Star Wars Halloween

Similar to last year, we picked our pumpkins at the same farm where we did apple picking. We really got some giant pumpkins!



Both kids drew faces on the pumpkins for Brian to cut out (he was maybe less than thrilled about that, ha). The paper rings hanging from the porch were made by Jameson and hung there through the rest of the year!




We had moderately good helpers this year. Coraline gave up pretty early though Jameson wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty!



We spotted a woolly bear!


Coraline was pretty insistent on being Darth Vader this year, or a Storm Trooper so she could shoot bad guys (nobody really corrected this idea). So I got her a Darth Vader costume and Jameson wanted to be Kylo Ren, so I loved that I got to match the kids again this year!

Jameson would’ve trick or treated all night (as would Coraline, though she was utterly spent). Jameson kept wanting to go to just one more house!



Brian and I both got to attend their Halloween party at school, Jameson got to attend too since he didn’t have regular school that day, so that was a great experience to have them all there again. Jameson is looking pretty old these days though!



It was a fun holiday with the kids having even more fun as they get older. I got Brian to dress up with me for our neighborhood haunted party. I took the photos this year for the event, so I didn’t get to hang out with the kiddos, which made me feel a little sad, but I was happy to have the opportunity! Here’s my set up, from which I have learned a lot I can apply to future events or sets for my new business, Rosy Days Photography.


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Preschool Concert Lasts and Firsts

Jameson and Coraline were both in the Spring concert this year. The theme was Sesame Street! It was pretty difficult recording and photographing them this time since they were on opposite ends of the stage, but we did our best. I did love seeing Coraline perform in ballet! Coraline was so excited for the concert and skipped from the car into the school!



Coraline tried to help her friend back into her sweater, which she was having none of, haha! As usual Coraline was super expressive and delighted to see us.


Jameson was also happy to see us in the crowd, but very seriously followed along with the songs for the most part.


After the concert, Jameson was greeted by a lot of his teachers, including his piano teacher. When she said that she was excited for lessons the following day, Jameson groaned and declared that piano was hard.

(I’m mixed still on whether I want to pay for lessons after this year, which he’ll have to attend outside of school once he starts kindergarten. We’ll see, but he’s definitely been expressing to us lately as well that he doesn’t want to do piano.)

Post concert sugar rush. It was Jameson’s last preschool concert and Coraline’s first!

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Kindergarten Registration

from Instagram:

Attended kindergarten registration last week! Jameson doesn’t have his screening for another few weeks yet.

We’ve started to make our plans for next year when our daily life for 5 years changes from daycare drop off, work, daycare pick up, playtime, dinner, bedtime.

Right now, the plan is to try and avoid morning care and let him get on the bus at our house, so he only will need afternoon care. We plan to use the same daycare for that rather than the city-run before and after program since we have Coraline attending there still. One pick up is better than two!

There’s still significant money savings, and part of my excitement is for that, I won’t deny it. But I know I’m going to miss simple homework-free evenings and simple mornings where breakfast is packed to eat at daycare instead of the earlier rising we’ll need to do to prepare for school.

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Jameson’s Last Preschool Christmas Concert

This year, Jameson got to be a reindeer (but not, he declared a little bit disappointed, Rudolf. He was pretty comfortable on stage this year I think, and he’s got one more spring concert before he’s done with preschool concerts, but I can be a little sad about his last Preschool Christmas concert anyway.



His friend Nathan has started coming back to our school after a couple year hiatus. Right now, he’s not in the full time classes, but they will be together again soon! They won’t be in the same class, but will see each other mornings and afternoons when they frequently combine the classes. We’ve enjoyed seeing them a few times with our neighborhood Halloween party and a few playdates, and Jameson still considers him to be one of his really good friends. (The term “best” is flexible and depends on the day!)

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Spring Preschool Concert

Cheesey post-concert faces

Coraline isn’t quite big enough to participate in the preschool concert at their school, but she sure loved watching her brother sing! My favorite song this year was “You Are My Sunshine”.

