Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Sunday, October 28, 2007

This weekend was wonderful, Kyle watched the kids Saturday morning and I got to escape for a couple hours for bookclub. It was marvelous. Then we were off to a small hike & the beach with some friends. In the afternoon I took annika to the library with me while Saben napped & found some new fun books to read. I can't believe what a difference it makes to have something interesting to do while I am nursing. It lifted my spirits immediately. We made a great dinner and Annika even went to bed by 9:30 pm which is early these days.

Kyle brought Annika to me for feeding at 2am both mornings when she woke up, which is such a luxury. Usually I don't make him get up because he has such a hard time going back to sleep. Then at 9:00am I put Annika down on her bed with a pacifier...and she slept 3 hours! I got to dig in the garden all morning and was sooooo happy. We placed a bunch of boulders that have been sitting around for a month and I moved some plants around to new homes. Things were already getting too crowded out there so I thinned things out a bit.

Then this afternoon Annika fell asleep nursing & napped again for another 1.5 hours! I got the kitchen cleaned and even took a shower! Miracles for sure, who knows what goes on with her. Well she's yelping now (she literally sort of sounds like a seal) so I better go rescue her from her exersaucer.

This whole week should be great, my mom is taking Saben for a couple days, then Halloween... yipee!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Annika regressed yet again in her sleep habits this week. Back to no napping. 3 hours trying to get her to GO TO SLEEP. Waking up after 10 minutes 3 times in a row. 11pm bedtimes & 2am wakings. (or 8pm bedtime & 10:00 pm wakings) Which is not bad unless your infant has been sleeping from at least 9pm to to 5am for 6 weeks. Its the sudden changes that really get you. You spend hours trying to figure out...WHY?? What did I do that suddenly changed everything?

She was doing so incredibly awesome last week, even napping better than ever before. I remember starting to feel like just maybe I was going to get a little bit of my life back. That was what made it especially hard, feeling like we were back at the beginning again after making so much progress.

When I write it down it doesn't seem so bad, but in the moment I get pretty frustrated. I look forward so much to naptimes & bedtimes and when neither one happens in the same day...for four days in a row....its disappointing to say the least.

I always feel so guilty complaining because I always think of others who have ridiculously difficult babies. The ones who wake every hour all night long, scream constantly or have some high maintenance illness. I have none of those things and seriously question maintaining my sanity if I did.

Yes, Annika has some definite tough tendencies between nursing issues & the sleep problems, but nothing outrageous. I decided this week though that I am done feeling guilty - it is a tough job sometimes and its ok to admit that as long as you don't lose perspective.

And I'm not sure why, but nothing makes me feel better than occasionally hearing another mom admit that it is or was tough for her too. That everyone's not all super moms who never get tired and cranky. So maybe this post will encourage someone else in the same way.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


In bed last night, I was thinking about how everybody keeps a different part of their lives private. We all have something about ourselves that we don't talk about easily, but it fascinates me how different this thing is for everyone.

Blogs especially illuminate this because you may think you know all about someone based on their blog, only to find out they were struggling with something that they never wanted to share on their blog. Or there's a part of themselves they are more uncomfortable talking about.

It reminds me of a quote by Thomas Friedman I loved when he was talking about the middle east

"After the kidnappings began in Beirut, I aquired a healthy respect for how little I had really penetrated the place. I gained an equally healthy respect for the notion that the real story is often found not in the noise but in the silence - and that is why it is so often missed."

