Sierra’s Simchat Bat

Filed under: family,photos,video — by Lauren on December 30th, 2008 @ 10:51 pm

We had a Simchat Bat (a Hebrew baby naming ceremony) for Sierra this past Sunday, held at my parents’ house.  Lex both wrote and led the ceremony, and it was lovely.  We gave her the Hebrew name Shira Yael.  Many of our family members and friends were able to be there to celebrate with us.  We took many photos, but here are some highlights:

The ceremony:

Lex singing the song he wrote for Sierra:

Sierra in her pretty dress:

Sierra snoozing on Aunt Samantha:

The whole family:

Sierra snuggling in my new Moby wrap (a Hannukah gift from Papa Ducky and Grammy):

Happy (belated) Hannukah ’08!

Filed under: family,photos — by Lauren on @ 10:01 pm

It took me a while to get myself organized enough to post, but happy Hannukah a few days late!  We all gave and received many nice gifts and spent lots of quality time with our families, and, of course, the holidays were extra special this year because of our new arrival.

Lighting the candles the first night at Grandma and Grandpa’s house:

Anya liked helping Daddy light the menorah:

Lex and Anya enjoying Wii Music (thank you Papa Ducky and Grammy!):

What Sierra did throughout much of Hannukah:

Anya checking out her new train table:

Sierra was finally awake to light candles on the last night, so we grabbed the chance for a family picture:

Okay, I didn’t actually take this picture on Hannukah, but I had to post it anyway – Anya and Lex tested out the Wii fit tonight (Thanks Perets family!):

Anya: The Good and the Less Good

Filed under: baby's progress,funny,photos,the day-to-day stuff — by Lauren on December 29th, 2008 @ 11:51 pm

Anya is definitely two. She’s got all of the impish qualities mixed with the amazing sweetness and wonder that go with the age. Sometimes she makes me want to pull my hair out, but I can’t help loving her to bits.

She can be so polite when she wants to be, like when she and I crossed paths in the kitchen and she said, “Excuse me, Mommy!” She says please and thank you as well. Then other times she whines and whines and WHINES. She’ll burst into tears and throw tantrums when she doesn’t get her way, and you never know what will set her off. It’s like living with a very tiny teenager. Good times.

We’ve been having trouble getting her to listen to directions, and we count to three a lot. Luckily that works, because I’m not 100% sure what happens after three some of the time. Anya even earned her first time out last week. The infraction? Taking the remotes out of the family room into the playroom in order to bang them on the glass sliding doors.

A big issue has been a sudden increase in mouthing of objects (this started before Sierra was born, just FYI). It’s weird because Anya wasn’t a big mouther of toys as a baby and almost never put things in her mouth as a toddler. We’ve been handling it for the most part by giving one reminder and then taking the object away if she puts it in her mouth again. It’s helping get the message across, sort of.

One thing that has been much improved is nap time – Anya is finally going to sleep by herself again. We accomplished that with bribery. The deal we made is that Anya can watch a video in the afternoon if and only if she goes to sleep by herself. It only took one or two times of not earning her reward to get her back on track. Lately the only thing she wants to watch is Dora the Explorer. Maybe soon we’re going to try using the video reward to improve the waking up process. She is SO cranky after her nap, but perhaps Dora will help her snap out of it.

Anya is very funny when she watches Dora. She gets really excited about certain parts, especially Backpack and Map, and she participates a lot now. The other day she cracked me up because Dora asked where the ball was and Anya gleefully shouted, “It’s in your backpack, Dora!!!” She gets what the characters want her to do and often gives correct answers. She even told me that Dora was going to need a boat to get across the river before the characters got anywhere near the water. The one element of the show Anya really doesn’t understand is the last segment, when Dora asks what the audience’s favorite part was. Anya invariably answers, “Purple!” I very much enjoy watching her watch the show. We are thinking of taking her to see Dora Live! in March.

After Anya gets to see her Dora “bideo” she often spends the next 30+ minutes telling me about the episode and then acting out elaborate fantasies which usually incorporate parts of what she just watched. This kid just loves to pretend, and I think what she imagines is very real to her. A few weeks ago she brought me an empty gift bag and told me she had a present for me. That started a fun game of giving each other imaginary gifts. I had just given her a “snowman” when it was time for dinner, and she actually took the time to put her snowman on the couch before running off to the kitchen. Also, though she often “plays” with characters from her books and Dora or her LeapFrog videos, it seems she has her first imaginary friends of her own creation – two bears, Bearney the brown bear and Jack the blue bear.

