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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Mom’s Weekend

This past weekend, I manhandled the kids myself for the most part, while Brian planned and prepped for our big garden expansion. I took them first to see the Jungle Book on Saturday, and Jameson was not happy about going. He almost didn’t come, but I convinced him at the last minute after I showed him the trailer that included the “behind the scenes” clips showing how they used computers to animate the animals.

Coraline loved it (and snacking) the whole time. Jameson liked it, but was noncommittal about his favorite part. Coraline declared that she loved the tiger, which is probably accurate considering she was turning around and making tiger faces and growling at me during the final scenes of the movie. She told me on Monday this week that she loved the snake, that the snake was bad, and the snake was pretend. I think she caught on pretty well.

For my part, I loved most everything about the movie, and especially that I was able to take double trouble and manage them by myself in a dark theater while actually still watching it myself!

I was so proud of their behavior I even let them play one video game each afterwards.

Took the kids to see the Jungle Book (great!) and stopped for one arcade game after. Jameson did the gas pedal for Coraline.

I did get relieved of the children later in the afternoon so I could do laundry myself. I had a couple hours worth of folding and sorting and washing to do: it’s amazing what doesn’t get done when you are watching a chewing puppy every evening!

Sunday, we went to church while Brian worked outside in the weird mix of snow and sleet (in May!). We almost didn’t make it though after Jameson tripped his sister (for the second time that weekend). This time Coraline hit her head on a chair which quickly turned into a goose egg on her forehead. Poor thing has been battling a cold and ear infection from last week, so she was already pretty sensitive, so this resulted in near hysterics from her while Jameson pouted in his room.

I managed to get them out of the house on time nevertheless, and Jameson lost his teddy bears for a couple nights because of it. Although I had to laugh a little (literally, out loud) when he declared he didn’t want a little sister (the woes of being the eldest child).

Later we had a playdate with our friends at their house as Brian continued outside (though thankfully the sleet stopped) and left in a hurry to get home for Robert’s 40th birthday dinner. Uncle Robert, Aunt Melissa’s fiance, apparently had no idea (which was a surprise to me as well, good thing I didn’t spill the beans). I enjoyed the dinner out, and was grateful all the family was in attendance to help wrangle up these guys, who actually were remarkably well behaved as the dinner went on until after 8 pm.

It was a nice weekend, despite the extra work. We’re looking forward to doubling the space in our garden this year and putting up a beautiful wooden fence. Just in time for planting time! Our seedlings are looking okay as we attempt to get them used to the sunlight without burning them up. I’m excited for tomatoes and fresh lettuce again! Summer, here we come. (Any time now!)

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Snow Play

The winter has been relatively mild, so much so that I’ve been able to continue training for a half marathon with long runs outside at least once a week. I wasn’t sure if we’d get the snow the kids have been asking for, but we finally did have a couple weeks with some snow on the ground!

Most of their playtime was in the evenings. I think we played outside every evening for 3 or 4 days in a row. The kids loved it! It’s too bad it gets dark quickly. Jameson would stay out all evening. Contrary to last year, Coraline actually really enjoyed it too! She loves the shovel most of all, while Jameson prefers to go all in with his hands.



Brian got a “fat bike” so he could continue to bike ride over the winter. He has also been disappointed at the light winter snow.



We managed to get in regular snow play, sledding, and snow angles. The one things we haven’t been able to do this winter is make a snowman! The snow melted too quickly on the warmer days for us. I feel bad sometimes that they miss out on some things like this when we are working, but I don’t think they feel the lack since they know no different. The best we did was this fairly loose snowball, which I laboriously made and Jameson jumped on.



On one evening we were throwing snowballs at each other, and Brian brought me down into the snow! Coraline declared when I finally got back up clumsily that I had made a “beautiful snow angel” and wanted to lay in my impression. It was adorable, but I definitely know I was not waving my arms around in a snow angel manner.


I got a new wide angle lens which I have really been enjoying testing out on my favorite subjects, the kids. The trick with the lens to get them in the middle so their faces aren’t warped. The edges and background of photos are beautiful in their extremes. It was my first time making a big purchase on ebay, but it was definitely worth it.


