Monday, August 31, 2009

Ready for this?

Ok, I have ALLL afternoon, both girls are sleeping, and the only housework I'm neglecting is dishes. So I'm dedicating the afternoon to Ketchup.
Coming up:
  1. Arianna is 6 months old!
  2. My new job
  3. Marissa is crazy! And staying dry for nap!
First up: Arianna turned 6 months old last Monday. I can barely believe it! It seems like she was just born! But she DEFINITELY isn't my baby anymore. I seem to have already developed "baby fever" and I think it's because she was only a "baby" for 4 months! Some of her accomplishements:
  • Roll any/all directions
  • Sit up completely unassisted for as long as she wants to
  • Go from sitting to crawling position unassisted
  • Go from crawling position to sitting up completely unassisted
  • Crawl FAST in the traditional crawling position (army crawling is SO last month!)
  • Pull up to her knees on the couch/chairs/toy piano unassisted
  • Pull up to standing on the couch/chairs/toy piano unassisted, and remain standing as long as she wants to (10 minutes today while I kept track)
  • Walk along the couch/toy piano to reach a toy she wants
  • Pass toys from hand to hand to mouth to hand, etc.
  • Pull up to standing in her crib
  • Give Mommy a heart attack 53 times a day
Her recent favorite spot is under the dining room table, where she attempts to crawl in/under/around/through the chair legs. I am grateful that she doesn't know how to pick up tiny crumbs yet, but they still stick to her hands because they're always wet from chewing on them. But she gets stuck under the chairs EVERY TIME, and I have to untangle her. She gets mad when she's stuck, and she gets madder when I untangle her because it's so hard to get her out of those positions without bumping her on something! I'm amazed she doesn't have a black/blue face all the time. She is A LOT tougher than Marissa ever was (or is now!). The other day, she pulled up to standing in her crib (she can't reach the top bar so I don't know how she has the strength to do it), then totally let go with both hands! She stayed up for about a second, then smashed face-first into the bars! When she gets hurt, she screams for about a minute, then moves on to try it again. I don't know how much more of this my heart can take! She also crawls down the entry hallway, and tries to get into all the shoes there and in the mudroom. It's so gross there, so I'm trying to figure out a way to block her from those areas without blocking everyone else, but they're not good "gate areas". So I don't know what to do!
She is still the happiest baby alive, and smiles any time she gets the chance. She loves to giggle, and especially likes to play rough like tickling and knocking her over. We started rice cereal about a week ago, and her first reaction was awesome: She lunged in to get the spoon with her mouth, before she even knew what it was! We knew she was ready, since she kept trying to get everyone's food while we were in NY, but I really prefer to wait until 6 months. She isn't eating a lot of it, but she's doing much better keeping it in her mouth already. We'll take things slowly, and maybe start veggies around 7 months. She actually managed to drink some water from a sippy cup the other day, so we'll keep working on that. She's still nursing a lot, which I love. More on that later. She is still staying up way too late most of the time, but every once in a while she'll be in bed around 9:30 and it gives me hope for the future! No matter what time she goes to bed though, she sleeps all night (if she wakes up, it's only once), and I usually have to wake her around 9. She'll sleep 12 hours straight if I let her. Such a dream baby!