No real point to this (I'm not looking for everyone to start guessing my hidden secrets!), just what I was mulling over this morning while drinking my latte and the "coffee" that Saben keeps bringing me in his stacking cups.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Our Life

6:30 am - Annika awakes and I bring her to bed to nurse, fall back asleep after 30 minutes or so
7:30 - Saben wakes up, Kyle gets up with him
8:00 - Kyle goes to work & I get up, hopefully Annika is still asleep in bed
8:00 - 9:30 Eat breakfast, play with Saben (one on one time), clean kitchen, get Saben dressed, shower, general tidying, etc
9:30 - 10:15 Annika wakes up, get her dressed & nurse her again
10:15 Go to playgroup, library time, mops, gym time or children's museum, or run errands, depending on the day. Annika takes a 20-45 minute nap in the carseat or baby bjorn.
12:00 Nurse Annika again & try to get her to nap.
1:00 Eat lunch with Saben (sometimes nursing & lunch are reversed if Annika can handle it)
2:00 Get Saben down for his nap
2:30 - 4:30 Naptime!! (Ideally...but VERY often Annika is awake by 3pm or I'm still trying to get her to sleep & finally give up) get dinner prepped, clean house, do laundry, make phone calls, check email & maybe relax for a tiny bit.
4:30 Nurse Annika again, play with her (one on one time)
5:30 Start cooking dinner
6:00 Kyle home, eat dinner
7:00 Get Annika ready for bed & nurse her again while Kyle does the dishes & plays with Saben. 7:45 Kyle get Saben ready for bed, I'm still nursing Annika (She likes to nurse an hour for the last two feedings of the day)
8:00 Ideally, both kids are in bed for the night. Realistically Saben often isn't done till 8:30 or later, Annika often takes two hours to get down (9pm)
9pm Head out to the hot tub & relax in peace & quiet .... unless the college kids are having a party
9:30 Watch a movie or Seinfeld
10:30 Go to bed

So I spend 3-5 hours a day just nursing Annika, which is normal, but still takes a lot of time! I squeeze all personal hygeine, daily activities (dishes & endless tidying) and weekly chores (laundry, bills, cleaning, blogging, relaxing, gardening) into 3 1/2 hours a day maximum. (sometimes more like 1 1/2 hours)

Don't think I posted this because there is anything particularly interesting or astonishing about our schedule, I just wanted it for posterity and so that any blog stalkers would know where to find us during the day.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Annika Turnovers

Annika just turned tummy to back for the first time ever- five times in a row! Apparently its pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Maybe she would have done it sooner if mommy hadn't been avoiding tummy time because last time (and several times previously) it made her vomit all over her pretty little playmat.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Most joyful moment: Waking up with Annika snuggled against my side (I must admit - sort of in my armpit), sleeping soundly

Annoyed moment: The way buses are "allowed" to just pull out in front of you as long as they think you have time to stop. This was an empty bus pulling out of a parking lot, not a full one at a bus stop. I had to brake relatively hard. Why don't buses have to wait their turn like everyone else?

Funniest moment: Saben singing "twinkle twinkle little star (and moon)" with a wooden block pressed into his eye socket. Then he handed me one & said "Here's your pingle" and made me put it in my eye too. And sing with him. Apparently the moon was feeling pretty left out that it did not get it's own song, so Saben always adds "and moon" to "twinkle twinkle little star (and moon)".

Cutest Moment: Saben & Audrey talking on the phone. Saben discussed the fireplace he was building out of railroad tracks while Audrey simultaneously told him about her toothbrush and mommy's makeup. Adorable....

The elusive smile

A few pics where Annika isn't quite so shell shocked by the flash. Its so hard to take pictures where she is smiling!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

Saben - 2 1/2 years

I've realized lately that Saben does so many quirky, funny things that I don't even remember to record them all anymore. So here's a little list in honor of him turning 2 1/2 a couple weeks ago.

  • Every time I put Saben to sleep, I lay in his bed and sing "Jesus Loves Me" and "Amazing Grace" (1, 2 & 3rd verses). Sometimes Saben sings along and that is my favorite thing ever. He knows all the words to all 3 verses of Amazing Grace that we sing, even if he is mostly off key.

  • For a while now, Saben has liked to play this game where he says "I'm going to eat you" and then licks your face. He especially likes licking/sticking his mouth on our noses and he yells "gross!" before we even got a chance. He even grabs your face to hold it still while he does it.