Just a few other fun things:

Anya was sitting in her high chair eating some tomatoes, and I heard her say to herself, “What letter does tomato start with? Tomato starts with T!” It turns out she can do that with a lot of words. Who knew?

I was reading Mister Dog (a DUMB book, by the way) to Anya, and when I mentioned the author, she said, “Margaret Wise Brown? Just like Goodnight Moon!”

Anya knows her politics. She can tell you that “Bach” Obama is going to be the next president, Joe Biden the next VP, and Hillary Clinton the next Secretary of State. She’s a really big Obama fan. We were all hanging out in the family room and Lex and I realized she was saying “That’s Barack Obama!” over and over again. It turns out she had found one of Lex’s magazines and had correctly identified a picture of him. Lex was given a book about Obama for his birthday and I let Anya look at it while I combed her hair yesterday. She was in heaven – “That’s Barack Obama, and THAT’S Barack Obama!”

BAD Night

Filed under: family,the day-to-day stuff — by Lauren on December 26th, 2008 @ 5:06 pm

We have a new rule for our house:

No one may go to sleep until Sierra has pooped.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Sierra started holding it in after lunch and then 2 feedings later needed her clothes changed after the inevitable deluge could not be contained by her diaper. Gross, but no big deal. Babies produce a lot of laundry anyway.

Last night, Sierra closed up shop after 5 pm. At 11 pm, there still wasn’t any output, but she seemed perfectly content. Breastfed babies vary when it comes to how often they go, so though I set up our room with extra pjs just in case, we went to sleep without concern

Sometime after 4 am, Sierra woke up screaming. SCREAMING. Changing her diaper and attempting to feed her made her even madder. I was pretty sure I knew what was bothering her, but if I tried bicycling her legs or massaging her belly she would cry even harder. It was such an awful cry, too, so obviously one of pain. When we couldn’t do anything to soothe her, Lex and I resorted to the Q-Tip & Vaseline method to get Sierra going. Three diapers and 1 changing pad cover later, Sierra was able to nurse long enough to fall into a fretful sleep on my shoulder, requiring that I pat her back every few minutes when she started to fuss. There she stayed until Anya came into our room crying at 6 am.

Anya did not feel that she required any more sleep and alternated between whining for various things (I’m “tirsty”!) and playing loudly while running back and forth between our room and hers. Sierra, not to be outdone, promptly started screaming again. After several more Q-Tips, this time wisely administered over one of Charlie’s puppy pads, her tummy issues seemed to be resolved, but by that point she was so worked up that she continued to scream anyway.

Anya came in and sweetly yelled, “I want to help Baby Sister feel all better!” Sierra, clad only in a diaper, replied, “Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!” I swaddled her tightly, turned her on her side, got her paci in her mouth, and started jiggling her on my lap. Lex got both of our laptops and blared the pink noise. Within 10 minutes she was finally calm enough to eat a good amount, and then she slept soundly for a blissful 90 minutes. Note to Dr. Harvey Karp and his 5 S’s method – WE LOVE YOU! Note to Sierra – BETTER OUT THAN IN!

I bet Papa Ducky and Grammy, who arrived for a visit from Tucson last night, are at least regretting not having brought ear plugs on their trip. Sierra has been feeling better so far today and going regularly, although it’s been a few hours now… I hope we have enough Q-Tips.

Sierra’s 2 week well-check

Filed under: baby's progress,doctor — by Lauren on December 22nd, 2008 @ 3:25 pm

Sierra had her appointment at the pediatrician this morning. She weighed 8 lbs, 11.5 oz and measured 21 1/2 inches long. Those were Anya’s stats at birth 🙂 She only gained 4.5 oz in 9 days, but the doctor said he isn’t worried about that yet. According to the nurse’s measurement, Sierra grew 2 1/2 inches in 2 weeks, which isn’t likely. The nurse said the hospitals never measure accurately. Clearly someone somewhere made a mistake!

The doctor treated Sierra’s belly button with silver nitrate because it’s still bleeding slightly and scabby in the place where the cord had been. Other than that and a good case of baby acne on her forehead and around her nose, she’s doing fabulously! She will start taking vitamin D drops soon. We go back for another well visit in 2 weeks.