Second: I am still working my part-time at-home job. If I didn't mention it, it's editing surveys from bank mystery shoppers. It's weird, but pretty easy. Last week, for training, I ended up having to go into the office for 2 hours everyday. My friend Susan graciously agreed to watch the girls (her daughter is 3 and is great friends with Marissa) while I worked. They originally wanted me for 4 hours each day, but I knew Arianna couldn't go that long without nursing (and she won't take a bottle, never has), so they were flexible with me. It was so weird for me to get up early, get us all ready, drop the girls off, and go to work! I knew they were having a great time, and I completely trust Susan, but I never thought I'd have a need for childcare while I worked. Marissa and Ingrid had the time of their lives all week. Each day she wanted to stay longer, instead of going home with me! But my favorite part about it all was Arianna. She was perfectly content to stay and play at their house (and apparently Ingrid LOVED having a baby around!). But each day, as I walked in the door to pick them up, she LUNGED out of Susan's arms to get to me! She buried her face in my shoulder for a minute, then immediately started pulling at my shirt! Now, there's no way she was starving for food, since I fed her the second before I left each day. But she just missed me! It was a weird thing for me, since I've barely ever left my girls for anything. But those few hours of work in an office were worth it just to see how much she missed me
Anyways, the training went fine, and they sent me home with "real" work this weekend. They said it would take about 5 hours, which is what I was hoping for (at least this weekend, since Dan was going to be away - I'm hoping for a lot more on regular weekends), but it only took me about 3. So either everyone else that does this same job inflates their time spent, or I was a lot faster than they are. It's easy though, and doesn't take a lot of thought. I couldn't have done it more carefully, but I was still worried that I finished so quickly! I'm not sure if I'll be able to do any during the week (since I need a few hours' worth to make it worth the half-hour drive over there to pick up/drop off), but I'll mostly be working over the weekends. The girls came with me this morning to drop off my weekend work, and Marissa did great waiting while I logged in and out of the computer. Unfortunately, Arianna screamed her head off hysterically the entire drive over there and back. I'm going to try to plan our drive there a little later next time, so Arianna can be napping instead of screaming!

Third: Marissa never stops cracking us up! Since we did a lot of driving when I was working last week, we hit a lot of traffic, and were almost always running late (I invented the phrase "two-kid-time-warp" - and I'm sure it gets exponentially worse with more kids!). Marissa is a (great) backseat driver, and multiple times said things like "Come on cars! Don't you know how to drive?" (not my favorite, we had a chat about how that was wrong, even if Mommy and Daddy say it, like she insisted - lol) and "Come on, red light!" She is also very observant, and continually surprises me by what's going on in her head. Yesterday, she commented on how the mouth on her Elmo chair looks like the same shape as our banana net on the counter, and she also spotted a "T" in the dirt near construction. The only "T" I saw was two pieces of concrete piled loosely in that shape. She knows basically all of the ABC's, and we're learning what sounds different words start with. I'm starting to feel guilty that we can't afford preschool for her this year, but I fully intend to work with her, since I have a Early Ed. degree anways! I'm also hoping to start up mini piano lessons with her sometime soon, since she's shown an interest in learning to play.
She doesn't have any potty accidents still. And she's been dry for nap for a while now, which really surprises me. I did some reading online, and it seemed like most kids weren't dry during sleeping til 4 or 5, but then some people didn't even know that kids didn't have to be night-trained too. She was also dry this morning, so we're really hoping to be able to stop buying expensive pull-ups!

Well, that's all. I'm putting pictures up on my Xanga and Facebook if you know me there.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Long trip, and ketchup

