for the count.
    More little telescopes in another exhibit. He said  he could actually see the animals better looking through it this way (backwards), I never tried so I'm not sure if that is true or not but he certainly couldn't work the focus ring on the other side.
    Colin and I rode a camel! It was surprisingly high up and frankly not very smooth ride. We did a whole lot of swaying from side to side.
    Colin really enjoyed it! It was a rather short little track and Colin would have loved to go longer.
    Fall colors on the Bronx River as seen from the zoo's train (tram?) ride. We actually almost got poop thrown at us by an elephant. I was sure she was going to toss the poop she was carrying in her trunk at the train as she ran aggressively over to us, but instead she just made an elephant noise and then walked away and played with the poop.
    Sean had to carry her around to force her to be awake for a while.
    This fish tank may have been Colin's favorite part. A trip to the aquarium might be in order! Good thing that is also included in the membership!!  I am so impressed with Colin's attention span. He will really sit and watch the animals for long periods of time (for a three year old).  We were probably in the gorilla exhibit (arguably the best exhibit in the park) for over a half hour just watching and talking about their behavior. It didn't hurt that they also had the telescopes in this exhibit too.

    Wednesday, November 2, 2011

    Halloween 2011

    Happy Halloween!
    Two years ago Colin was a cowboy for Halloween, but only because I had to throw together a costume at the last minute because I couldn't get him over his fear of the puppy dog costume that I purchased for him. As it turned out he was totally adorable in his little cowboy outfit and it shifted my appreciation for the custom made costume. Last year he was so into baseball and David Wright that that costume was easy. (While I'm adding links, here is Colin's first Halloween). This year I had two to work with and I love the group themed costumes so I just had to do something matchy with Colin and Meghan. My sister suggested Peter pan and Tinkerbell and I knew I wanted to do it. I wasn't sure Colin would go for it since he didn't know who Peter Pan was but randomly in the opening commercial of a Handy Manny DVD that my mom recently purchased was a shot of Peter Pan jumping of a window ledge and flying into the air. After seeing that scene a few times (it is literally less than 2 seconds!) he was on board. Then I bought him the book and he saw that Peter Pan carried a dagger and that was the icing on the cake! So I went hunting for costumes. Nothing I saw was all that nice and you simply can't get a Tinkerbell costume in infant sizes. So I figured how hard could it be! Well! Having sold my sewing machine a few months ago after it sat unused for nearly 6 years I found myself with no plan, hand sewing and hem taping this costumes together. Meghan's went together very quickly, but Colin's tunic was a bit more complex.  I should mention that I have little to no experience making clothes of any kind! The end result wasn't half bad but there were a few moments where I wondered what I had gotten myself into.

    I ended up finding a pair of neon green pj's that served as the base of Colin's costume. Turns out my color scheme is reversed from the tradition Pan, but I went with it anyway. I had intended on getting felt to make the tunic, hat and boots but no-pill fleece was 50% off so I got that instead. Thankfully, it is easy to hand sew! I played with some large paper for a long time trying to figure out the dimensions for the hat, and in the end I just started cutting the felt and tired something, realized it was way too small and started over. If you are going to 'make it up as you go' I suggest having LOTS of extra material. I spent a lot of time thinking "what would Grandma do?" since my grandmother is the original Martha Stewart and can do just about anything with anything. I figure I must have some innate crafting ability from her to have this come out as well as it did.
    Here is a better view of the boots, and Colin is nicely modeling his sword. My cameras white balance was a little off and I had some rather large finger print smudges on the lens that I didn't notice until this morning, so the pictures aren't as good as they could be but you get the point. Colin's shirt was going to simply be a vest, but along the way I thought it needed sleeves (which I had to put on twice because I put them on at the wrong angle the first time). Once the sleeves were on I thought it needed a collar, and that one I had to think about for a long time before eventually diving in and just trying it. The boots and the belt were the easy parts!
    The sword and wings were a last minute pick up. I bravely entered Party City on Oct 30th, since the wings I ordered were not arriving until Nov 3rd, and I never had a solid plan for the dagger. I survived and the line was only 10 minutes long so I figure I did pretty well. I'm thinking these wings worked better than the ones I ordered would have. I have yet to see them but my suspicion is that they are much bigger.
    A better view of Meghan in costume. My favorite part of her outfit is the booties. These were another miracle throw together. The first one I tried was a total disaster so I figured I would have to buy them... seeing infant ballet slippers for $50 I figured I could try again! I googled a few things and got inspired and the second try worked perfectly. Thankfully I was smart enough to cut two before I started sewing! I missed my calling as a cobbler! I'm thinking I might just make her a few extra pairs! (If it isn't obvious the onesie and tights were purchased not made!)
    Lest my head get too big from my success, take a look at what Dawn and Tom 'threw together' for their family. I will totally admit I had absolutely no idea who they were, having never heard of Mad Max or Road Warrior, but I was still impressed with the details of their costumes. (P.S. I say 'threw together' but they really were working on it for over a month!)
    Colin and Leo.  At least I wasn't the only one who told my kid what he was going to be for Halloween instead of asking what he wanted! Thanks to the sword (for us) and the boomerang (for Leo) they weren't hard to convince! Got to love the accoutrements!
    Honestly, everyone thought Colin was Robinhood, but I figured that was close enough.
    Kip in the amazing goldfish costume his mom made for him.  Seriously! My competitive nature just throws up its hands! I can't compete with these people!
    Cute kids!
    Meghan slept through the entire parade and so everyone came over to see what she was dressed as and went "oh a little bear" I just ran with it. I wasn't undressing her and waking her up only to have her freeze! She was happy so I was happy. I got the pictures before we left the house!


