Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Disneyland April 2014

Harper turns 3 on April 15th, so we decided to take him to Disneyland.  His godmother Katie has some free tickets through work so we coordinated with her to make it a family trip.  My parents also joined us for the experience.  We were a little nervous taking Bryn since she has not gone on any road trips (by 8 months Harper had been on plenty, but with Bryn's allergies and fussiness we never felt like being trapped in a car for that long!).  The drive down was actually not too bad though Bryn was a little fussy, but probably due to her ear infection that was diagnosed on Wed (we left Thur).  We headed straight to Katie's house and arrived around 945, the kids were zonked so quickly put them to bed, though Harper ended up staying up late and watching movies in Katie's bed with her cat Tigger (who purred all night by his side).  Harper stayed in Katie's bed that night and woke up bright and early at 640 by tapping Katie's forehead and saying "Wake up Auntie Katie", welcome to toddler hood!  

Late that morning we took a drive over to Griffith Park to take Harper on the train at Travel Town and then to ride the ponies.  The kids both crashed on the way there and we felt bad waking them up:(  We had a fun afternoon and ended with a lunch at a diner in Los Feliz.  That evening we had a bbq at Katie's and my parents, Katie's parents and our friends Ed (Bryn's godmother) and Antonella joined us.  It was a nice night and yummy food.  Thanks Katie for hosting!  We decided last minute to ask Nana and Grandpa to take Harper with them to their hotel in Anaheim so we would have one less kid to get ready in the morning before Disneyland.  Brendan and I were a little nervous since we have never had Harper spend the night anywhere else without us (except once at Auntie Kaila's house).  He had a great time with them, and was using the bathroom (potty training is going really well) and slept in the big boy bed in their hotel room.  Bryn did well in her pack and play for short periods, but of course when she cried I put her in bed with us and she slept like a rock;)  (Lately I have been sleeping in a separate room from her and she sleeps much better, most times with self soothe herself back to sleep.  I think I just fed her to quiet her down and it was making her stomach used to a mid sleep feeding, which she doesn't need.)

We started out at California Adventure, as Brendan and I had never been there.  We were able to visit the Crush Talk with the turtle from Finding Nemo, go through a Bug's Life, ride the Tow mater tractors in Cars Land (the fast passes were out for the race cars), ride the California Screaming roller coaster, the Grizzly water ride and the Soaring over California.  We had lunch at the wine restaurant and Harper received his free bday cake (Mickey chocolate cake).  Harper had a birthday button on so everyone we went the staff would always wish him happy birthday and treat him extra special.  (Though I think he was mistaken a few times for a girl due to his long curly blond hair, but neither Brendan or I are ready to cut it;)
Shirts courtesy of LaShawn

Tow-mater ride, Harper is squeezed in the middle of us

Mickey Mouse ears

Special birthday treat

Cars Land

We headed over to Disneyland to catch the main street parade.  Harper was able to take a turn on Peter Pan and then see all of the characters come down the street.  After we headed over to see the superheroes, where Harper was able to talk with Captain America and take a picture with him.  He did kind of freeze up, but did pretty well.  The last activity we took the kids on was the carousel (since Dumbo was too crowded) and then headed back to the hotel since it was around 630 and Harper hadn't had a nap yet, so he was getting a little crabby.  The biggest surprise of the day was Bryn, she was an angel and hardly ever let out a whimper.  She took a nap in the ergo, but pretty much rode around in the stroller and was so content to see all the surroundings.

Godmother fun!

Eating lunch on the terrace

In a good mood all day at Disneyland!
There was a long wait to meet Captain America...

At the hotel, Nana and Grandpa offered to watch the kids, bathe and put them to sleep for the evening so Brendan, Katie and I could go back and enjoy a little of Downtown Disney and some late night rides.  We ended up a jazz place where they had live music, good drinks and were super helpful catering to my dietary restrictions.  We ended the night riding Pirates of the Caribbean, where we were able to step right on the ride with no wait in line!

Overall it was a great experience and can't wait to take them back when Bryn is around 2...we will definitely do 2 days next time!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bryn's Baptism and 6 month update

We had Bryn's baptism on March 1st at OLPH, we were a little nervous her special day wouldn't turn out so well.  The Monday before she had her 6 month appt and immunizations.  Well in the middle of the night Tues, she woke with a fever.  After calling and checking in with the doctor office everyday that week we were reassured that it was a natural response and if no other symptoms appeared to just treat with Tylenol if the fever went over 101 or she was fussy.  By Friday the fever had cleared and she was acting pretty normal thank goodness.  Brendan's brother Matt (doctor) says this is a good thing and means her system is doing what it is supposed to in response.