  • Saben always goes to sleep with a glass of ice water.

  • Saben is madly, passionately in love with railroad crossings. (see below, it warranted a post of its own)

  • This summer, Saben started chasing Roxxy around & around the table with his big metal truck. She ran because he would ram her with the truck if she didn't. Then he'd scream at her if she went onto the grass or too far away. It was so loud when he got the truck going that we had to make a rule that he couldn't chase her while we were still eating dinner.

  • Saben is not to fond of insects. Lately he thinks everything is a bee & is going to bite him. We went to the park & saw dragonflies which he was terrified of. To try & calm him down I said "They won't bite you, they'll just kiss you!". So now he keeps telling everyone "The dragonflies kiss me!"

  • When Saben is afraid, he covers his eyes with his arm.

  • Saben's favorite meal is breakfast & he often eats two good sized bowls of cereal.
  • Saben is a chatter box, more than most kids we know. He often talks about trains, but also very random things. When a visitor comes over and walks in the door, he will often "break the ice" by saying something like "There's the light!" or some other mundane observation.
  • When Kyle tickles Saben they refer to it as "looking for crumb dumbs". Don't ask me, but Saben will point to his belly and say "There is a crumb dumb here" and then you have to tickle him there.

That's all I can think of right now....

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Naps, etc.

It's taken Saben 1 hour to fall asleep for his afternoon nap two days in a row. He just talks & talks, sings, kicks his legs, etc. Could he be outgrowing his afternoon nap? Someone please shoot me.

I also officially HATE potty training. It almost grosses me out more than anything else, although being puked on is no picnic. Poop in a diaper is ok somehow, but when its rolling around in underwear, on the floor, on feet.... YUCK. I so desparately wish I'd done it before Annika was born.

Ok, lets see, something pleasant that I do enjoy.... how about right now when both kids are asleep at the same time? And any evening I manage to get them both in bed by 8:30pm?

No really, good things this week....Saben did pee in his potty twice on Wednesday, for the first time ever. (forward...) Then Thursday was pee on carpet & ball of poop day. (and back again....)

He also has no cavities, which we discovered after our 2nd early morning trip to the dentist. On the first trip we scrambled around but got lost and were 15 minutes late so they cancelled our appointment after we'd sat there 15 minutes. Sounds innocent enough, but carefully orchestrating nursing times to prevent screaming, scrambling frantically with your kids to get somewhere by 8:30am and then having it all be in vain is quite frustrating. Tears were certainly shed but I did refrain from tearing out my hair. (which is falling out quite well on its own, thank you pregnancy hormones)

I feel like such a wuss because it all adds up to grumpy momma, but seriously, millions of moms do this (two kids at once) all the time. In fact many deal with way more than I do. So what's the use complaining?

railroad crossing

Here is the promised picture of Saben's drawing of railroad tracks & crossing....
The line across the railroad crossing pole is the "X" for the crossing sign, but he lines it up with the pole so you can't see all of it. And I forgot to label it. And the circles on the crossing arm are the "little lights" that are mounted on the arms. Funny huh?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Annika - 12 weeks

Wow, we are nearing that magic marker, the 3 month mark. Or 12-14 weeks, when everything supposedly gets much easier. Things have been a lot better the last couple weeks, although its still been exhausting at times.

Annika has been regularly sleeping about 9 hours straight for the last 2-3 weeks and it has been wonderful. I am nearly positive Saben didn't sleep through the night that quickly.

Her naps & nursing are still challenging, but she is taking more naps than she used to, as long as I stay home most of the day & put her down as soon as she shows signs of getting tired.

Unfortunately she is a lot less "flexible" than Saben was and being out & about is a pain. She does sleep in the car, but wakes up everytime we get out somewhere. Then the countdown starts, we only have 40 minutes or so before she'll want to nurse again & try to go back to sleep. If she isn't taking a long nap, she still nurses every couple hours during the day, but I guess that makes up for the 8-10 hour breaks at night.