I actually already owned the album from that particular artist they used, so we’ve been listening to it a lot in the car. I get my own concerts from both kids almost every day! Our favorites are “You Are My Sunshine” and “Let It Go” from Frozen.

Coraline likes to sing with me, though Jameson has always liked to have me sing or to sing himself rather than sing together with me, so I think it’s wonderful to hear them both singing together.

Jameson has helped sing to Coraline before bed a few times the past month or so, and one of their favorites Jameson introduced to Coraline was “Stinkle Stinkle little Stinky” which is a parody of Twinkle Twinkle about a skunk. It’s maybe one I could do without, though when they both hold their noses it’s hilarious.

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Happy 3rd of July!

I won’t be posting on the 4th of July, so here’s some early wishes for a Happy and fun 4th of July!

The kids had a parade at school today that Brian was able to go to. It was supposed to be outside, but started raining. He still got some great photos of the kiddos. They made t-shirts!


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Learning to Spell

Over the past 6 months, Jameson has been progressing from spelling his name like this:


(That is real, he spelled it that same way a few times, and his last name like this: 3u3ru)

To consistently using J and s-o-n at the end…

To spelling out his name correctly on a card for his grandma on Mother’s Day. This is, to my knowledge, the first time he has spelled and written his name in it’s entirety, correctly, on his own without tracing.


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Gift of Singing

Jameson sang in his very concert, a preschool concert put on by his daycare, on my birthday!

We had some drama getting his “buttons” on (shirt with buttons are just called buttons, and a terrible trial to get him in) and his jeans. He only ever wants to wear swishy pants and his motorcycle shirt or his caped Batman and Superman shirts.

Thankfully, with a little bribery, we were able to get him in his dress clothes and to the school on time. He was excited that his concert was at a big kid school, and thankfully his best bud Nathan was already there, so getting him to sit with his friends and leave wasn’t a big deal.

I didn’t take any photos, just video, but here’s a photo from Nathan’s dad. Jameson is circled, he’s next to the kid with the adorable tie.


And the adorable video! We got some great close ups with him around 9:45 minutes. Jameson was so serious about singing, but I know he had fun. I’m so glad he participated; I was a little worried we’d only get to see his shy face.

After the show, the school at cookies and lemonade and punch for the kids. Jameson and Nathan hung out. Coraline was so great during the show, she was happy munching on her snack and playing with Nathan’s mom’s hair and sweater in front of her. Even though it was an hour and a half past her bedtime before we were home and sleeping, you would have never known it.

Best parts of the concert for Jameson: seeing the big kid school, hanging with his best bud, and eating cookies

Before bed, Brian played a recording of his performance on his phone, and Jameson wanted to sing along. So I got a solo birthday performance from Jameson at home too! A wonderful birthday gift for me.

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Not pictured: Dr. Browns; purchased or borrowed but not used: MAM and Similac bottles.

These are all the bottles (and nipples of different flows) that we tried with Coraline, except for Dr. Brown’s which I gave to our neighbor who uses them after Coraline refused. It was quite an adventure trial introducing bottle feeding to Coraline.


This was Coraline’s very first bottle, Tommee Tippee, around 3 weeks old, the very same time frame that we did for Jameson. She took it really well, and we all had warm fuzzies that she would have no issues with the bottle. Like Jameson, we opted to try her on the bottle once a week or so until we got closer to me going back to work, so a week went by before we tried her second bottle.

It was all a train wreck from there.

Little Miss Coraline refused her second bottle, screaming. We knew that she could take the bottle, which made it more frustrating than I think we would’ve been if she had refused from the beginning.

We tried a series of different bottles. We tried different positions, different people, and eventually different nipple types and flows. We had moderate success (read: 1/2 ounce after 45 minutes of trying) on the mOmma bottle (the funny looking round one) a few weeks later. However, feedings required extreme patience, complete awake-ness from Coraline (not tired at all), and no extreme hunger. Long term, we didn’t think that would work at daycare, so we continued trying.