6 month checkup-was the 1st well baby checkup I had missed:(  My mom and Brendan went though with her.  Doctor says she is super healthy and to keep up with what we are doing.  She added that if constipation is occurring to try more stone fruits (hard to find this time of year) rather than pears and apples and beans since those can stop people up.  She said to keep soy and dairy out of her and my diet until 12 months as well.  She asked how long she was sleeping at night and said that she is capable of going without a feeding at this age and weight, so we need to start spacing out her feedings so she gets accustomed to eating with longer stretches in between and this will help her sleep longer at night.  She also suggested the Ferber method, although modifying it if needed.  I have been a walking zombie of late, even stuttering over my own words in my classes...luckily my students are understanding and suggested we watch a movie instead so I could relax, they are so sweet...but no luck, it was not a movie day for them in the end! (Trust me I would have appreciated a movie at that point, but couldn't bring myself to do it).

-height-26 in
-weight-18 lbs
 (*Harper was 26.5 in and 19 lbs at this age, so pretty comparable)
-rolling around
-sleeping in the pack and play and not swaddled (though I think she still would like the swaddle)
 -sitting up without tipping over for good periods of time
-NOT sleeping through the night (though we started some "Ferberizing" this past week, so hoping that gets better
-2 bottom teeth
-eating apples, bananas, melon, prunes, beans, chicken, squashes, zucchini, blueberries

Bryn's godparents are Brendan's good friend Ed Gomes and Brendan's sister Erin.  The day of the baptism we found out that Ed's flight had been cancelled from Colorado to Fresno after a 4 hr delay, so he wasn't able to make it.  Luckily Brendan's own godfather Mike was in town for the baptism, so he stood in and we all thought that was so nice and symbolic.  She was such a trooper and no tears when the water was poured over her head. We had close family and a few friends over afterwards for a brunch hosted by my parents where lots of champagne, coffee, egg omelettes and bagels were shared.  Everyone raved over the chocolate cake my mom made, though I was sad to not be able to taste it:(  Next time!  Bryn looked ever the princess with the gown Erin's Spanish mother-in-law lent her, it is from Spain and has been used in their family for years:)  Good thing we decided to wait to put her in the dress at the church (since it was too long and puffy to fit in the car seat).  When I pulled her out to dress her in the parking lot, she had pooped everywhere, all over her onesie and in the car seat.  Bryn was in good spirits the whole morning and after a quick nap back up for some more family fun time.
Prepping in the parking lot (after the "blowout")

With Auntie "Godmother" Erin

Taking this baptism thing seriously

Baptismal fountain with Godmother Erin and "Godfather" Mike, and Fr. Robert

That Sat evening we had a bbq and board games planned since Katie and her boyfriend Jerry were in town and staying with us.  Brendan and Katie's cousin Shannon and her 2 boys came over, along a with a few friends and kids and we had a blast.  We played Cards Against Humanity for the 1st time.  At the beginning as we read the cards we were all taken a back a bit, but then the shock wore off and we were all dying of laughter.  Some bottles of wine were enjoyed and good company had:)  We also loved having Jerry here and I finally got to meet him, so glad he makes Katie happy!

We are celebrating my brother Chris and my birthdays this weekend before my parents head to Colorado for some skiing.  Tonight we are headed to an Italian restaurant in Selma, and my mother has spoken to the chef and they will be able to accommodate my dietary restrictions.  I will bring my own dairy and soy free cupcake (who knew that the gluten free bakery down the street also had dairy and soy free options too!) They will come back and my mom will have her gallbladder surgery, so we hope that all goes smoothly.

Harper is still consistently cracking us up: Harper: "Auntie Katie, guess what's for dinner?  Poop!  One poop coming right up!"  Ugh ok, thanks Harper, that sounds fantastic-lol!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Valentine's Day

I always love the month of February, not necessarily for Valentine's Day (though it is cute now to do them with Harper, though he isn't really understanding the idea of giving them away, as he wants to keep them for himself).  I love it because we have 2 Mondays off in a row!  Man, do I really enjoy three day weekends, it feels like 2 days is never enough to recover from the whirlwind of the week. 