But we did manage to eat in restaurants twice this week as a family with no major meltdowns and she just started getting interested in her toys. She likes kicking the rattles in her bouncy chair and she really likes the blue monkey in her baby gym. In fact she much prefers the blue monkey to either of the rattles. Maybe she'll be my little animal lover since Saben doesn't seem to be leaning that direction....

Ding Dings

Trains are pretty cool, but Saben's new passion is for ding dings. And big lights. Yes, that's code for railroad crossings. The ding ding is the arm that goes down. He often impersonates them, kicking his legs or moving his arms up and down and saying "ding ding ding".

Today he had a straw & a cup lid - the straw became the ding ding & the lid was the "big lights" (the black ones on the crossings) Pretty much anything that is straight becomes a ding ding. Sticks, bread knives, our tv antennas, the strings on my hooded sweatshirt, all have been moved up and down accompanied by "ding ding ding ding".

We went to the Model Train show at the Lynden fairgrounds this weekend and he loved it. He spent about 25 minutes standing in one particular spot watching the railroad crossing arms go down whenever the the electric train went by. Which happened every 30 seconds or so. So much for kids having a short attention span.

Saben can even draw ding dings. He's been able to do the train tracks for a while, but after watching me draw about 100 railroad crossings, he finally has it mastered. I'd post a picture but I'm too tired. Maybe later.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

My favorite things

My favorite baby products that I "found" this time around:

Bebe Au Lait nursing covers (aka Hooter Hiders) - I have absolutely loved having one of these, it makes it so much more relaxing to nurse in public places like restaurants, airplanes, etc. (The store I linked has free shipping, is mother owned, and has lots of cool products)

And Baby Legs as seen on Annika previously, so handy because you don't have to take them off to change diapers and keeps girls warm in all their cute dresses. Plus the patterns are adorable and remind me of the purple glittery pair I had when I was a kid. (The shop I linked is Kyle's cousin's online store - they have great shoes too!)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Trader Joes opened Friday and I missed it, I was out of town. Probably a good thing, I don't imagine dragging an infant & a 2 year old through throngs of rabid TJ fans would have been that fun. Maybe just sort of fun.

So we went Sunday and it was everything I had dreamed of, except that the parking lot suddenly looked way smaller and was completely full. My favorite part was the police car who had apparently been stationed by the store all weekend to keep an eye on everyone.

The best part for me was that this store had a bunch of favorites I haven't been able to find at the store in Everett. But now I am worried that maybe they just stock everything at first & narrow it down once they see what sells up here. So here's a plug for my favorites in the hopes that you go buy them so that this store will still carry them.

Dried Tart Montmorency Cherries - Excellent in oatmeal
Bagged Mache - a sweet, nutty salad green that is the nutritous equivalent of spinach (but tastier!)
Frozen chopped garlic cubes - perfect for quick stirfrys or for snacking on if you are Saben.
Pound Plus Bittersweet Chocolate Bars - excellent for baking these cookies and other goodies.


Can you guess what Saben's favorite part of the fair was?
(yes, I know it was a month ago, but how many times can I start posts by apologizing how late I am?)

Nope, no trains at the fair, was it the chickens? The huge draft horses? The miniature ponies? Maybe the cotton candy, snow cone, ice cream, funnel cake or pfeffejkes he ate? (yes, we go for the food all right. Now that I type it I can't believe how much food we bought and that doesn't include what we actually ate for lunch.)

Nope. The big moment when Saben shouted out with glee was when he spotted.... fireplaces. At the spa boothes. And everytime we went by he would yell again and demand to go see them. The good news is that we managed to finally pick out a hot tub while we were admiring the fireplaces and have been enjoying it in our backyard for the last couple of weeks.

So yes, Saben loves fireplaces & fires, second only to trains. He actually builds fireplaces out of his wooden train tracks & uses his blocks for firewood. I guess the next backyard purchase better be some sort of firebowl/chimnea.