Yay for Playtex, Melissa & Doug, and Fisher-Price

Filed under: the day-to-day stuff — by Lauren on @ 3:14 pm

It often pays to call customer service when you have an issue with a product.

I called Playtex this morning because Lex inadvertently threw out the bottom of our original twistaway Diaper Genie when he emptied it the other day. I had called to see if I could purchase a replacement part, and was told that regrettably that part was not available, so instead, they are sending me a FREE Diaper Genie II (which is way easier to use than the one we have) and coupons to buy the liners. I just have to send back the safety latch from the old one in the prepaid envelope they will send with the new Diaper Genie. I had no expectation of getting something for free – after all, it was our fault the one we had was now broken – so I was very pleasantly surprised when the woman said she was going to have a new one sent to us. It should arrive in 4-5 business days, but it will probably be delayed a bit because of the holidays.

I’ve had very good experiences recently with Melissa & Doug as well as Fisher-Price. Anya had gotten a Melissa & Doug sound puzzle as a birthday gift that would spontaneously make noise (which was especially bothersome at 4 am). I called to see if I could send the puzzle back in exchange for a new one, and the company let her keep the broken one (which we use without batteries now) and sent her a different one to replace it. She also got a Big Sister Dora doll for her birthday, and the doll was stuck in test mode, so it kept playing the same annoying phrase over and over again. I called Fisher-Price to see if they could help me fix it over the phone, and when they couldn’t, they offered me the choice of sending me a replacement doll or a voucher for a new toy. I wanted the doll since Anya liked it so much, but it’s been discontinued so instead they sent me the voucher AND let her keep the doll, which we have since figured out a way to fix! I feel bad about that so I haven’t done anything with the voucher. I love when companies have good customer service! Kudos to these companies!

Is this blog jinxed?

Filed under: thoughts — by Lauren on December 21st, 2008 @ 11:17 pm

When Sierra was 1 week old I posted about how she only slept at night if held, and the following night she started sleeping 4 hour stretches in the Co-Sleeper. Yesterday I wrote about how she is pretty easygoing, and then she had an extremely cranky evening and a difficult night, most of which was spent in my lap. I also said I thought we’d start her in size 1 diapers when we ran out of newborns, and today Lex had to go get another package of the little ones. What gives? Is it just that the opposite of what I write has to come true? In that case, I’m not at my pre-pregnancy weight yet, gas prices are on the rise, and I don’t have ten million dollars.

Sierra is two weeks old!

Filed under: baby's progress,video — by Lauren on December 20th, 2008 @ 9:09 pm

Sleepy Sierra is 2 weeks old today!  Her days pretty much consist of nursing, needing new diapers, and sleeping a lot, though every day she spends more time awake.  When she’s awake, she loves to look around, be held, and hang out on her playmat.  I’m enjoying telling myself her sweet little smiles are real, though I know better. She has been working hard on improving her head control as well as getting her hands into her mouth, which makes getting her to latch on a bit of a wrestling match at times.  She’s still a generally content, easygoing baby, though it’s possible we’re starting to see a witching hour emerge.

It’s not a very exciting video, but hey, she’s only two weeks old!

Sierra’s next well check up is on Monday; I’m curious to see how much she’s grown.  She still seems tiny to me (at least compared to how I remember Anya being at this age), but I think she may have gotten a little taller and she must have gained weight, given her fondness for eating.  We will probably move her into size 1 diapers when we use up the remaining newborn diapers we have.

Some pics of Sierra

Filed under: photos — by Lauren on December 19th, 2008 @ 10:56 pm

Hanging out on her blanket:

Snoozing with Mommy:

Sleeping on Daddy:

Anya’s Hannukah Party

Filed under: Anya,photos,school,video — by Lauren on @ 8:17 pm

Yesterday Anya’s class had a party for Hannukah, and the parents were invited to attend. There were cookies and latkes which the kids helped make, and they put on a little performance of some Hannukah songs. Anya has been singing the songs (loudly and repeatedly) to us for the last two weeks, but the poor kid is still so shy around strangers and in big groups that she wasn’t too eager to sing along with all of the parents watching. I have about 6 minutes of video of her sitting in her chair smiling quietly, but here’s a bit of her participating:

Having fun:

Enjoying Hannukah treats with Mommy:

What present did Anya get from the grab bag?

A DORA book!!!  And not just any book – it’s the one WE brought in!

Editor’s note – Lex would like to remember Anya actually singing the songs, so here’s another short clip:

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