We started Bryn on some solids, her first were carrots, like Harper tried as his first food.  She did pretty well though does not have quite the gusto that Harper did for food!, at least not yet.  She is getting the hang of it and has thus far tried sweet potatoes and peas as well.  No allergic reactions, thank goodness.  We are making out own baby food again this time around, though  even more importantly since we don't want any dairy or soy in it:)

Trying some carrots

Although the weather has been amazingly nice, it is crazy how much we need rain for our drought and also to clear the bad air here in the valley.  We finally had a few days of it thankfully!  Here is a pic of Harper in his Batman rain boots and rain jacket.  He loves playing outside in them.  The other day at the park he and his buddy Luke slid down the slide before Andrea or I could get over to them and of course drenched themselves in the leftover puddles at the bottom of the slides, they of course though it was hilarious!

This past weekend we (Brendan) finally got around to building Harper's big boy bed.  For several months or more Harper has been able to climb in and out of his crib.  We bought a bed from IKEA in Dec (that can be used as a bunk bed later), but hadn't had a chance to build it.  For the last week or so Harper would awake in the morning at normal time and then open his door and wait for us to come get him, so we knew it was time.  He was soooo excited.  As Brendan was putting it together, we decided to just flip it up, so that there is a play space under and the bed is on top, since Harper is almost 3 and can climb the ladder just fine, plus the room is so small it allows for more floor space, he know can have a super hero lair under his bed.  The whole day he kept asking if it was ready and finally when it was he was sooooo excited.  We had to go over some rules about jumping on it, opening the blinds and throwing things into the fan.  His Spider-man sheets arrived Wed:)  The first night was a success and he slept through the night no problem and took his 3 hour nap just fine as well.  So glad he is still a good sleeper, as his little sister is NOT!  Obviously we have to move BABY on the wall as he is a BIG BOY now and hang over where Bryn will sleep in Harper's old crib.  We will be moving things around and putting some different pics on the wall as well as we transition the room for both of them to share (which has not happened yet, see below...)

He was ready for her to sleep in the crib that night, but alas, she is still in our room as she still wakes up once or twice or three times a night. I sure miss when she would sleep through the night when she was a few months old. I tried to transition her a few times to the pack and play in my room, but she wasn't having it. She is getting too big for the rock and play, so something has to give soon. This a video of her after she woke up in the middle of the night, fed, fell back asleep and I placed in her in the pack and play. You can't see her, but you can hear her, she loves her voice! She isn't upset, but she is definitely not sleeping, no fun for momma at 2 in the morning!

Valentine's Day was celebrated on Wed at Tia Gracie's house with all of the other kids from daycare because that is the only day all of them attend.  She put on a great little party with the table decorated and they were going to have pizza and decorate cupcakes and have treats, I wanted to stay instead of going to work!  Harper picked out his valentines, of course they were Spider man.

Austin and Harper

They LOVE each other!

My parents are in Puerto Rico, they sent a pic of flying first class, man they know how to live life!  It is too bad they were gone this weekend as my 2 aunts, Pat and Casey, came to visit.  They had yet to meet Bryn, so it was fun to hang out and catch up.  They got to cuddle with her and Harper.  It was also nice to have extra hands around.  On Sat we went and had mani/pedis-so relaxing.  Brendan spent Sat night with his friends at the soccer expo game of LA Galaxy and SJ Quakes.  After my aunts left Harper woke up Mon morning and came into my room and asked: "Where are my Aunties?"  I said they had gone home and he responded "I'm going upstairs to check." LOL!


-Harper was watching a new episode of paw patrol and said "this is not a Christmas episode, Christmas is over, boo!"

-Brendan was feeding Bryn carrots for the 1st time and said "I know it's sweet, I don't know why she's making a face." Then Harper said "let me see her carrot face"

-Harper got his new bed and said-OMG-it is soooo cute!

-I was watching tv and Harper said when I ask you to pause it pause, I asked him why and he said because it hurts my ears.

