Wednesday, March 21, 2012

crystal eggs

Joshua's eggs and window

my egg
They're actually much prettier than the pictures let on. They sparkle in the light.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

well, we tried

A few days ago, I came across a blog called "Housing a Forest" which has some really cute craft ideas. The kind of stuff I like. Granted, her youngest child is 5, but I thought we'd try a few things.

Our first project was Easter egg crystals. I showed Joshua how to bend and twist the pipe cleaners, but he had me do his for him. He picked the colors and told me which directions to put them in. Then he decided that instead of Easter eggs, they were windows for haunted mansions. So, we made an actual window out of two lovely brown pipe cleaners.

The next step was to loop them with thread to hang them from a pencil placed across a mason jar. And then I realized that our eggs/windows were too big for the mason jars I have. I found a couple pitchers in the cupboard.

I boiled some water in the microwave, poured it into the pitchers with the Borax, realized I needed more water, boiled some more and added it to the pitchers without adding more Borax (d'oh).

Then we strung up our eggs/windows to hang from a ruler and some knitting needles (couldn't find any pencils, and besides, I don't think they would have been long enough to go across the big pitcher.)

And now we wait.

And wait.

It's a lesson in patience.

While we waited, I thought we'd try another project involving glue, salt, and watercolors.

Joshua had done something similar at school so I was hoping he wouldn't have a problem if the way I had us do it was slightly different. Problem!

First, I got out a couple sheets of big white paper. I had bought watercolor paper, but since those are expensive and this was our first try, I thought I'd save those.

Next, we made some designs in glue. And then we salted the heck out of the glue. I offered up some table salt, sea salt, and rock salt. We ended up mostly using the table salt because I had it in a shaker and it was easiest.

Finally, we were to use paintbrushes to apply some watercolors to the salted glue. This is where the problem arose. Apparently at school, Joshua had used some squeeze bottle watercolors. Shame on me for wanting to use a paintbrush.

I went ahead with my picture and after piquing Joshua's interest, he decided to try it on his. But then he decided he wanted to do a flower (like me), so we did a new page with a flower. To which he then added a ghost and a spider.

Here are our finished products:
Joshua's original design - abandoned

I spilled water on the upper right

Joshua's spider, flower, ghost

I think that had I used the watercolor paper, the color wouldn't have spread out so much and would have stayed more in line with the glue and salt. Oh well. Next time.

 As for the eggs/windows, we're still waiting. I'll post pictures of the finished products tomorrow maybe. (I sure hope they turn out, otherwise, this day was kind of a bust!)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

breastfeeding is hard - part 3

Perhaps it's payback for not having any problems after the initial six weeks of torture with Joshua, but nursing Evan is hard. I'm finally over my second clogged duct but I'm still in pain. This pain is different though. Instead of the pain coming from deep within, it is on the surface and feels like my nipple is being ripped off every time I feed Evan. Upon close examination, I seem to have two gashes/tears/cuts. I put neosporin on to help aid in healing, but that has to be cleaned off before feeding the baby. I've also been slathering on the lanolin. It seems to be two steps forwad and one step back since every time i feed Evan, the gashes re-open.

I keep reminding myself that this really is best for baby and that I've made a comittment to breastfeed exclusively for six months. We're over one third of the way there. We're actually nearing the halfway point. And we're over one sixth of the way to my total breastfeeding goal of one year.

I can stick it out. No, I must stick it out. For Evan's future health.

I'm hoping that this is one of those things that comes in threes and that, this being the third thing, once I recover, it'll be smooth sailing.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

big city

Joshua has a subscription to Highlights High Five magazine. Last week he decided he wanted to go through them and pick out projects to do. So, he flipped through the pages to the back where the crafts are and when he saw one he liked, he set it aside. He then lined up the magazines with the projects he wanted to do on the kitchen table.