    The moral of the story is: If you are going to make it up as you go, have lots of patience, extra materials and low expectations and everything will be fine.

    Monday, October 31, 2011

    Halloween Snack

    Colin's preschool asked parents to send Halloween snacks in for school today. I saw this idea last year but didn't have time to pull it off. Not sure how I even managed to remember it but I did and TA DA Candy Corn jello! SO cute! (and only about 6g of sugar each! Not bad for Halloween!


    Thanks Jelly Shot Test Kitchen

    Coming Soon: Pictures of the kids in costume!

    Saturday, October 29, 2011

    Perfecting my Pizza Dough

    I am taking a quick side trip from posts with pictures of the kids (sorry mom) to share my current food obsession. Making the perfect pizza dough at home! After having some delicious homemade pizza at my Aunt Sue's house (thank you Heather for the inspiration), I wanted to have a make your own pizza night at our house, figuring Colin would get a kick out of it. Turns out our grocery delivery service doesn't carry pizza dough. So I went hunting for a recipe. I made it and it was pretty good, but I knew it could be better so I've been tweaking it ever since and I think I have it just right, although I have some more ideas for further tweaking later. Here is my recipe:

    1pkg (.25 oz) active dry yeast
    1 cup warm water (110 degrees, or as hot as your tap goes)

    2.5 cups bread flour
    2 T olive oil
    1.5 t salt
    2 t white sugar
    2 t oregano (I love oregano! This addition and the next are optional, use what you like)

    .5t garlic powder



    mix yeast and water, set aside for ten minutes.
    mix together remaining ingredients then add yeast mixture. Mix until well combined. Cover and let sit for at least an hour (longer is fine too)

    Roll out to the desired shape (mine isn't always a circle), place on a baking sheet (I spray with oil and then sprinkle corn meal and it always slides right off) and cover with your favorite toppings. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. (To feed the three of us I only have to use half the dough)

    OK one picture for my mom.
    I'm going to experiment with whole wheat flour but haven't wanted to change too many things at once. I'll let you know how it comes out.

    I've been really enjoying Ragu's Pizza Sauce but will likely experiment with my own sauce at some point.
     
    Oh and I should note this freezes really well before cooking and can be thawed overnight in the fridge. I was sure it would never thaw in time after removing the block of dough from the freezer the night before but it did, no problem. I like to divide the recipe in half and freeze half for later or make cheesey breadsticks (although I have yet to make one that doesn't explode and ooze out the cheese)

    Thursday, October 27, 2011

    Pumpkin Picking 2011

    Fall is my favorite season in NYC, and it is my favorite time to take pictures of Colin. For some reason, I always get really great photos in the fall (see here and here and here for a walk down memory lane). This year so far we are keeping with that trend. Poor Meghan once again slept through the whole thing, only waking up right at the end so she missed most of the photo ops. Here are some of my favorite photos of our trip.
     My big boy! I keep reminding myself that I will look at these pictures and see how little he was someday. For now I just see him looking so OLD! He is wearing the sweater GiGi made for him last year. I think there is a chance he will get in it next year too.
     This kid knows how to be photographed I didn't even have to ask him to do this, he just does it. I guess that is what happens when you are the child of the 'mama-ratzi'.
     I couldn't pick between these last two so I just uploaded both!