Bryn updates:
-has tried carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, butternut squash...maybe we will try some fruit this week
-transitioned to the pack and play
-still not sleeping through the night
-smiling and laughing a lot
-sitting up on her own (falls over after a period of time)
-naps 2 times a
-loves sticking her feet in her mouth
-2 bottom teeth
Two teefers

Little Miss Cal Poly



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Back in the Groove

I still can't believe the Holidays are over!  I am now back to work, so that also means my time at home has come to an end until next summer:(  I was so fortunate to have 5 months home with Bryn and 7 with Harper.  I do wish this country had more maternity leave, a year would be amazing!!!  I was really anxious about returning to work for a few reasons: #1 I am a control freak and dislike having a sub anytime, but to have one who is going to be starting out the school year and continuing all semester is a nightmare for me.  I also knew that the sub was not that great and had heard through the grapevine she was awkward and didn't have a nice personality and that she really struggled with my Spanish 1 Per 7 class.  #2 I didn't want to leave Bryn since she has had her struggles with allergies and she isn't the "easiest" baby in the world.  #3 We had to find new daycare, since Linda could only take Harper and not Bryn until later in the year.  Well we took a look at some daycares from references, but they just didn't seem to be a good fit.  Then we had one for a daycare right near my work.  We took the kids to check it out and we knew before we even left that it was THE place!:) 

"Tia Gracie" has been doing this for 20+ years and is only open TWTh (the days we need).  Her own kids went to the same primary and high school as I did.  She has a great, big yard where the kids play and plant food in the garden.  She then has them help her cook from the things that grow.  She cooks all her own food and baby food.  They go on long walks around the neighborhood in the mornings.  She speaks Spanish!  Harper went last week for the first time and had a blast picking oranges and making juice.  He couldn't wait to go back.  Some days Harper is the only kid there so he gets lots of one on one time:)  

My mom stayed with Bryn all last week as I transitioned back to work.  Bryn was fighting a little cold and could be teething.  She proved to be difficult as she did not want to take a bottle, but finally gave in as she was hungry.  Her napping was hit and miss and the swing was pulled back out!  She def is happier when she gets a good nap in:)  We just wish she would take 2 a day, at this age Harper took 3!!  We do almost everything the same with Bryn as we did with Harper, yet she is sooooo different.  Just chalk it up to diff babies and diff personalities:)  A big shout out to my mom who not only came everyday and watched Bryn, but prepped dinner for us each night and even did some cleaning and laundry!!  Thanks also to Grandma Donna and Grampsy Pat for extra hands during the week and to Grandpa Dave, who now comes with Nana on Mondays to help with both kids.

Well all in all it has been a pretty smooth transition back to work.  All my fears about the students being hard to manage, not being well trained, not knowing anything did not pan out, thank goodness.  In fact I have really great students and no problems with any of them, even the "notorious" Per 7 kids are great and do their work.  I think many of them were just anxious to have me back, so word to the wise (teachers): "Get and bad substitute teacher and your students will be begging for you to return!"

Harper loves his new "Tia Gracie" and looks forward to going everyday.  He gets to take his superman backpack, he looks so cute pretending to fly to the front door, I need to take a picture of it.  They have lots of fun there, especially playing in the backyard.  Bryn started yesterday and I was really nervous, but she did well.  She drank her bottles fine and took a long 2+ hr nap.  I did bring over an extra rock and play that Kaila let us borrow.  We will work on transitioning her to a pack and play as time goes on.

-still swaddled for sleep
-does not like to sleep in pack and play
-will sleep in rock and play and my bed
-takes one big nap in the day, usually over 2 hours, but fights any naps later in
  the day, which is too bad since she gets pretty fussy in the evenings
-loves her bouncer
-can sit up pretty well on your lap, has total head control
-can roll from tummy to back, but not back to tummy yet
-appears to be teeting, lots of drool and shoving her fingers in her mouth (it
  almost appears one of her bottom canines is coming in first, but who knows
-still has bloody stool from time to time, (her doctor says it is okay since she is
   thriving) there is not really a rhyme or reason,
   but I am always skeptical if I eat out, since I cannot 100% control the
   ingredients (therefore I don't eat out often)
Bath-time yoga

Bundled up for s'mores

Close up

-a bundle of energy
-Spiderman is still his favorite toy
-now asks what certain words mean
-everytime he hears bad words like stupid or shutup on tv or radio, says "we
  don't say that"
-loves going to the park with his buddy Luke
-happy to help Bryn, likes to give her toys or binky if she is getting "fussy"
-One night I was trying to finish dinner and she was getting fussy, before 
   I could move Harper said "Don't worry Mom, I got this" and went over to calm
   Bryn down
S'mores night with our neighbors Cole and Baron

