Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Favorite Sunscreens

Since I've been using less chemically sunscreens I have tried out a bunch of different types to figure out what I like. I now take the 'arsenal' approach to sunscreen, having a variety of kinds that I use in different situations. I always get my information from this sunscreen cheat sheet, when I want to try a new brand. These are the sunscreens I have in my arsenal this year.

Eco Logical All Natural Sunscreen for Baby SPF30+ This is my go to every day sunscreen. It goes on easy and doesn't leave us with that white glow so typical of natural sunscreens. It doesn't have a strong scent either which is good. The only thing I don't like is that there is more packaging than product, so a brand new tube feels empty when you get it. Annoying but not a deal breaker.

All Terrain KidSport SPF30 Natural Sunscreen Spray Yep! A natural sunscreen SPRAY. Sometimes getting Colin to hold still long enough for a lotion application isn't possible. This goes on quickly and is perfect for reapplication.

Badger Baby Sunscreen SPF 30+ Certified Natural This is a great sunscreen, it goes on smooth, it covers well and its really waterproof. The downside, it leaves you looking like casper.. I save this for beach days.

SPF 30 Clear Zinc Sports Stick 0.60 Ounces. This one is my emergency sunscreen. I keep it in the diaper bag just in case I find us unexpectedly in the sun without any of the above sun screens. It is also great for Meghan's face since she is so wiggly I am afraid to get it in her eyes.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Meghan is 9 Months Old

We hit this particular milestone while we were vacationing in Ocean City, so you may notice the pictures are not occurring in the usual location. More about the amazing vacation in another post, but for now lets see what Meghan has been up to this month.
Meghan is currently in one of my favorite stages, crawling and creeping but not yet walking, she is just the essence of a "baby", not an infant, not a toddler, a baby and I love it! She is so much fun right now. She is very interested in the world around her and just loves to figure things out and explore.

Sleeping:Naps are really all over the place, but I mostly blame her cold and teething. If she takes good naps she only takes two but if they are shorter than 30 mins, she will squeeze in a third. The total time spent napping is usually 90mins to 2 hrs. With the elusive 2 hour nap always occurring when I have to wake her up to go get Colin. Overnight has good nights and bad, we were 6 hours from starting to sleep train when she spiked a fever (of unknown origin, likely teething) so we had to cancel, then we left for vacation and now she is sick. Her days are numbered through for sure. Mark my words on this one, she will not be as 'easy' to sleep train as Colin was. 1) She is younger, 2) she has a stubborn streak and 3) I'll probably have to go it alone so Sean can get Colin out of the house for the worst of it. He is very sensitive to her crying and I would rather he not be in the house when I "ignore"
  • Daddy Daddy Daddy! I am currently no ones "favorite" and frankly I LOVE IT! Meghan simply adores her father and it makes me happy.
  • My computer. She was playing on the floor by herself happily until I pulled out the computer, now all she wants to do is try to get it... (6 hours pass)
  • Finger foods. She is going through the stage where she doesn't want to be fed and wants to eat on her own. I remember this with Colin so I think it is temporary. 
  • Anything we eat. Colin never went through this stage so its a new one for us, but she just wants whatever we are eating! Makes getting new foods into her easier, but also means she gets some other treat foods (like ice cream) earlier than I planned because how can you say no to her!
  • Sand and waves. Sharp departure from her brother here! She got her first touch and feel of the ocean and she loved it! In fact she kind of ate it up, literally.
  • Peak-a-boo. Always a hit with the kiddies!
  • Having her nose wiped. She has a little cold right now and getting her nose wiped is a miserable process.
  • Having her face cleaned. See above (or any month previous)
  • Being left behind. She has a pretty strongly negative reaction when I leave her with someone other than her father. She seems to get over it soon enough but it breaks my heart to have to do it.
New and Notable:
  • Standing unassisted. She can stand for a good stretch now (15-20 seconds) without holding on and without falling. She has yet to try to take a step but she is close
  • Walking and Running assisted. Last month she was pretty awkward with walking with help, this month she can really cruise with assistance. She can also walk pretty well holding on with just one hand.
  • Signing. It is really hard to tell if she is doing this with intent or not but she seems to sign milk and all done. She signs milk to mean both milk and water as far as I can tell so she may think it just means drink, or it could be completely coincidental.  While drinking out of a sippy cup she will hold up one hand and sign it, while I'm getting her ready to nurse she will sign it with one or both hands and occasionally while seated in the high chair she will do it. All done she seems to do when she is ready to get down from the high chair and looks more like arms in the air than the actual twisting wrists that makes up the real sign. A few other people have seen her do it and other people seem to think it is intentional but I'm still skeptical...
  • "words" : ish, yesh, da, ba, la, ma, ya, hiya, hi. While her father really wants to believe she says da da with intent I'm not sure of this yet either. She does say it when she sees him but she also says it randomly so it is hard to say. She also says other things when she seed him...
  • Her top teeth have been threatening all month but I haven't felt them break through yet. She spiked a fever and got very cranky on two occasions but they seem to move and retreat so they haven't popped through yet. Should be any day now.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Rebecca J Berry Ph.D.

