Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Fun with videos and ENT checkup

More and more, the girls are really enjoying Wiggleworms. Lucy, especially, as you can tell from this video:

As I pointed out before, Kate is into lining things up. If she can achieve that and combine it with keeping it all away from Lucy, so much the better. (You can tell she relaxed enough by the end of the video by what she was able to do...)

Yesterday we went back for a hearing test and a visit with her ENT doc, Dr. Rastatter. She passed with higher ratings than the last time we were there. Only one of the areas was a tad below normal and they weren't sure if it was because she was much more engaged in play this time (gone was the terror and crying from before) and less interested in listening or if she truly didn't hear the sounds. She would not look consistently in the direction of the sounds during some of the test. But, she did have marked increase in the level of sound she could hear. Last time, the lowest decibel range she could hear was 25db. Yesterday it was 10db. A look in her ears revealed healthy ears with ear tubes still in place, no wax build-up. A clean bill of health and a request to bring her back in 4-6 months for another checkup. I'll take that!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Hoo Hoos and Balls

Tonight, as every night, Len wrapped Kate up in her penguin towel (thanks Yia Yia and Pappou!) fresh from the bath. Kate calls the towel "hoo hoo" (her aviary terminology is a bit off...). There are nice folded areas in the towel where you can put your hands and your head. As Len was wrapping her up she said:

I want to put  my hands in my hoo hoo.
We have two small balls that we throw for them to help with eye/hand coordination, large and small motor skills and eye tracking...................no? not buying that?

ok, yes, we play fetch with our kids

Hey, it kills A LOT of time in the afternoon!

Yesterday, Kate, indicating she wanted to play this particular game, yelled out:

I want to play with my balls in the hallway! Lucy wants to play with my balls too!
Who knew that a 2 year old could make me flash back to my teenage years...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Get your ducks in a row

Kate's new phase is all about lining things up. Considering what an organizational freak of nature I am, I'm not the least bit surprised.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Feeding the Pigeons

Here is Leander with his harem of cuties, Lucy, Lina and Kate, all lined up with forks in hand, waiting for lunch yesterday.
I think he's partial to Kate based on this picture from the last time we played at his house....

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Shifting Blame

Lucy: Aiggghhhhh!


Kate: Baby pulled Lucy's hair. (as she holds up the errant baby-doll in question as evidence)

Me: Are you sure it was Baby and not Kate? 

Kate: Mama put Baby in time-out. (As she carries the baby-doll to the corner).

Monday, January 23, 2012


Love this book that we got from Greta for Christmas (thank you again Greta!). The irony is lost on them but they love it anyway--especially since they know what the iPad is.

You may notice Kate scratching away at her thigh. She has a bit of contact dermatitis that we've been battling for a couple of days. All these layers she's wearing just to go play is not helping. Dr. E said talcum powder, not the cornstarch talc powder I was using. Hope that clears it up.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Update to blog sidebar

As requested by a couple of blog readers, I am making some additions to the blog. The first is a book list for books that I've referred to regularly when raising Kate and Lucy. It's on the sidebar now. Some are more fun to read than others but I have found them all invaluable at one time or another.

The second thing, which will take much longer, is to make a list with links to websites, services or products that I've found helpful. That, too, will be in the sidebar and I'll let you know when that is up. I'll also add to both lists as I find new things I like.

The third thing is a post about attachment, specifically, what we have done in our family. Honestly, I've been working on this post for a while trying to figure out how much to share and, if I chose not to share some things, will it be as effective or helpful for others. Bear with me as I try to parse out how much of my inner emotional life I'm willing to put out there.

In the meantime, enjoy the book list!

My three favorite people

We had a bit of afternoon fun in the snow yesterday and boy, did it do a world of good at bedtime. Both girls conked out within seconds of hitting their beds.

It'S-now fun! from Lisa on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


A conversation after bathtime tonight as we are getting the girls lotioned and jammied and ready for bed:

Kate: I don't want lotion. I don't want lotion. I don't want lotion.

Me: I know. I know. I know.

Kate: I don't want to have on a diaper.

Me: I know.

Kate: I don't want to go to sleep.

Me: I know.

Kate: I don't want that on. I don't want that on. I don't want that on.

Me: I know. I know. I know.

Kate: I don't want those socks.

Me: Kate, is there anything you DO want?

Kate: I want Lucy's socks.

I guessed I asked for that.