     Aunt Katie and Cousin Jaylee.
     Colin is very enthusiastic about his sister. She is wearing the fall outfit that he also wore as an ity bity (although I can't find a picture of him in it).
     Meghan was pretty hungry at this point and was not really in the mood for pictures!
     I like the light in this one.
    All laughing at the little cousins. The large pumpkin behind them is actually a bounce house and the highlight of the trip for me was watching Colin bounce in there with all his young cousins: Brenna, Mia, Keegan, Danny, Haylee and Jaylee (Ellis and Meghan were too little this year for the bounce house)
    1st Cousins with the 2nd Cousins (who just so happened to almost match on this particular occasion) We actually have matching outfits for them so stay tuned for that... Ellis is a year (and two weeks) older than Meghan, so...Meghan is to Ellis as Colin is to Lukas =)

    Sunday, October 23, 2011

    Apple Picking Again.

    Before I can get to the photos of this past weekends pumpkin picking adventure, I have to post the previous weekends apple picking adventure! Due to a series of cancellations we found ourselves with a free weekend. Since the week days seem a little like 'groundhog's day' around here right now I was really hoping to get away and do something fun. So I got in touch with some colleges friends who live in Massachusetts and they also had a free weekend so we drove up. The drive was only a bit over 3 hrs so we were able to get all the way there without stopping which was nice. On Saturday we joined another college friend and went apple picking (yes, that would make it two weekends in a row for us but Colin loved it and we didn't get nearly enough apples the first time so we were psyched to go again!)
    Here are the pictures from apple picking. The pictures came into the post in a very strange order but I'm too lazy to rearrange them and frankly blogger doesn't make that part very easy to do so they will just have to be in a strange order.

    Colin and Syler. Syler is our friend Sarah's son, and he is a year younger than Colin. Sean and I met Sarah our freshman year of college. She lived on the same floor as us...we sometimes pretend argue over who would get Sarah in a 'divorce' because we are both equally close to her and met her at the same time...
    There were a few goats in a petting area of the farm. Colin had a particular affection for this guy.
    Colin posing on the ladder used to get apples from the higher branches. This orchard was much different than the one we visited the previous weekend. Here the trees were almost like grape vines, where the trees at the first orchard were traditional looking trees (albeit low to the ground trees).

    Bad boys bad boys, whatcha gonna do...
    Meghan was here too, although she doesn't make much of an appearance in the photos! We had to take a picture with the pumpkin tree, which completely threw me for a loop. I kept looking at it thinking "am I crazy? Pumpkins don't grow on trees... do they?"  They don't! They were all zip tied to the tree, someone went to a lot of trouble to do that!

     2 of our 3 hosts for the weekend, Brandon and Nolan. Missing is Elaine, my college suitemate for both freshman and sophomore year. Elaine is another friend we argue over possession of. I think I have the stronger claim since we lived together for two years. Sean disagrees.



    Another sweet shot of cutie pie Nolan. I should mention that Nolan is a year younger than Syler and Meghan is a year younger than Nolan. We had every age represented that day from 0-3.


    Syler posing on the ladder as well. Don't worry Sarah was right behind him.



    Toddlin' around with his apple. Too cute.
    The closest thing I got to a shot of all three boys. Three boys ages 1 2 and 3 are not easy to tack down in the same position.
    Colin and Nolan with their apples.
    This picture cracks me up. It just exemplifies what the first child experience is like. Both parents doting on the one toddler, I can't wait to compare this in a few years to what Elaine and Brandon's say 3rd child's experience is like. =) I remember Sean and I being exactly the same with with Colin at a year old.
    Syler and Colin apple picking.
    See! He loves the ones with leaves on them.
    Syler and Sarah.


    Nolan and Elaine.


    Thanks for such a great weekend guys! Can't wait to do it again soon!