One weekend day, we did get out to Grandma and Poppa’s house for some proper sled riding! Last year, Coraline was not a fan. This year, she loved it! Jameson went by himself and raced everyone. Coraline rode with each of us. Eventually she started covering her face with her hands to avoid snow blowing back into her face! But still she requested to go again and again.





I am not great at stopping, but I did keep the snow out of her face!



Brian let her go herself at the very bottom of the hill, and she was so excited!


We hit most of the snow playtime highlights for the kids, and now they are asking when it gets warmer. Soon!

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Company Picnic

In early August, Brian’s workplace had a company picnic. It is one of the better company picnics I’ve been to, and really focused on entertainment and activities for the kiddos!

They had a couple bouncers that Jameson really enjoyed (though mostly when the big kids weren’t all over them; he got intimidated by them).





Coraline even enjoyed some bouncer time before the adults took over this bouncer, which is really one where you run and try to see how far you can get while being tethered to the wall.




We visited inside daddy’s office and made a mess of the whiteboard. I think Brian wanted to leave it up for a bit, but Jameson insisted on erasing his work when he was finished. Way to clean up, dude!



They also had an ice cream truck, bar, giveaways, and even a petting zoo!



Coraline enjoyed petting the animals. Jameson was fascinated with the snake but didn’t want it around his neck, so he just got a “bracelet”. All in all, a very good time!






Even better, Brian works very close to our house, so at the end of the day, I picked up Coraline and took her home at bedtime and Jameson got in a little more playtime for he had to head home with Brian.

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Back to Routines


It is amazing the changes in 1 year. Also, what hasn’t changed. Sasha is still with us, though she is starting to show her age (like myself, I think haha). Brian still looks the same, maybe better plus a few gray hairs.

Jameson looks remarkably the same to me, aside from losing some of his cheeks. Coraline though: Wow. And for the record, it’s hard to get a baby to smile at a tripod, so we didn’t even try. Looking, but not looking unhappy, was good enough!


I have periodically gotten family photos in the spring or summer or fall. I usually try to get two of them a year, but if I get one then I am happy. I love this photo! And it came right after some very happy news last week: I had just accepted and started a job! After 6 weeks off work, I am so pleased to be able to say that I am back at work, doing a job related to my field (if anything, it’s more concentrated, an advantage to doing a job well that I am not focused too broad).

I had also just run my first race the day prior. It was a fun run and not timed, but I’m proud to see where I’ve come from this time last year, which was not running or even exercising at all, to my first 5K.



The 6 weeks off work were hard, I’m not going to lie. Not fresh-into-maternity-leave hard like. But plenty of ups and downs with how I felt about myself and what I wanted to do with my life (why do we feel we need to make big all encompassing goals or life statements? there is just “for now” and “for as long as we want” for everything in life except family which is “for always”).

There was a lot of guilt sending the kids to daycare everyday, and a lot of freedom I’ll probably never have again. And just like I thought I might, I wish I had taken better advantage of that time. I only went to see one daytime movie; I definitely should’ve done that at least twice!


So here we are again, back into routine, and happy for it.

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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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Coraline is 3 Months Old


This month Coraline started sleeping through the night just before my return to work, and stayed that way. It amazed us all since she is still having trouble with bottles that she gets enough during the day still that she is not up at night. She does get up really early sometimes, between 4:30-5:30, but when she’s up that early I am able to put her back to sleep most of the time. But she can and does sleep up to 12 hours!

Of her napping schedule, I cannot say the same. She takes half hour naps, and sometimes longer if I have her in the newborn napper which I try to avoid using too frequently since they don’t use that at daycare. She doesn’t necessarily fall asleep in her car seat or stroller; she is frequently quietly alert instead.


Luckily, she does seem to be getting enough sleep and is cheerful during her extended awake times except toward the evening when she may become overtired. Even then, Brian and I frequently comment on how much more mellow she is than Jameson. We no long bemoan the lack of a pacifier, since she is content without. She doesn’t smile as frequently as Jameson did, but she has much longer calm periods, happy to look around and observe as he never did. They continue to be so different from one another.



She is grasping things with her reflexes, but not reaching for anything yet. She did, however, finally release some of those fists to get a finger in her mouth! Over a couple days prior to turning 3 months old, she had started occasionally finding it. For her photo shoot, she made a face when she found her finger, but by the end of that evening, she was loudly sucking on her index finger with enjoyment.