Meet Jessica

Or Jess as the girls call her since Lucy cannot manage Jessica. After what has felt like an exhaustive search for the right person to help us with the girls, we have found her. She's great with them, has a Communications degree and is super out-going. The only drawback is that she's moving to Atlanta in August to pursue her MDiv at Emory. So, yeah...I'll be interviewing all over again this summer. But at least I've got a lot of notice this time around and won't be scrambling trying to round up various temporary sitters while juggling a trip to China, a new daughter and lots of doctor appointments.

Of course her first day is the day it snows like crazy which worked out well for me as it is MUCH easier to get the girls outside when I have help! Warm under-clothes, socks, snow pants, snow jacket, mittens, hats, scarves, boots. Putting boots and mittens and sometimes hats BACK ON as one removes hers as I work on the other. Then getting myself in all the same gear hoping they don't start disrobing while I'm midway through pack-muling myself.

Finally, made it downstairs and they were in heaven!
 Kate kept wanting us to make a snowball but the snow was so dry and fluffy that it wouldn't stick together.
 So Jessica threw it so it would spray around which they loved just as much.
 Back inside we had hot chocolate and read books. What's not to like about that kind of afternoon?
Lucy is completely obsessed with Jessica's hair and keeps running her hands through it. Of course she does this to both Kate and me as well so it doesn't surprise me. The best, though, is her fixation on Len's hairy legs, chest and back. She also loves to brush and comb hair and asks for a bow nearly every day (although it doesn't stay in for very long). Perhaps a career in hair is in her future...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sad little snowman

When we got home from the dentist on Wednesday, Kate asked if we could walk to the front yard to see the snowman. Alas...
Kate: Mama, snowman is sad.

Me: He is, isn't he.

Kate: Snowman lost his mouf. He only has one eye. What happened??

Not to mention that he was stunted to begin with kid.

Looks like we'll get the chance for a do-over this weekend. Forecasters are saying we could get up to 1" of snow falling every hour by this afternoon.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dental visit, Part 2

Yesterday we took both girls back in for their first of many dental devices. You may remember our first visit back in November which was completely unpleasant for Lucy. This time I asked the hygienist if she could take off her mask and with that, Lucy was calm. Len sat in the chair this time and we let Kate go first so Lucy could watch and see what was going to happen. It made a world of difference because, as has been demonstrated in nearly every video I've taken of them, Lucy insists on doing whatever Kate is doing even if it's unpleasant. Fortunately, the visit was not unpleasant at all.  They were both fitted for infant trainers to help align their jaws correctly. True to form, they remain opposite in every way, even in jaw structure.  Lucy needs her upper jaw to move forward and Kate needs her lower jaw to move forward.

Here's a video of the appliances in action. Kate had it down pat last night but I could only get Lucy to keep it in her mouth if I distracted her with Yo Gabba Gabba. Pick your battles, right?

As for what else is going on in their mouths, here's what I can recall from trying to listen to the dentist while keeping 2 toddlers from destroying his office:

In order to explain, here's a visual to help in case you aren't familiar with tooth development:
Kate has 16 teeth and is working on cutting the last 4--the 2nd molars.  That's pretty much it. Normal.

Lucy has 13 teeth. She is missing both lateral incisors on her lower jaw and one lateral incisor on her right upper jaw where her cleft was located. She still needs to cut her 2nd molars as well.  Since her bottom lateral incisors never came in that means she will not get them as an adult either. As for the top lateral incisor, it could be there in a stunted form or it may not be there at all. It could still come out through her gums or her palate (really hope that doesn't happen as that will cause nasty problems) or it might not ever come out. This all means that she may or may not have this tooth as an adult either.

For now, we wait are taking a wait-and-see approach. We'll work on jaw alignment with the infant trainer and continue that process with different appliances as they get older, shaping the jaw and keeping the canines where they are supposed to be so her face will keep the proper shape. In the past, dentists would just move all the teeth over to fill the gap where teeth are missing. Now, as they have realized that the canines are kind of like the cornerstones or framing of your face, it is best to keep those in their proper location.

