Everyday lives of the Meabon Household

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Harper - Final months as a One Year Old

Looking very "Edith Bouvier Beale/Grey Gardens"
It's amazing the way my little Squirrel is growing up!  She has really transformed over the last couple of months.  Since we own a baby book but I have yet to fill out one page, I guess my kids will have this blog as their baby book so I'm trying to make sure to document all of the little details.   Details about my almost (gulp!) two year old:

- Her vocabulary has really taken off.  She's saying mostly two and three word phrases and is a little parrot these days.  We have to watch what comes out of our mouths! 

- The Squirrel is still pretty timid when it comes to groups.  If we're with a group for over a few hours, it doesn't take her long to warm up but she stays pretty quiet and close to one of us otherwise.

- Harper loves to do "roll call" with anyone in her presence.  She likes to name off who's in the room, at the table, in a picture, well you get the idea.  She's also figured out that some people have more than one name so she occasionally refers to Mommy and Daddy as Brooke and Jared.  I think this is hilarious but Jared is appalled.

- Harps knows all of her basic colors, her letters - both upper and lower case, and her numbers 1-10.  She can count to ten but occasionally skips six and nine.  Ten is always said with A LOT of enthusiasm.  No, I am not one of those mother's that bought the "Teach Your Baby To Read" videos.  She's just really into letters and numbers and has pretty much taught them to herself.  Instead of coloring, she likes to have someone sit with her and randomly draw letters so that she can name them.  Her favorite letters are H, N and M.

- The Squirrel sings!  She's a big fan of the ABC song, Oh I Know (insert any name), Twinkle Twinkle and Happy Birthday.

- Harps is taking gymnastics and now likes to perform her gymnastics feats around the house.  These include lifting her leg, holding her arms out to her sides, doing donkey kicks and assisted forward rolls.  Unfortunately, I think my daughter has inherited her mother's grace and coordination (or lack there of) so I don't think the Olympics are in her future.  She's also started leaping off of anything - chairs, ottomans, boxes - so when you hear her saying "onnnneeee, ttwwwwwooooo, tttthhhrreeeee!" it means you better be ready to catch her. I'm not so thrilled about this new trick.

- She's gotten very affectionate.  Harper will request hugs and kisses throughout the day.  She's also figured out that if we're doing something that she's not super excited about (like putting on sunscreen), she'll throw her arms around my neck and say, "HUGS!" which temporarily stops the unwanted action.

- Whoa does this girl like to dress up!  You've seen the life jacket pictures but she loves an accessory - hats, bracelets, shoes, necklaces, headbands.  You name it.  Her current obsession is her swimming goggles which were worn all day yesterday, including music class.   

- Harps loves her stuffed animals and dolls.  She likes to move them from room to room....all of them!  But I am a little honored - her doll previously known as Baby is now Baby Brooke.  

- And the child is a product of her generation.  She is 100% proficient on the iPad.  I've created a page of apps just for her.  She knows that she can only use my iPad while I'm feeding her brother so anytime feeding Harris is brought up, the immediate response is "iPad!"  I did research on the best educational apps for kids and they must be paying off because she learned a lot of her ABC's and counting knowledge from the apps.

Lake LBJ 2012

We just got back from another great Lake LBJ trip with the Boswells.  Harper and Harris were so spoiled by their relatives that they didn't know what to do with themselves.  They were both so much fun to be around on the trip.  Harper was loving being the center of attention and Harris was full of smiles and laughs.  I will say that this is the first trip to the lake where we've had a fully functioning toddler and I realize that, as a mother, moving forward I will always have that slight edge of nervousness around bodies of water with my children.  

Harper liked the boat but it completely wore her out each time she went out so she had some heavy duty naps.  The best call we made was buying a baby pool.  Harps swam a little in the lake but she spent hours playing in the baby pool right next to the lake - busy, busy, busy.  She was also OBSESSED with the swing.  All week we heard, "wing, wing, wing".  And of course, being the lover of transportation that she is, boats and jet skis were a huge hit.  She'd sit on the deck and watch boats all morning.  We're already counting down the days for next year!

And a big thank you to Honey for being the photographer.  I didn't even touch my camera since I had babies in my arms most of the time we were there!


Elena, Harps and Lily watching the boats

Keeping an eye out for those boats

Harper LOVES her Uncle Brentie

Cito with Ashley and Bobby

The family - a few members short this year

The Elder and The Younger

Reading under a blanket fort

Honey and Grandy with four of their six grandkids

Monday, June 18, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Keep up the good work Mr. Meabon! We love you!