We still swaddle to sleep, but I think it won’t be long now before she will be a self soother.



Coraline enjoys sitting up, and is really enjoying the bouncer seat (not generally turned on though) and the bumbo chair; we use the swing much less and usually only as another place to put her while taking care of Jameson upstairs. She likes to sit on laps or walk around. Like Jameson, she appears to love to be outside.


We also started using up to 6 month clothing this month, which seems so much earlier than Jameson. She’s sturdy and has adorable little rolls. We had a rash on her chest we were dealing with that finally seems to have dissipated with a different lotion. Baby acne is gone, but the flakey cradle cap of her growing skull appears frequently and she has lost a good portion of her hair on the back of her head that gives a similar effect that Jameson had. She doesn’t look too much like a little old man though because of her little chubby cheeks and the hair she managed to retain on the top of her head.


Coraline loves bath time, always silent and staring in the mirror for the entire event. She still has dark hair, blue eyes and a gummy, wet grin, so she has a pretty face to look at!


While we are all sad that my time at home has ended, Coraline doesn’t seem the worse for wear thus far since I try and feed her 1-2 times in the morning and at least twice every evening. I know this month and next, things will start to get exciting with reaching and rolling. I can’t wait!


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12 Weeks: Returning to Work


This week was a hard week; Brian left last Friday morning for a trade show and then a conference and was gone the entire full week before and during my first day back at work. Coraline was great and at least slept through the night for me which was amazing!

I am so very thankful for family to help me through; on Friday, Brian’s mom came over to watch Jameson and put him to bed while I took Coraline out to a bachelorette party (I know, I know).

Baby at a bachelorette party

I was not the only one with a baby there; there was one pregnant person. Plus, I only stayed for the early eating part and not the drinking and dancing part when they left the house. Coraline was fabulous, sitting for an hour and a half looking around. She was propped up by zebra print pillows which she was fascinated with, and I was so happy to be able to see friends from college who I hadn’t seen in at least a year or more.

When we got home, she was unhappy and overtired, but all was well and she slept through the night again! I dared hold my breath for more, and she has actually slept through the night the entire WEEK. But I am not optimistic, as she continues to struggle with the bottle, that she won’t start waking up at night to eat. But I will be thankful for now and appreciate the full nights sleep I got every single night while Brian was gone.

Saturday morning I got everyone to the farmer’s market to pick up our share which included lots of lovely greens. We didn’t stay to peruse after that though because Jameson kept trying to splash through mud puddles and pick up rocks.

Brian’s mom picked up Jameson around noon to spend the rest of the day, night, and all day Sunday with her and papa!

Coraline took a few beautiful sleeping photos that day which I was excited about since I didn’t get any for her newborn ones. We also went to a birthday party where she was a little less good than she had been the night before, and I enjoyed a lovely evening to myself.



Except I was bored and lonely. Dare I say it? It was hard to be there by myself, no Jameson or Coraline awake to occupy my time and finished reading my books with no shows to watch.

Sunday I watched two movies and held Coraline most of the day since she refused to nap. Nothing much else to say about Sunday except that I didn’t really mind it; it seemed like “the last” of things since Monday she was going to start school. I know we’ll have weekends, but all the same it was bittersweet.


I did put both kids to bed by myself on Sunday which wasn’t too bad. Coraline yelled, Jameson got distracted by her, and it seemed it might never end. Thankfully it did, and the morning getting ready for Coraline’s first day of school was much better. I woke myself at 5:30 feeling uncomfortable and showered and dressed before Coraline got up. She was fed and dressed and happy and waiting then while I did Jameson and we all made it to daycare by 7:45. I couldn’t believe it!




Monday afternoon my mom arrived to help with bedtimes and morning times. She came bearing donuts! Coraline stayed til noon at school and I picked her up exhausted. She didn’t nap or eat much at all. She passed out after I fed her for hours, for the first time ever. I had to wake her 3 hours later! I tried to enjoy my last days at home less the children, so we went to a movie on Tuesday and shopping and a mani/pedi on Wednesday.


