Tuesday, June 22, 2010

...and she took a bite

Today marks a very poignant day in Kaitlyn history-or rather my history as her mother! I dropped Kaitlyn off at preschool this morning and watched her follow Ms. Lopez right into the play yard with no lingering hesitation but complete zest for the slide and children laughter found around the corner! My heart sank and my head was spinning with a collision of emotion. Am I supposed to stay? Should I leave now and not look back? Will she cry for me or forget I even walked her to the office. Knowing Kaitlyn and her ferocious independent spirit, I turned and left almost as fast as I arrived. A temporary guilt took over my being. End result: the four hour stint was met with complete curiosity. Kaitlyn had a terrific time despite her one incident...
Another student had her in a 'head lock' type of hug. Such love but for Kaitlyn it was confinement and so she looked up and bit the girl on her cheek. Sigh. Uggggh. My daughter. At this Montessori school, however, the victim gets to be consoled and taken care of by the perpetrator so shortly after the scene of the crime Kaitlyn was holding an ice pack on the girls cheek and patting her back with great affection. Ms. Mitchell, Kaitlyn's teacher, spoke very highly of the situation despite the horrific action-any mother's worst nightmare. I overheard as I was leaving, 'the new girl bit...' spoken by a student to her father. Soon enough all arms will be of hugs and teeth will be for apples, the new girl syndrome will be lost forever. I hope.
Suffice it to say, the school day was a huge success and Kaitlyn scurried off with the teacher as I stood and waited. She was off to the restroom for one final pee in the potty before her day was complete. Wow. Am I excited...which brings me to another milestone: the three Ps...
Pee + Poop in the Potty. Yes, Kaitlyn has this down now! She is minimizing her wet diapers and taking a fondness to her potty. We planted a doughnut child seat in each of the bathrooms for her use when the time calls. Thanks to Steve, he really has been the voice of potty training in our household...Kaitlyn is nearly there! Quite incredible if you ask me.
I continue to be amazed at Kaitlyn's personality and blossoming vocabulary along with her uncanny musical abilities. She has memorized the children CDs we play in our car. She sings along in the back seat as each song feeds into the next and often I find her belting out the words to the next song before it begins.
There really is an endless amount of details I could offer about Special K, but should preserve the next paragraphs for my muscle man, Dylan. He has me in smiles fairly constant except when I just need a break from his 20+ pounds! Yes, he is weighing in at a mere 8 pounds lighter than Kaitlyn at this point and with him not walking-nor crawling-yet, that means I'm the baby carrier! He continues to be a momma's boy but has begun to drink formula FINALLY! Drink rather than suck as sucking is reserved for his nursing moments. Silly boy-I swear he came into this world as a toddler on his way to bypass puberty. He drinks from a cup and has better success drinking formula this way than by sucking it from a bottle! Because of this along with his peculiarities of food, my nursing days I would like to say could be numbered and will be numbered should his new third tooth go for the gold with a nipple biting session! The joys of this precious age.
Dylan's voice is very deep, manly and when laughing, it's a hearty jolly good time! He often bursts out with laughter when he's well fed and rested. Of course this is a contagious situation you see. If out in public, I find people starring in disbelief that such a sound could come from such a young infant. Sucking on his toes and as Kaitlyn did, he tries to go for the cheeks, too! Vocabulary is booming with the most recent addition being 'DaDaDaDa'. Once again Steve wins the title for the first word contest-man!
I'd also like to confess that Dylan is part Monkey. With his birthweight being what it was, I'm not surprised he's more than all baby. He can cling onto me with his legs alone, and if only I'd let go, I'm sure he's stay suspended from my body in some form as his grip teeters on the edge of superpower material. It's not human, I'm almost certain of it!
His food choices have lead me to forget baby food and just give him whatever I'm eating. He has a monstrous appetite and continues to love pasta but can have a heyday with cottage cheese. Avocados continue to be his staple-it's a wonder he hasn't turned green yet. He sure eats enough of them, going through one almost every day!
So there you have it, my two kiddos, each one unique and together incredibly loved. I'm so blessed!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Introducing the Italian Food Hound

He watches what I eat with great intrigue compelling me to plop a plate in front of him with the expectation he will know exactly how to handle the food. Couple this with his late food strike and I'm left with mixed messages. Dylan surprises me daily with his food preferences. Somedays he can't get enough zucchini and then other days he gags on it. All days he refuses bananas (what kid refuses bananas???), pears, carrots, peas, and on occasion accepts pears if mixed with lentils. Crazy. Everyday he could live off of avocado, it's by far the most exciting dish by his standards and thank goodness it has been deemed acceptable for a baby's first food. I've tried tofu, blueberries, peaches, and varying brands of oatmeal and rice cereals. He has found a preference for the Gerber oatmeal cereal over the Earth's Best brand-how a seven month old can determine the difference is beyond me. AND of course, never does he refuse a boob. This boy would be content with only breastmilk, directly from the source, for God only knows how long.
I have, however, found a glimmer of hope between yesterday and today. Dylan has successfully guzzled down 1.5 ounces of formula from a bottle over the span of two feedings...this basically translates to H O P E. Yes, there is hope that I may be able to leave him for a period of time with anyone other than me and know he won't be hungry. It's taken us a few months to get him to develop a sucking motion on the bottle-huge milestone. He still has a ways to go, but I relish in this new reality!
So, with all the strife around his feedings, Kaitlyn and I were enjoying some left over pasta for lunch and with his watchful eyes I figured I'd take the risk and toss some finely chopped Italian treat on his tray. This boy would have asked for thirds if I had more to give him. He was thrilled to play with it, eat it and play with it some more.
Here is Mr. Dylan, the Italian Food Hound:

I love the serious look of intention...and the hands, so focused on the act of exploring the slimy noodles!