The goal with the infant trainers now is for them to wear them 5-10 minutes a few times a day and then to work up to sleeping with them at night. This will also help them continue to breathe through their noses at night which is optimal for good health.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Sometime overnight, the girls grew suction cups on their bodies which they promptly put to use attaching themselves to me for the majority of the day. I know I will miss this in their teen years when they will deny my very existence but, holy fuck, I need some SPACE.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Birthday wrap-up

We finally got the last of Kate's presents opened this afternoon. It was the birthday of books--Kate's favorite (and I'm proud to say Lucy is now requesting to read before naptime!!!). Lucy received her belated birthday gifts from Uncle Terry and Aunt Wheez which was great as it gave her things to open along with Kate's cornucopia of presents. Of course she helped open the many books from Yia yia and Pappou too!
 She got her first Foodie book from Mama and Daddy!

And here they are working on a puzzle together.
Her actual birthday fell on play/mama group day so we celebrated there. I already published a few pics from that day in her love letter but here are some additional shots.
 Luke enjoying being pushed around by Lucy.
Aleks, Sara, Margaret (Jacob) and Christy.
 Going "night-night". Notice Lucy patting Kate on the back.
 Time to blow out the candle!
 The chaos of toy explosion turns into teachable moments when we sing the clean-up song before leaving.
 The other Lucy in our group (she's 2 1/2) looking at the first snow falling.
Sloane and her mama Hema, and Aleks.
 Sara covering up Kate for "night-night".
 Lucy, Kate and Lina all trying to share one blanket.
Earlier today Kate was nagging to go to the playlot (which is completely covered in snow) so we decided to build a snowman instead. It took 20 minutes to get them suited up. As an aside, why must all girl clothes be pink?? I found these green shirts on the clearance rack at REI and they are labeled, LABELED ON THE TAG for heaven's sake, for toddler boys. Seriously? Girls can't wear green?
Ok, moving on.
Sadly, the snow is still quite powdery and will not stick together.
Alas, our snowman was more like a snow-gnome. With sweet potato sunglasses, a carrot nose, almond smile and stick arms.
We then headed out for a short walk up the street.
 They loved throwing snow up into the air...until some of it came down and landed in their faces.
 Kate was very concerned that the snowman would still be there so she came running up to be check on him.
She was still talking about him tonight. I had to assure her that he would be there in the morning but she kept saying she wanted to go see him. I finally told her it was dark outside so snowman was asleep. I just hope his face has not been half eaten off by nocturnal rodents...that could be a nasty surprise in the morning!

Speaking of sleep, here's the update. We're 2 weeks into the shared room situation. There are good and bad points with this arrangement. The good is that Lucy is now out of our room! Also, (and, ahem, more importantly of course) is that they seem to enjoy the change. I asked Kate if she liked having Lucy with her at night and she said "YES!" So that's good.

Also good is the fact that, although Kate cries for a very short time once we leave the room, Lucy doesn't always join in anymore and when she does, 99% of the time they soothe themselves down within a couple of minutes. They are also sleeping pretty much through the night.

I say pretty much because Lucy still wakes at 4:30am on the dot, standing up and crying loudly. This requires one of us to go in, lay her back down and tell her it's still night-night. She always lays back down and goes back to sleep until 5:30-6am. I cannot figure out what happens at 4:30am to cause this but it's incredibly annoying b/c if we let her work it out she could potentially get Kate going and Kate does not go back down easily. So for now, we are taking shifts rushing down the hall to get to Lucy before she can wake Kate.

Totally. Sucks.

The other drawback to the shared situation is that they are naptime opposites. Kate rarely napped but she would at least sit and play quietly in her crib for an hour so I could get a short break. With Lucy in the room, she wants to engage her which means Lucy doesn't nap but she also won't sit and play either. Lucy wants to nap and if she can't, she will stand and scream about it.

This has led to a new normal at noon. Lucy goes down from noon-1pm and Kate now has her downtime sitting on a pillow watching Caillou on PBS for 30 minutes. This gives me time to eat or answer emails but not much else. The next 30 minutes we spend together doing whatever Kate wants to do with just me. She is much happier with this situation and Lucy wakes up happy.

Not ideal as I don't get much of a break but it is what it is for now. We have a busy week coming up. I've been interviewing nannies like mad for a while now. Our latest nanny let us know a couple of months ago that she had decided to go back to school full time. Fortunately, that has given me time to interview and call references. I have found one woman that I love, Jessica. She's a perfect fit, the girls love her, she knows sign language, etc. etc. so she is going to start this week. A caveat though--she's going to grad school in the fall in Atlanta so I will still need to find someone else for the long haul. With that in mind, I have a few more interviews this week so we have a backup (and for those times that Jessica may not be able to come).

And more snow is in the forecast. Bummer. The playlot will be a distant memory by spring I suspect.


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