Tuesday and Wednesday were much harder for Coraline. She did a little better on Tuesday than Wednesday; Tuesday I picked her up at 2 and Wednesday at 4:30. She did as she does at home and took 30 minute naps. She tried 4 bottles both days and drank about 3.5 ounces total each day (really like the equivalent of one bottle). They tell me she didn’t do much screaming at the bottle, so even though she isn’t taking much, it doesn’t seem to be a fight at least.



She didn’t have any wet diapers in the afternoon on Wednesday so with trepidation I put her to sleep that night thinking she would wake all night. Instead, on Thursday, my first day back at work, I tried to use her as an alarm clock and she didn’t wake until 7!

Needless to say, my first morning going back to work was hectic (and rainy). I do hope things get easier for her (and myself) soon; thankfully Brian returned Thursday night and I have a flexible work allowing me to leave early for the next week or so to make sure I can feed Coraline twice in the evenings since she is not doing well during the day.

We’ll just keep working at it! Until then, I expect sleepy and hungry evenings for Miss Coraline!


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Final Week?

Here we are, approaching the Due Date of March 15, 40 weeks this Friday.

Today forward I have opted to work from home until the baby arrives. I am thankful that this time it is an option, since my previous job didn’t allow us to work from home at all. This will make things more comfortable and less worrisome for all of us, since Brian is just minutes away and the doctor keeps reminding us that things may move much more quickly this time.

I took these photos (self portraits I took myself! with a tripod! and occasionally a button click from Brian) a couple weeks ago, around 37 weeks pregnant. My belly hasn’t grown much since then (in fact, I’m still only measuring 36-37 weeks belly-wise, it’s just shifted down quite a bit!).

The past few weeks they have begun exams for dilation. I have very slowly progressed from 3cm to 3.5cm the past three weeks, and 70% to 80%. The “any time now” message is getting old, since I have been hearing it now for 2-3 weeks already.

Today we had another ultrasound (our third in the past couple months) to check fluid levels again, staying extra safe because of Jameson’s fluid issues. However, we have plenty and are looking good still. Baby is happy and wedged pretty far down.

This week the doctor told me that he doesn’t expect me to make it to next week, though we did schedule an appointment anyway in case. Next week, should I make it to that appointment, I will have a non-stress test (NST) and another ultrasound for fluid levels, since I will be past my due date at that point.

We did opt to -ahem- stir things up a bit? at this visit and are hoping that it works. If we go into next week, we will be looking at induction.

The doctor is of course flexible to our wishes in this, but we are all in agreement that 41 weeks is pushing us to our maximum. Seeing that I have had a successful induction before, even though we are not pleased that it could happen again, we would be willing to opt for one next week.

Hopefully baby doesn’t need much more encouragement to make her appearance! We are all getting anxious for her to arrive.

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Halloween Party

I was so excited to attend his school’s Halloween party on Halloween since I haven’t spent much time there with him. I loved seeing all the other kids, him in costume, and watching the teacher/student interactions.

When I arrived, Jameson jumped up out of Cara’s lap and over to me. We were waiting to start the parade, so we sang some songs and then did a dance. Jameson seemed a little out of sorts, already in his costume.

Jameson put his blanket on the cots and all the kids lined up and out to the central area to begin the parade through the rooms.

Okay, it was really scattered. It must have been their ages, but there wasn’t a lot of structure to our parade. I took hold of Jameson’s hand since he seemed a little lost and we went through just a couple rooms before returning back to ours.

I think that he was a little warm in the costume actually, and when we got back to the classroom he cried a little trying to unzip himself from the costume, poor thing!

I helped him out of the costume, and everything was immediately better. Also, it was snack time!

They gave the kids cups with a little apple juice in it, and Jameson did really well! I was impressed, since at home he was dumping water on the floor from cups on purpose.

After about 3 refills (about half a cup of straight apple juice), I suggested maybe he might want water next instead hehe! 😉

And here’s Mr. Nathan again, smirking when he saw me taking photos of him!

I also got a picture of his Star of the Month board. He was showcased during October, so Halloween was his very last day on the board.

And I finally captured a smile from Jameson! I commented to another mom there that I could finally put away my camera and she laughed and said she does the same thing. We are all the same, and all different, us moms!

I did escape before snack time was over so that I didn’t need to clean up. I had to get to work, and also change into my own costume.

Here is my team, much bigger than just a few months ago. It was a good time, and we walked into the work cafeteria blasting some Spice Girls.

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