Well, I can't believe it's happened, but I've been too busy to post! I think it's been almost a month, and now there is just too much to catch up on. I know the grandparents are waiting for pictures, but I'll have to get to those another time. I know my time to blog today is short, so I'll go with bullets and some reminders of what to post when I find the time!
  • We went to NY to visit my parents, brother, and sister. We were there for a week, then Dan had to come home because he couldn't take any more time off work. But the girls and I stayed for another whole week, and drove back with my sister, who was coming out to visit us anyway on her way back to college. The girls and I were gone for 2 whole weeks, and I missed church for 3 weeks in a row! It was a really long time to be away (Marissa told me she missed her toys!), but it was such a fun trip! I was able to visit my parents' church and spend TONS of time with my grandparents, who I hadn't seen in way too long. I also ate a bunch of location-specific food items (I really missed spiedies, Perry's Mint Ting-a-Ling ice cream, my mom's Fudge Sundae Pie, and Nirchi's buffalo chicken pizza - YUM!), and got to swim in my old neighborhood pool that I practically grew up in. It was a great trip, even though my family wasn't able to take off work while we were there. Everybody loved the girls, the girls loved everybody, and were spoiled by all the wonderful things we did (and ate!).
  • While we were there, my sister cleaned out her closet and gave me a ton of clothes - fun! And we went shopping for the girls and got them a bunch of clothes they needed. I think Arianna will be just fine with her clothes for the cooler seasons, but I realized this morning that Marissa is still going to need some long-sleeve shirts and dresses. It's funny how you don't realize how much they've grown until you pull something out from their closet and just laugh at the size of it!
  • We went swimming a TON, but it was so frustrating for me! Marissa was a total wimp, and was just terrified of the pool. She refused to leave the steps most of the time we were there. By the time we left, she finally started blowing bubbles with her face in the water, and was brave enough to tilt her head back to get her hair wet. She actually jumped in to someone a few times one day, but I think the only reason she did that was because there was another 3 year old there who was wearing goggles and swimming underwater without any help at all! It inspired Marissa, and she got brave while wearing some floaties. But after that, she was back to her wimpy self. I know it's to be expected, especially since we don't have a pool out here, and she doesn't even take regular baths (she's always preferred a "shower"-type thing). But next summer, she'd better watch out - I'm going to teach her to swim if it's the last thing I do!
  • Arianna LOVED the pool. It was hysterical to watch her splash her hands like crazy, getting water all over her face, and grinning the whole time.
  • Dan and I went on a date to Red Lobster with a gift card we had left from our anniversary. It was SOOO yummy, and it was so enjoyable to eat a quiet meal by ourselves!
  • Rach and I went to a movie one night too. I had a free ticket, and it was fun to go out together!
  • I have a part-time, at-home job now. I kinda just started, and I'm still not sure how it's all going to work out. But a friend of ours kinda got my foot in the door, and it was an easy hiring process. It's basically editing surveys for mystery shoppers (that's the best way I can describe it), and it's really pretty easy. The only problem right now is I have to drive a half hour to pick up the materials, and drop them off the next day. That would not be too bad in itself, but I also have to meet with somebody while I'm there to go over some of the edits on the surveys, so I can't just leave the girls in the car. I'm trying to find a way around it, but for now I've got a friend that can watch the girls for an hour while I drive over there and back. It's really annoying, because I really only need about 10 minutes to myself once I'm there. But so far I like it, and it's fast, easy money. I'm still looking for a nanny job, but maybe this will be enough for a while, since I can choose how many hours I work.
  • Marissa starts Cubbies this week! I'm so excited for her, and I know she'll love it too. But this morning at church, she was a mess! She missed 2 Sundays when we were in NY, and last Sunday, Dan took her and I stayed home (since we drove through the night to get home). She was a little upset last Sunday, but today she was inconsolable and it was hard for me to take! She ended up sitting with me in our class, and then went to her class for the second half of the morning (she LOVES her teacher in the second half). Dan was teaching our class today though, and half-way through his lesson, a lady poked her head in our door and was holding Arianna! She was having a hard morning too, so I ended up taking both girls for a while. Marissa came with me to the nursing room, and after she ate, Arianna was fine. But it was a weird day. I'm scared to tell Marissa that she'll be moving up to the 3s class next Sunday - she's really gonna miss her teacher (Miss Pauline), and hopefully she gets over her sadness too!
  • Wow, I can't believe Marissa is still asleep! We had a few days of late nights and no naps, so she's been making up for it lately!
  • A friend and I are swapping child-care (same friend who will watch my girls when I drive to work), and so her daughter was here for a few hours the other night. Ingrid and Marissa are both 3, and they have a blast together! They giggled the whole time, read books to each other, and Marissa bossed her around. Lol. They didn't really go to bed though (just stayed in her room and played), so Marissa was up til 10:45pm!
  • She's awake now! Guess that's all you get. My sister was here all last week, and I'm still trying to catch up on laundry and putting things away from our trip. Hopefully this week will be a little less eventful! And hopefully I won't wait another whole month to post! Arianna will be 6 months old tomorrow, so I'd better get my act together for that at least!