The classic Dylan lip pucker-his new look. Part flirtatious, part glee, part D! His two teeth aren't for show and tell I guess! He's being modest these days.

Timeless Treasures

Kaitlyn and I in the doorway of a fire truck-one of the area's classic red engines. Now they are white with a blue stripe...if only the red ones would make a return. I look pregnant in this image and am not. Somehow my post belly hangout wasn't shy in front of the camera but rather ripe and ready for capture. No matter, I was hanging out with my girl and quite frankly, when moments like these occur I could be wearing a pink and chartreuse muumuu. It is irrelevant how I look. I'm just ecstatic to be in harmony with my sweet baby K as often our days are filled with one reprimand after another!

Miss Talia offering her charm to keep Dylan cool and calm while not in my arms. Talia has been visiting this entire week-such a terrific gift to have her out this way and chill with the kids!

A future car of mine...hmmm. Nana was with us and noticed the car was from 1947-she had a moment of nostalgia...she was three when this car hit the pavement!

Kaitlyn keeping balance on the back end of the Fire Truck-she was enamored by the size and the ability to get on it!

This face kills me.

And then, this one, too...who does he look like here?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gentle Great Grandma

I think she really does like Great Grandma. Toward the end of the visit she knew how to refer to 'Great' Grandma and so we began to hear her rattle off 'Gate Gamma' over and over again!

2 Years, 3 Cakes, 4 Days

Working backwards, this was the Princess Cake, the 3rd 'cake' I put together in honor of sweet Kaitlyn. She's been into Princess dresses lately so my wild hairs took over and I found myself sweeping the cake decorating isles of party supply shops hunting for the skirt mold. No luck. This half dome is actually a cake pan for a soccer ball-figured it would be a decent investment as no doubt a soccer ball can be used for Dylan in the future and heck, now that I know it can be morphed into a Princess dress, a little imagination made this purchase rock solid! The doll is really only a half doll as from the waist down it is a spear, perfect for stabbing into the cake! Kaitlyn was quick to put her fingers into the skirt, one lick after another. She's really has no willpower when it comes to sweets-like her Mother!

Blowing out the candle of cake #2!

Cake #2, created on a whim for the spontaneous gathering of Mom, Dad, Uncle Garrett, Uncle Benet and all of us for Kaitlyn's birthday. A lovely evening of Mom's homemade pizza, spices and stories! Kaitlyn now sings her own Happy Birthday-truly entertaining to watch!

Did hell freeze over? I thought for a moment it possibly had when I spotted Uncle Benet with this bottle of formula and Dylan actually sipping. This little boy of mine is on a diet strike meaning he really is only interested in my breastmilk, from my breast. Needless to say, it's strained our social calendar and of course makes babysitting him more than a chore so capturing a moment of success was worthy of a celebration. However, the feelings of joy were short lived. Dylan had us all fooled. He looks like he's sipping with great vigor when in reality, he's just holding the nipple in his mouth. Two ounces were in the bottle when we gave it to him and two ounces remained. Uncle Benet spent Saturday with us and I put him to work on Dylan duty and of course, Kaitlyn duty!

Kaitlyn's Earthworm Birthday Cakes! These were basically mud pies inspired from her growing interest in bugs! Earthworms started her nature curiosity and thus, these little cups of treats were totally a hit-probably more so among the adults as they were free to make their own. I had chocolate covered ants (not for the children, mind you); M & Ms; chocolate fudge; toasted marshmallow jelly beans; triple chocolate ice-cream (excellent for the look as it was a Neapolitan style ice cream with vanilla and two shades of chocolate); gummy worms; chocolate rock candies; grass-green whipped cream; and colored marshmallows for the flowers!

Singing to the darling!

This image makes me laugh. It's an excellent side profile of her-terrific for making one of those silhouette images to frame! Then the retro orange colored balloons...if I cropped this and tinkered with the coloring of the photo, it very well cold be mistaken for a different era all together!

Kaitlyn with her new baby doll from the Krugers! She sleeps with 'Calin' every night!

Which would be best, a plum, a red bell pepper or Dylan's corn? Floor time on the 28th...Kaitlyn has become a very loving older sister to Dylan. When he is sitting on the floor, she naturally gravitates toward him and soon after has him in laughter or tears (if the latter, there may be teeth marks-yes, a behavior issue we are still working on)!