The next bottle that seemed to work better for us was the Playtex Nurser, the drop in liners and a latex nipple. We first tried the silicon nipple, because I wanted latex to be a last resort. They don’t hold up as well, and I read how more exposure to latex can lead to an allergy. She actually didn’t seem to mind the nipple, but spent most of the time chomping on it and pushing it out of her mouth. However, any step away from the screaming was success, so I decided to buy more and try the latex nipples which texture seemed to be closer to natural.


Around this time was her 2 month doctor’s appointment, so we were starting to really feel the pressure to get her better with the bottle prior to me going back to work in 4 short weeks. The doctor gave us a sheet of tips and tricks to try with baby. Honestly, this sheet was helpful because all the ideas were in once place, but mostly they were a confirmation of what we had done, which is basically: some babies like this, others like the opposite, so… TRY EVERYTHING. Everything I read online was sound advice and all of it was on the sheet the doctor gave us.

The other reason the sheet was helpful was that I was able to pass it on to our daycare provider because she was not, in fact, ready to drink from bottles well by the time she had to.


The latex nipples were better, but she didn’t seem inclined to suck, so we tried another one of the recommendations on the sheet, which was try a faster flow nipple. She did even better with that (read: 1/2 ounce every time we offered the bottle instead of every once in a while, and down to 20-30 minutes instead of 45 to take it).

And that was where we left it when she had to start school. No more than a 1/2 ounce out of a bottle she didn’t scream at.

Needless to say, I wasn’t feeling very good about it. However, her first day that she already did better than she ever did at home. She did a whole 1 ounce! We got our hopes up that she would quickly figure this out and after a week would be eating like a champ.

However, we continued to have low milk intake day after day, and after a week at daycare, the baby who had been sleeping through the night began waking up (and continued through 4 months old). Our daycare provider decided to try a bottle they had there. She successfully took all the milk out of it! We were all excited until we found out it was a discontinued bottle (Tri-flow Bottles by Munchkin — I contacted them after searching online without success and discovered they had been discontinued for 5 years).

We took note though that she seemed to like the fast flow on it, and I opted to buy one more bottle which is similar, the Playtex VentAire with fast flow nipple.

We were thankful to have a daycare provider willing to clean out the one bottle after each feeding; after some more success that week on the VentAire, we decided to try the Tommee Tippee bottles that we already had so many of, this time in the fast flow nipple. We had success one day! But just one.


Alas, it wasn’t meant to last. Since then, we went back to the VentAire since it is the only one consistently getting reasonable milk intake. However, every Monday is like starting over. 6oz, 7oz, 10-12oz by Wednesday; every week. On the weekends we don’t do much attempts at bottle feeding since she has made it clear that she will not eat then. We had to skip a feeding one day because of her refusal and I had drank some alcohol. We were even at a different house and I was inside while she was out.

I have tried to supplement her with extra feedings in the evening and a “dream feed” before I went to bed, but that started to delay her eating until later in the day at school as well as at home on the weekend; wake ups are continuing even with a 10pm feeding.

Instead, we are planning on weaning her of the extra feeds based on our doctor’s recommendation and get back to our original schedule and eliminate overnight eating entirely. I know she can do it, since she was doing it pre-daycare days. I hope that she moves to eating more from the bottle during the day. I purchased more of the VentAire and we have decided that is the best we’re going to get. I can only hope that eventually she’ll get better at the bottle, or move more quickly to food.

It’s frustrating, knowing that she doesn’t like the bottle as much as she likes me.  However, I am grateful that with Coraline eating less from the bottle, it has allowed me to build up a stash of milk that I don’t need to worry about supplying her with food each week.

Interested in some slightly used bottles? Check out my ebay listings (Playtex Nursers already sold): Lot of Tommee Tippee Bottles & Nipples; and Lot of Misc Bottles

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