The first project was vanilla pops. We had done this before and while he kind of liked the pops, it wasn't the biggest hit, but I was willing to give it another go since he doesn't drink milk and the recipe called for dairy. The recipe called for vanilla soymilk, which we didn't have so we used regular ol' cow's milk and a splash of vanilla extract. To that we added six ounces of vanilla yogurt and a tablespoon of honey. That gets mixed together and poured into cups with popsicle sticks, or, if you're like us and found popsicle molds at the dollar store, into popsicle molds and then placed in the freezer. Joshua had a hard time waiting for the pops to freeze, but finally after dinner (we made the pops before breakfast) they were ready and he loved them. I don't feel at all bad giving him this treat since it's pretty healthy as far as treats go.
Our next project was the big city. The magazine called for stencils to be made out of manila folders onto which shapes had been traced and cut out. Brian and Joshua did the tracing and cutting and then headed outside with their stencils to create the city with chalk. They also had to take the magazine so they could get an idea of what this city is supposed to look like. By the time I joined them, they had created two mansions and a bunch of regular houses. They also made a hospital and a school. And then Brian made another house but it turned out looking more like a mausoleum, so we decided the city had a cemetery, which is just up Joshua's alley, being spooky and all.
After brian left for work, Joshua and I coninued working on the city and made two parks, an ice cream shop, a library, and a museum, along with more houses. Joshua loved it. He planned on adding a zoo and some skyscrapers but today it rained. Now we'll just have to start over.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

two months

Evan turned two months sometime between the end of February and the beginning of March. We had his well child check yesterday. He weighed in at 12 lbs, 4 ounces and was 22 inches long. That puts him in the 55th percentile for weight and 10th percentile for length.

To compare, Joshua exactly double his weight at his two month appointment, which we actually had five days prior to him being two months, and he weighed 13 lbs, 8 ounces and was 23 inches long.

Some other things about baby Evan: he smiles a lot and he is a talker. He gets fussy before going down for a nap or to bed at night. He's been eating about every 2-1/2 hours during the day. His first sleep at night is usually between four and five hours long, with him actually nearly hitting the six hour mark a couple times. Of course, after that, he's awake about every three hours. Last night, however, was a rough one. Yesterday Evan also got his first round of vaccinations and I think that threw off his sleep because he was up every 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Here's to hoping tonight is better.

I'm trying to enjoy Evan's infancy, but it's hard when I'm as tired as I am right now. I'm looking forward to him sitting up and to him laughing. I enjoy the closeness of wearing him, but it will be nice to eventually be able to put him down. I enjoy breastfeeding and know it's best for him and me, but I'm also looking forward to having that more on a schedule and even to starting solids (we're one third of the way there!). All of these things to look forward to. And then he smiles at me and I'm content with the moment that we're in right now.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

the trouble with caffeine

I get up in the morning and make coffee. When it's ready, I pour my creamer in the bottom of my cup and then fill with coffee, making a spoon and stirring unnecessary. I guess I don't drink it fast enough or maybe it's that I add too much cream, but I always have to microwave it at about the halfway point. I then refill to the top.

I think I probably average about two and a half cups of coffee. Real cups, not side of the pot cups. It takes me from 7:30 am to about 10 am to drink those cups.  If it's a good day and Evan naps shortly after noon, I nap too. But too often recently, Evan hasn't been wanting to nap. And so, I drink a soda. I chose soda only because coffee doesn't really go with the grilled cheese I've been opting to eat at lunch time. And then, inevitably, Evan crashes out for more than twenty minutes. I try to sleep also, but find my mind racing. I lay there for half an hour before deciding that I could get things done instead of wasting my time trying for the elusive nap.

The lack of nap then brings on the need for an evening cup of coffee or soda. I just have to hope that the morning caffeine isn't the reason Evan isn't napping. It's a cycle I don't know how to stop. There's no functioning in the morning without that coffee.

So, I drink a half glass of wine before bed to try to counteract any remaining effects of the caffeine. Forgive me, Evan!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

baby mine

I sang "you are my sunshine" to Joshua a million times when he was a baby. We used to sing it every single day as the last lullaby before leaving his room at bedtime. Since Evan has been here we haven't been singing quite so often at bedtime. It's kind of been a rush to get Joshua to bed before Evan starts crying, since thats been his fussy time.

Anyway, since "Sunshine" is Joshua's song, I wanted to pick a different song for Evan. What I came up with is "Baby Mine," the lullaby from Dumbo. Here's a nice version sung by Bette Midler.