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Swaddle/Paci Dilemma

Sometimes I get an idea in my head and I think I need to make it work come hell or high water.  We never swaddled Harper.  We couldn't with her omphalocele.  But Harris was swaddled by the nurses in the hospital.  They taught us the art of the swaddle...and believe me, there is an art to it...so Harris was swaddled to go to sleep.  However, the kid was very specific about his swaddle.  It had to be two blankets, at least one flannel and had to be TIGHT.  If you got him wrapped up right, he was good for the night.  Unfortunately, I was the only one in my household who could properly swaddle the child without him coming out within 10 minutes.  This meant either I'd have to be available for naptime and bedtime each night or I'd be the one paying for the bad swaddle with a sleepless night or napless day. Now that I'm putting this in writing, maybe the "lack of being able to swaddle" was a bit intentional.  Hmm....

Anywho, I talked to my pediatrician about the swaddling and she said it was good for the first 6 weeks or so.  I read elsewhere that babies should be unswaddled by 3-4 months.  Therefore in my mind, this swaddle habit needed to be broken the day Harris hit 3 months.

Harriacito had also gotten into the habit of being pacifier dependent.  Listen, I'm all for a paci.  Heck, if you'll remember Harper just got rid of her's a month ago.  I struggled through the few months with Harper of getting up in the middle of the night to replace the paci back in her mouth so she would go back to sleep but when you have two kids to chase after and a nap for mom is a rare luxury in this house, the middle of the night trips to replace the paci for kid #2 were turning into my own personal nightmare.  Something had to be done.

Now keep in mind that Jared travels often for work so any time I'm changing up a sleeping habit, I have to do it when he's out of town.  If our child is whimpering in the slighest, Jar's of the mind frame that he must be at their rescue.  He cannot, will not let his children cry.

So we went to Midland last weekend for a wedding.  I drove back with the kids and Honey while Jared stayed in West Texas for business.  So on Wednesday night as I was getting the Boy ready for bed, I decided it was the night for change.  I decided to go cold turkey on the swaddle and see what happened.

At 8pm, I put the boy down to bed.  It took him some time to get settled since he kept pulling his Wubbanub out of his mouth.  If you aren't familiar with a Wubbanub, it's a paci with an animal attached to it that balances perfectly on a swaddled child's chest, keeping the paci in the mouth.  I have been in love with the Wubbanub for the past 2.8 months since it allowed me to only get up 2-3 times per night to replace a paci as opposed to hourly.  He finally settled down. I gave him his dream feeding at 10pm and laid my sleeping baby down in his crib.  What the heck was I concerned about? This was the easiest process in the whole world!  The boy slept peacefully and quietly in his bed.....until midnight.  At that point, he started waking up hourly, needing his pacifier replaced, wanting to eat, wanting to be rocked.  It was horrific and at 7am the next morning, I sent out an S.O.S. via Facebook.  My post:  "Parent advice needed: trying to unswaddle Harris for sleeping. He's also a paciholic and needs a pacifier to be soothed back to sleep. Do I break the swaddle or the paci first? Any advice on either habit now being accepted."

Well, if you ever need parental advice and want a variety of answers, go to Facebook!  Twenty-five responses later and I made the decision to give the one arm swaddle a shot.  I still hadn't made any decisions on the paci but that could come later.

Jared got home from his trip on Thursday late afternoon, only to have to catch a 5am flight on Friday morning.  Needless to say, night #2 with a single arm swaddle resulted in zero sleep for either of us.  Not only was Harris not sleeping but Rooney decided to corner a possum in the backyard at 2am and have a dog version of a 'roid rage and Jared's alarm went off at 3:30am to catch his flight.  Jared was seriously questioning my parenting skills but I kept thinking, "three days to break a habit, three days to break a habit, three days to break a habit."

So night #3 rolls around and it was probably the worst of the three.  I started seriously questioning my parenting skills and had turned into the spawn of Satan at the same time (I don't function well on little sleep).  I wanted to rip that Wubbanub's face off and flush it down the toilet.  But I decided to give it one final try.  If it didn't work, we were going back to full swaddle and dammit, this kid would be swaddled until he was 18 years old.

And guess what???  HARRIS FOUND HIS THUMB!!!  I put him down on Saturday night.  As I was staring down the monitor I cringed as the pacifier came tumbling out of his mouth.  Sure enough, he shoved his hand in his mouth and started sucking away.  I went to sleep at 10:30pm and next thing I know, it's 6am and he was just waking up to eat.  Wahoo!!!!   Same goes for the last two nights as well so I'm really hoping we've got a new habit here.

Just don't remind me of this post in four years when we're desperately trying to break Cito from his thumb sucking habit!  Tonight, we're going full on sleep sack.  Wish us luck!

Happy Three Months Harris!