My turn! Yesterday was my commencement ceremony. I defended on June 30th, 2011, deposited the final version of my thesis on Aug 17th, 2011 and my degree was conferred in September. But since there is only one commencement ceremony per year I didn't "walk" until yesterday.   We started the celebrations with a lunch at one of my favorite restaurants in Astoria. My ceremony started two hours later than Sean's did and we didn't arrive home until 9pm that night so Sean and I decided dinner afterwards would be way too late for the kids and for our out of town travelers.
Here are some pictures of our day.

Alright, whose idea was it to sit these three together?!?  (I should note, that I didn't take any of these photos, nor did my husband despite packing the camera, my mom took most of them and my sister took the rest)
Silliness ensues! What fun these boys will have with their grandpa in the years to come. So cute!

Meghan was a trooper all day. The poor thing is sick and teething but she held it together.  We unfortunately had a rather soggy day, raining on and off, mostly on while we were outside, yet mostly off while we were inside.
Cousins on the subway!
The ceremony was 2 hours long but the kids were really good. There were over 400 graduates and we all got "hooded", plus a couple speakers and honorary degrees. It wasn't exactly kid friendly, despite the fact that the audience was at least 25% children.

I was able to secure enough tickets for Sean's mom to come too. She is next to my mom in this photo, which is unfortunately the most she is visible in any photos from the night!  We were very happy to have her with us despite the lack of photographic evidence!

If you look closely you can see me both on stage and on the jumbo tron. This is right after I've been hooded and called "professor" for the first time (when it was actually true) by the man doing the hooding.
This picture and the next have been edited from their original version so they might look grainy.
This is me shaking hands with the president of the university.
And a hug from the program head of Psychology. I can't say that I knew her well but I guess she is a hugger and I'm cool with that.
After being reunited with the fam. It was too rainy for outdoor photos so we just took a few inside. Meghan was afraid of me until I took the hat off.  I have to say I have a couple of good kids. I was fully prepared for a major meltdown from at least one of them if not both after doing this rigamaroll for the second time, but they were good! (And I can tell you there were many kids who were not, I could hear them!)

My parents. The people who gave me wings and taught me to fly...I will be forever grateful for the strong foundation, their love and unending support. There were many times I'm sure that they had no idea what I was doing or why but they always encouraged me to do it anyway.  To follow my star wherever it lead.

My sisty. Though she probably doesn't realize it, and certainly didn't do it intentionally, my sister is probably a large part of why I am so competitive. Maybe it is just a trait of the younger sister, but in those early years everything she did I wanted to do too and I wanted to do it better (although I didn't always accomplish that I'm pretty sure she was better at soccer and softball). My competitors changed over the years but that drive to do better has always stuck.

My husband. We are one hell of a team! From the silly things like cleaning a vacation rental to the impossible task of completing both our doctoral dissertations all while tending to our two great kids.We move like cogs in a wheel, fitting seamlessly, being both supportive and supported at once. Thank you for always being there to pull me back from the edge and still push me to be better every day. My parents gave me my base, my sister helped me find the bar and you held my hand as we jumped over it. I love you, I'm proud of you and I'm thankful for you.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sean L. Berry Ph.D

On Sunday we celebrated Sean's Ph.D. Convocation ( the official commencement is on Wednesday but they don't read everyone's name at that ceremony so we are skipping it).  It was a beautiful day and the kids were really on their best behavior, making everything that much more enjoyable. Here are some pictures of our day.

 Sean all dressed up before the ceremony. He wears the suit well if you ask me.
 A shot of us. It has been a long 10 years between finishing our bachelors and now. I could not have done any of it without this man beside me. He completed this degree while working full time and in the later years being a very involved father. Sean is without a doubt the hardest working person I know. I could not be more proud of him!
 The funny hat brigade.
 The set up was quite odd, there were three different tents, one with the stage and graduates and two more flanking. Between the tents were large shrubs, making it very awkward and hard to see much. However, I guess I should appreciate the tents since it was very sunny and the kids would have been miserable.
 "Applied Physics, Sean Lawrence Berry"
 Sean on the big screen in our tent.
 Sean was called maybe 15 people in so then we had to sit and wait for the other 100 or so graduates to be called.. Here are a few shots of the kids hanging out.
 I thought Colin would be tricky but I just kept feeding him snacks and he was happy to sit and people watch.
 After the ceremony we took some pictures with the family.
 Grandma Mo and Meggie Sue
The Berry's (minus Chris and Oana, Chris got sent to Alabama for two weeks so he couldn't make the ceremony)
 The Drs Berry and their progeny.
I think Sean looks so much like his mom in this picture!! I always knew he favored her but this picture really demonstrates it.
 Colin got in on the photo taking action, so the next few pictures are taken by him. People get pretty silly when a 3 yr old is manning the camera.
 Aunt Katie and Aunt Nin strike a pose.

 My angelic husband and his baby sisters.
Colin of course ate NO dinner after eating probably 2000 calories in snacks at the ceremony. He did however have lots of room for sorbet. We went to Pasticci's on the upper west side and Meghan and I shared some creamy polenta and we both couldn't get enough.The ceremony started at 3, we had a dinner reservation at 6 and didn't get back home until 9. Both kids were wide awake all the way home, so it was a long night for them. It could have been disastrous but it wasn't.. All I wanted for Mothers day was for my kids to behave all day, but I didn't even want to wish for it because I figured it was totally unrealistic.