Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers

Lilypie Fifth Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Lilypie First Birthday tickers

Sunday, January 25, 2009


So, Will and Julia have started taking a bath together on most nights (Julia in her seat in the tub). This makes my life much easier, but also invites a lot of questions. Will is very aware of his "parts" and wanted to know if baby Julia had the same parts. Finally, after incessant questions, we told him that no, baby Julia was a girl and thus had girl parts (we used the correct term, I'm just not using here to avoid any weird searchers; and by the way, why is everyone so squeamish about the girl word, but totally okay with the boy word?)

So, Will thinks about what he's learned and then repeats it back to us: "Baby Julia is a girl and she has a china."

Then, we get more questions: "Mama, YOU have a china?" Yes Will, I'm a girl. "Miss Melissa (his teacher at school) have a china?" Yes Will, but DON'T ASK HER ABOUT IT! That's just what we need...him asking his teachers about their "chinas"! We're actually a little bit thankful that he can't say the word exactly right.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


There are benefits to being the second child. Despite being somewhat overshadowed by her older brother (at least at this age), Julia benefits from the fact that we at least have SOME experience in child care. That being said, there are some things that we've done differently with Julia than we did with Will. Some things we learned from experience, and some things are different just because the children are different. So, here are some random thoughts on child-rearing and child products: things that we're doing differently with Julia, things that I swear by for both, and things that I think are overrated.

Things I've Done Differently with Julia (and would now recommend):
  • 4D Ultrasound: We never had one with Will, but I loved doing it with Julia. The pictures we got then really look like her little face now.
  • Miracle Blanket: Will hated being swaddled, but I think we just didn't try hard enough. Now I'm just worried that Julia will have to be swaddled even when she's 12. The Miracle Blanket has lived up to its name for us.
  • Bathing: We just don't do it very often. Will got a bath almost every day as a baby; Julia is lucky if she gets one twice a week (although, now that she's in daycare it's much more frequent). Although it sounds like we're neglecting her, I really think it's a better approach. Her skin has been much better than Will's was. Plus, you don't have to deal with the hassle of a bath every day! (YAY laziness!)
  • Solid foods: Again with the laziness. With Will, I was so excited to start solid foods, so we started at about 4.5 months. I now realize that it's just something else to deal with (and, oh yeah, my doctor thinks there's no reason to start early; in fact he'd recommend waiting until later). So as of now, I'm not planning on adding foods until around 6 months.
  • Pictures on her birthday: I make sure to take a picture of Julia on the 8th of each month. I really wish I had done this with Will. Although we have tons of pictures of him, it is nice to have a picture each month, on the same day, in the same place.
  • The Snap N Go: We used the Graco system with Will, but I borrowed a Snap N Go from a friend for Julia and it is fabulous! It is so lightweight and easy. Then, you can decide what kind of stroller you really want and need once your child outgrows the bucket seat.
  • Worrying less: I feel like I am more "go with the flow" with Julia. With Will, I frantically read every baby book I could to try to figure out the exact right thing to do. Now, if something is working for us, I try not to worry about it. I'm trying to take the attitude that she will grow out of things as she doesn't need them anymore (like swaddling or the pacifier), so at this point, I really shouldn't worry about weaning her off of them.

Things I Swear By (and did with both children):

  • The swing: For my children, there is nothing better. I'm not sure we could have survived without it.
  • Breastfeeding as much as you can, supplementing if necessary: I love breastfeeding, but I've always had a bit of a supply problem (less so with Julia, who is not Enormo-baby). So, I give them what I can and then don't feel bad if they also need a bit of formula. With both kids, we've always given them a bottle of formula before bed, after they nurse (this is the only formula Julia gets), and both kids have always been reasonably good sleepers. Who knows if there is causation there, but I'm not going to mess with it!
  • Reading: I think it's the best thing you can do for your child intellectually. I already read to Julia.
  • Cheap bottles: We've always just used the regular Gerber or Medela bottles and nipples. I thought it was easier to try the cheap(er) bottles with fewer parts and see if they worked before I bought the expensive, complicated ones. The cheap ones worked for us!
  • Zipper sleepers: SO MUCH EASIER when changing diapers at night.
  • The Ultimate Crib Sheet: SO MUCH EASIER when changing sheets at night (or really anytime).

Things I Think are Overrated:

  • Sleep positioners: At some point, you will buy anything that you think will help your child sleep. In times of great sleep deprivation, I have bought one of these for EACH of my children. I used it once or twice with Will, and NEVER with Julia. Ridiculous.
  • Wipe Warmers: We never had one. It sounds like a silly baby gadget to me. Although, if I were the one getting wiped, I might be singing a different tune.
  • The sling: I am sling incompetent. I know some people love, love, love these, but I have never gotten the hang of them. I'm going to try again with the hip carry for Julia, but I really wish I hadn't spent the money. We've used it about three times so far.
  • Judging other Moms: Yes, there are certain things that are objectively bad decisions, but overall, I'm finally realizing that each mom has to do what's best for her family and what works for her child. There are plenty of things that I would never do with my children, but it might work great for someone else (aren't I so Zen?!). In reality, I struggle to keep this mindset, but I do intellectually believe that it's true.


