Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Joshua and I made an eruption (sans volcano) out of baking soda and vinegar.  He was super excited about it!

I had never done this before so I think my proportions were off, but it was still cool.

What we did:
Emptied out a 20 ounce gatorade bottle. Filled it most of the way with hot water. Put in several teaspoons of baking soda. Poured in some vinegar and then watched it erupt.

Then we added more baking soda and more vinegar. And more baking soda and more vinegar. And more baking soda and more vinegar.

I bought two more boxes of baking soda the last time I went to the grocery store so we can do it again. And again. And again.

big helper

Since Evan refused the past few bottles he was offered, and since I'm with him all the time basically, I kind of gave up trying to give him bottles.  Therefore, I've been the only one able to feed him.

Until now.

Check out my big helper!

Joshua absolutely adores Evan and is so excited to be able to help out. I love how much they love each other.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

f-stop, iso, and a cute baby

I've had this Canon Rebel XS EOS (or whatever) for, like, 2 years and I don't know how to take a picture with it unless it's in fully automatic mode.

Single Dad Laughing's brother is posting weekly about how to work a camera and so I thought I'd try out the f-stop, shutter speed, and iso stuff he wrote about. 

Well, without a tripod, shutter speed was just gonna have to stay what it is - quick.

But I did mess around with the f-stop and iso. I don't know that what I ended up with is any better than what it would have been on full auto, but hey, it's a first step into taking charge of my camera and at least I can say, I did that!
Not quite right

sweet potatoes

A couple days ago, Evan tried sweet potatoes.

I'm not quite sure how he liked them.

fun with water balloons

I was at Walgreens to buy Father's Day cards and they had a whole bunch of water balloons we couldn't resist.  Joshua couldn't wait to try them out.  As soon as we got home, we found a pail, filled up some balloons and he got to popping them.

I wasn't sure how well he'd like them since we weren't playing any games or anything, but he loved them. He popped them by stomping them. He popped them by throwing them. He popped them by squeezing them.

Definitely a hit for a warm afternoon.

Monday, June 25, 2012

watercolor resist

I remember doing something like this back in elementary school.  Thought we'd try it here at home.

First, color a picture using crayons.
Next, use watercolors and paint over it.
Tada! Cool effect.

Joshua really enjoyed it.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

party time

Joshua's birthday party is scheduled for August 12th and he has decided upon, surprise, surprise, a Halloween theme.

I think we'll have it at our house.

Ideas for the spooktacular party:
1. Rent a bounce house.  The castle one. Because castles are spooky, you know.
2. Blow up the "family fun" swimming pool I bought a couple weeks ago. Maybe get some dry ice for it. (is it safe for dry ice to be in contact with skin?)

The combination of these two ideas may not be the best.  I can just see slippery bodies running into each other and getting hurt in the bounce house.

3. Water balloons in black, orange, green, purple.
4. Spin art in black, orange, green, purple. The results kind of resemble spider webs.
5. Halloween printables to color with crayon and then watercolor. (Joshua liked the resist artwork we did.)
6. Bubbles.
7. Ghost pinata.
8. Plant your own pumpkin.

Thoughts on food:
1. Pizza (easier than bbq'ing)
2. breadsticks formed in the shape of bones with marinara blood dipping sauce
3. green jello with worms (gummy) and eyeballs (also gummy) in it.
4. cake

Things about Halloween that Joshua likes:
1. witches
2. ghosts
3. zombies
4. mummies
5. pumpkins
6. bats
7. spiders
8. frankenstein
9. werewolves
10. vampires

If anyone reading this has any ideas, post a comment! If you've been to a Halloween party that had something cute, let me know! I am especially lacking in the food area.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

my new plan

Since I know that letting Evan cry is really not an option, neither in my room nor Joshua's, and nursing him every time he wakes is just plain exhausting, I have a new plan. 

I don't know how well it will work, but I think it's worth a try.

The plan:
Any wakings prior to midnight will not be met by the boob*.
Any wakings less than 3 hours from the last feed will not be met by the boob*.

*If attempts to calm crying baby are unsuccessful in the first five minutes (which are like a lifetime in the middle of the night), it is okay to offer the boob.

If baby is calm but awake and falls into these categories, only rocking/bouncing and other non-boob techniques shall be used.

(Last night he woke at 1:30=nurse, 2:30=rock/sway, 4:40=nurse and it worked well. And I feel less tired.)

While both nursing and rocking require me to be awake (I can't nurse while laying down), rocking generally only takes a maximum of 10 minutes while nursing is closer to 20 minutes. Why don't I alway rock him, you ask. Well, because it's harder to calm him down that way. Popping the boob in the mouth is like a miracle cure for crying baby.

But's it's a miracle cure that isn't helping us to get sleep around here.

I'm hoping that as we move away from nursing during the night, he'll have less reason to need me when he wakes.  I'm hoping.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

how is it possible?

Before Evan, everyone said that if I were to have another, they'd be different, the next one will sleep.

Well, they are different. And the next one sleeps WORSE!

To be fair to Joshua, once he figured out how to go longer than 2 hours, he was going 10-12 hours at night. That started at about 3.5 months and lasted about 2 months. Then he got sick and we had to do breathing treatments all day and all night. And that lasted, like, 9 months. We had to "ferberize" him on multiple occasions (the revised waiting approach, not just cry-it-out). We've had good and bad patches. Right now (like, for the past month or so) he has regularly been sleeping from bedtime until morning with no calls for me. Most nights. Not all.