 At three months, the Boy is definitely moving out of the newborn stage and into the infant stage.
My photography assistant decided Ah-Ah needed to be in the picture

He's alert, ALL smiles and a happy baby.  Seriously!  Unless he's hungry, this kid has a smile plastered on his face.
The prevailing nickname these days is Cito, short for Harriacito.  I mean, we do live in San Antonio so he's bound to have some kind of Spanish name. 
Eating - nursing every 2-4 hours during the day.  Harris has a dairy intolerance so this momma has been dairy-free for about a month and a half now and I noticed an immediate difference. With dairy, Harris was pretty gassy and uncomfortable but since I eliminated dairy, he's been easy peasy.  And I do have to say that Jared and I have been eating super healthy due to the lack of dairy. I don't have the luxury of popping a pizza in the oven for dinner so it's forced me to really plan out our dinners.  Thank you Pinterest!
Sleeping - I need to do a whole post on the swaddle/pacifier situation in our house over the last week and a half but as of today, the Boy is in a sleep sack and sleeping from 8pm and waking between 4:45am and 6am to eat with a "dream feeding" at 10pm before I go to sleep.  

Activity - Harris is holding his head up for extended periods of time during tummy time and can roll from his stomach to his back and from his back to his side. He's starting to gain control of his hands and will swipe at the occasional toy. 

Etc. - The kid is a talker!  He loves to just sit and chat.  He's just become a thumb sucker in the last week, although he's been trying to suck on that hand since he was just a couple of days old.  

Happy Three Months Cito!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Bathing Beauties

Our summer plans most certainly involve the pool.

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My daughter is REALLY into transportation and building equipment these days.  Any type of plane, train or automobile will get her to squeal in delight.  Garbage trucks, school buses, city buses, pick up trucks, cement mixers, airplanes, helicopters, bicycles, motorcycles - you name it and she's excited about it.  I've never been much of a transportation girl myself.  You know, it's a piece of machinery that gets you from location to another.  And that's about all there is to it.  But something about seeing the delight on your child's face will cause you to embrace something you might never have before.

For awhile there, I thought Harper had Spidey-Sense hearing.  We'd be eating lunch and all of a sudden she'd exlaim, "Apeen, apeen!" (That's airplane for the novice transportation buff). I'd sit there thinking, "Child, you is CRAZY!  There's no airplane."  Sure enough, about 10 seconds later I, too, would hear the airplane.  Well, now that I've had my fair share of practice, it's amazing how I can hear an airplane and get so excited about it because I know that Harps will be excited about it.  I now know the difference between a bulldozer, an excavator and a farm loader.  I have been known to pull a U-ey in the middle of a crowded intersection so that we can stop and observe the fuel tanker at the gas station.  We've sat at the back of the grocery store just to watch a refrigerator truck back up to unload.  And the 5 o'clock news traffic helicopter that passes our house around 4:34pm everyday?  Don't even get me started!

Amazing how you find yourself learning something new with your child's growing interest.  Who knew transportation would ever be an area of expertise I could add to my resume?

Thumbs Up Thursday

Thumbs Up for Green Giant Carrot Crisps.  Over the last 6 months or so, the Squirrel has started becoming more.....let's say selective in her dietary intake.  She is adamantly opposed to most vegetables of any kind.  I've tried dipping sauces, I've tried hiding them in pasta, pot pies and casseroles, I've even mixed them up with fruits.  But my clever little munchkin see through all of my attempts - so much so that she will pick sand sized pieces of parsley off of her pasta before she eats it, saving herself the horror of ingesting something green.  She will, however, devour any size, shape or color carb set in front of her.  And let's be honest ladies, what female wouldn't down an entire bag of potato chips, a basket of warm restaurant rolls and a loaf of sourdough bread if we didn't have to suffer the consequences of cellulite?  

So while I was at CostCo the other day (on a side note: according to Jared, I am no longer allowed to go to CostCo by myself due to the random items that I buy in value sized portions), I came across Green Giant Carrot Crips.  Now here's a concept.  A veggie disguised as a carb.  Couldn't hurt to try them right?  

I get home, crack open a bag for me and a bag for the Squirrel.  I thought they tasted a bit like dried cardboard but guess what?  The girl devoured them!  And I will admit, the more I ate them, the more they grew on me.  So Thumbs Up for a veggie disguised as a carb!
I receive no compensation for these reviews.  I just like the products.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Safety first

With summer in full swing and our lake trip coming up, I pulled out Harper's lifejacket to get her use to it so we wouldn't be battling her when it was time to actually put it on. I've been talking about how beautiful it is and how much fun it is to wear a lifejacket. I must be really convincing because she now wants to wear her lifejacket throughout the day.

For safety purposes, a lifejacket should be worn:

- in the morning with a pajama top and a diaper.

- in the car while running errands.

- with sunglasses while picking out a snack.

- and while riding a pony.

It has also been worn to the store and during meals.

Follow Harper's safety precautions and you, too, can be safe in case of a flash flood in Texas during a drought.

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