In other news, I have fixed the comments on the blog so that people can comment even if you don't have a Google account. I know that at least a couple of people are out there reading, so please leave a comment! If you're a mom, tell me what baby products you love or think are overrated.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


We had a cleaning lady come yesterday after a long hiatus (hooray! an actual benefit of working!). She does a great job and was cleaning under the furniture in the living room. In addition to the copious amounts of dust and Cheerios, here is a list of things she found:
  • The blood pressure cuff from Will's doctor kit

  • A (formerly) white sock

  • Two Legos

  • A pen

  • A pair of decorative scissors

  • The hammer from Will's tool box

  • A screw from Will's tool box

  • Mr. Potato Head's nose

  • Two combs

  • A piece of a play screwdriver

  • Julia's rattle

I guess maybe Will was right about my housekeeping skills.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Four Months!

Julia is now four months old, which I really can't believe. It seems like time is flying by so fast, which worries me because I felt like once Will turned four months, I blinked and then he was a year. These next few months are my favorites...smiley, happy babies who are so engaging and responsive. So far, Julia is not disappointing in that department. She smiles and coos and has just started giggling...more than any baby I know. She loves to chew on her hands, and she's started noticing her feet, too. She's also learning how to hold little things, like rattles, and even move them around and into her mouth. It's very cute...whenever Will sees Julia holding something, he immediately cheers, "Baby Julia holding it! YAY! YAY BABY JULIA!!" I guess I told him that it was tough for babies to learn to hold things, and now he feels he should be encouraging.

I know I'm a broken record, but we're just really enjoying our little family. I can't wait to see what 2009 will bring for us all.

He Makes Me Feel So Good About My Housekeeping Abilities

"Daddy, I need da broom! Der is dust everywhere! Everywhere, Daddy!"

Monday, January 5, 2009

First Day of School

Today was Julia's first real day at daycare, and my first day back to work. All day I have just been SAD. I miss having her with me all the time. I hate pumping, instead of just nursing her. I worry about her napping at daycare and if she's getting enough attention. I wonder if working is worth it.

I wish this were a clear-cut decision; I wish I had a specific goal that I wanted to work toward, such as "quit working by 2010." But, unfortunately it's not so cut-and-dried. In fact, even though I miss the kids all day, I'm not positive I want to stay at home with both of them full time. I'm very conflicted in what I want, which is worse than just not having what you want. Logically, it makes sense for me to keep working. But emotionally, I'm not sure I can do it. Only time will tell. It's only the first day, so I'll have to give it some time and see how it goes. I just wish it were easier all around.

Heading to her first day of school. She looks about as excited as I feel.

Friday, January 2, 2009


Whew. December wore me out, and I wasn't even working. Between all of the Christmas activities (ZooLight! Visiting Santa! Church! Parties!), Will hit some "milestones" that I wanted to report on. Now, these might not be the typical baby-book milestones that you traditionally think of, but they were important to us:

First of all, he's starting to learn to use the potty. They've been working with him at school, and he's been somewhat successful so far. I don't think he really understands the idea of letting us know BEFORE he needs to go, but we're getting there. He is at least interested and willing to try the potty. The first day that he successfully went at school, I picked him up, and his teacher told me what he had done. I, of course, made a big deal about it and went on and on about what a big boy he was. This is when he told me, "Mama, I a big boy now. I go in the attic." The only thing I can figure about this connection is that we must have told him that he could go in the attic when he got bigger. So, he seemed to think that going to the potty indicated he was now big, and thus could go in the attic. Sadly for him, this is not the case.

During December, Will also attended his first movie in the theater! He loves Madagascar, so Zach took him to see Madagascar 2. He did really well...i.e., they were able to stay for the whole movie. I think he was bribed with suckers and popcorn, and he wanted to sit on the stairs, stand up, sit in Zach's lap, etc., but overall, it went well. It went so well that Hulie decided to take him to the Alabama Theater a few weeks later to see some Christmas movies. They were able to stay for all three movies: Rudolph, Frosty, and the Grinch. Will still talks about his trips to the "movie pee-a-ter".

We also recently discovered that Will has learned how to successfully pedal his big wheel. Unfortunately, he hasn't had much chance to show off this skill because it's been pretty cold and/or rainy, but he's definitely getting the hang of it.

The other day, my dad summed up Will the best when he said, "Did he just skip from age 2 to age 5?" We are constantly amazed at all he knows and all he can do. Of course, most of it is normal two-year-old stuff, but it is still lots of fun to see him accomplishing all of these new tasks.