And then there's Evan. He was so quick to go from nursing every 2 hours to 3-4 hours at night, I was sure people were right and I had a sleeper. But then, he reverted back to waking every couple hours. He's nearing 6 months and last night was up 4 times.

I've read a lot of books on sleep. A LOT. Ferber, Sears, Brazelton, Babywise, No-Cry Sleep Solution, and on and on. There is no real answer. Ferberizing isn't really an option since Evan doesn't have his own room, and so I "parent" back to sleep (nurse, rock, bounce, sssshhh). And I'm wearing thin.

Sorry to post about sleep again, but I'm the kind of person whose outlook on life is quite dependent on sleep. So, it's constantly on my mind.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

the many faces of Joshua


Last year we rented a motorhome and spent two days at Yosemite Lakes joined by Brian's family and then two days at Bass Lake on our own. It was fun so we decided to do it again. Only this year was different. The biggest difference being that this year we had a five month old with us.

Monday, the 4th of June, was a hectic day. I had to meet a bunch of inspectors and contractors for work that morning. When I was finished, I took Brian and Joshua to pick up the RV. Brian hadn't been feeling well the past few days and when he couldn't reach our doctor, went to urgent care, leaving me with the two boys to pack up the motorhome.

Joshua was super excited and started grabbing stuff from the house. Instead of filling up the motorhome with random items, I had him unpack the bags that I had prepared. So, Joshua was in charge of packing the motorhome. And I couldn't find my tank tops all week.

We didn't end up leaving Santa Cruz until nearly 7 pm. Fortunately, we had had the foresight to make a reservation at San Luis Reservoir for that first night and therefore only had about two hours to drive. When we arrived at San Luis, both Brian and Joshua were amped, but Evan needed to go to bed so the two big boys watched a movie in the cabover while i got Evan to sleep in the bed.

The next morning, we headed to Camp Wishon. The drive there took nearly 6 hours due to some unforseen stops. When we finally arrived, Brian's mom and stepdad (henceforth referred to as Nana and Papa) were already there. My parents (Rebbie and Grandaddy) drove up to have dinner with us.

The next day we went on a walk up the river with our fishing poles. No one caught anything, but we had a good time. Brian's sister and brother-in-law (Lisa and Mike) arrived that afternoon and we all had dinner together before Lisa and Mike left.

That night, Evan was awake virtually every hour.

The next morning, Nana and Papa left and we were planning on staying one more day and leaving the next morning.  With no help, and me on little sleep, we decided instead to make the trek home that day.

It was fun but so much work trying to camp with a little baby. Next year will be easier, hopefully!

Also, I didn't get many pictures. Hopefully Nana will email some of the ones that were taken with her camera.

snail house

We have countless snails at our house. Joshua hasn't ever really ever taken notice of them.  Then today we were at a friend's house and Joshua and Grace found a snail that Joshua decided he wanted to keep as a pet. We put it in a bucket and went on with our play. When we went back for it, it, of course, had slithered away(do snails slither? they don't really crawl, do they?).

No worries! We have a plethora of snails to choose from at home.

As soon as we got home, we went to work making our snail house. I found an old applesauce container, peeled off the label and washed it up. We collected some leaves and sticks and even an unripe walnut.  Then we looked behind a bush and found seven snails, four of which have become our pets. 

Right now the lid is some saran wrap with some holes poked in it.  When Brian gets home, I'm going to have him punch some holes in the actual lid so we can seal it off but hopefully keep the snails breathing.


nearly finished product

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Bubble painting

Taking an idea from Housing A Forest again, Joshua did some bubble painting.

First, I mixed some dishsoap and water and Joshua added some food coloring. Then we took straws and blew bubbles in the soap, popped the bubbles onto the paper, and voila, art!

When blowing got tiresome (Joshua got a mouth of soap twice), we decided to try painting with the mixtures.

This was quite messy but tons of fun and held Joshua's interest for over an hour.

Here are a few of the finished masterpieces:

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.

We didn't have any plans for today, except that Brian had to leave for work around noon.

Yesterday, Joshua said he wanted to get a game for Daddy. So we went to the toy store and he picked out a silly game called "Shakin Bacon." It actually seemed perfect since both he and Brian are big bacon fans.

Then he saw some movies and decided he should pick one for Daddy.  I tried to talk him into Scooby-Doo: Camp Scare because that's Brian's favorite Scooby-Doo (and since Brian is the one who started Joshua on the Scooby-Doo in the first place, it's fitting),but Joshua wanted Scooby-Doo: Legend of the Phantosaur. We ended up with the Phantosaur.  Which we then had to watch right when we got home.

After watching it to be sure it was okay, we wrapped up both presents and signed the cards we bought.

Then this morning Joshua came into our room all excited for Brian to open everything.

The boys played the game and watched the movie while I made breakfast of bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, and biscuits and gravy.

Then we said goodbye to Daddy who headed off to work.

I cheated

The plan was to wait six months before giving Evan solid food.  Six months of just breastmilk.

We made it five months and eighteen days.  I say, close enough!

We chose rice cereal since rice is pretty innocuous.  Here's how it went in pictures:


Now the plan is to stick with rice cereal for the next week or so before adding another food (I'm thinking sweet potato), which we will do for another week before adding another food, and so on. With the history of allergies in Brian, we just want to take it slowly and be safe.