Flying like Superman while watching the movie with Dad (notice the Spiderman pjs)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

End of the Holidays, Starting Back to Work

The holidays are officially over and that is always a little sad in our house because we really enjoy all of the decorations, family and spirit and now that we have kids it is even better!  We spent Christmas Eve here with my parents and Erin's family for our annual paella dinner, luckily it is dairy and soy free!  Christmas morning was spent at Erin's for crepes, which are my favorite meal of the year, but alas this year I had to pass but that will make next year's soooo much better!  Christmas night was spent at my parents with my brother and his family.  We spent the night so we didn't have to worry about getting the kids back home early.  It was a very yummy dinner and nice to see everyone since they live in Monterey now.  The morning after Christmas things turned rough.  Harper threw up his milk right after drinking it:(  Then all day he complained about his tummy, he was checked by the doctor while Bryn was at her checkup and he was negative for the flu.  Later that afternoon, he ended up getting diarrea and that went on for about 2 days, lots of baths to help his sensitive behind.  That Fri we had dinner with Gramsy Pat and Grandma Donna since they had been in Virginia over Christmas.  That evening Brendan said he didn't feel well:(  By midnight he was violently ill to his stomach and of course it hit me about 4 hours later:(  It was like a repeat of the norovirus that we got last year at the EXACT same time!  Luckily this time we were home and it didn't spread to anyone else, not even Bryn-thank god! 
Superman photobomb!

Santa was a success!

All snuggled up for the Christmas Lights Parade

Pretty Bryn in Uncle Chris' arms while Auntie Stacie takes the pic

Hanging out in the Bumbo while I prep for Christmas Eve dinner

I start back at work on Jan 13th for the second semester.  I'm quite nervous and anxious as I will miss the kids terribly and Bryn will only be 5 months so that will be soooo hard.  We had to find a new place for them to go on TWTh since Linda already had an infant and cannot take more than 1 at a time.  We had some referrals and checked them out, but the last woman we met with was AMAZING!  Seriously couldn't think of anyone better.  She only takes kids TWTh, the days we need and only has 4-5 kids and has a huge yard, takes the kids on walks everyday around the golf course, has a garden that the kids help plant and then she has them cook with her the things from the garden!  She only makes all the food she serves.  Her kids went to Sacred Heart and San Joaquin, just like me:)  Her house is literally about 2 min from my work as well, so I will be super close and it won't be a long commute, like it usually is, since child care has always been pretty far from home and work for me:)  I will take Harper the first week by himself to get him adjusted and then start taking Bryn the second week.

I know that the first few weeks back will be a rough transition as my most of my students have never met me (some of my Spanish 3 kids have had me in Spanish 1 though) and have had a not so great sub for the first semester.  I will spend lots of time training them and getting them into my routine.  This is much like the beginning of any shcool year except they now all know each other and I don't know them.  Hopefully it is pretty smooth.  Several of my co-workers say my students are anxiously waiting my return, so that make me feel good:)

Bryn: 4 months
-15.3 lbs
-24.75 inches
-napping once in the morning and a big long nap at the same time as Harper's in the afternoon
-going to bed around 9, waking once for a feeding, wakes up around 8/830
-sleeping in her rock and play, haven't transitioned her to the pack and play yet
-swaddled for naps and sleep
-much happier and easier to deal with in the evenings
-doing better in her carseat on rides
-rolls from stomach to back
-really good head control
-sits up in bath seat
-loves the piano
-loves Harper, he always make her smile
-isn't fazed by the screaming Harper does
-giggles and laughs
-no spitting up
-lots of drooling

Harper: 32 months
-34 lbs
-naps from 1-4, sleeps from 9-8/830
-loves all superheros
-had a blast over Christmas
-learned Rudolph the Red Nosed reindeer
-plays with his friend Luke really well now
-loves the park
-loves his sister and helps get her things, calms her, puts her paci in
-talks from sun up to sun down
-will pee on the big boy toilet

-Harper saw a pic of a dog with the grinch hat on and said "oh he's being the grunch"

-Bryn hit her face on mine and started to calm her I started to nurse her and Harper asked:
"Did she settle down? Is she going to cry again?"

-Harper said he's going to teach Bryn how to talk and she's not going to wear onesies anymore because she's going to be a big girl.

-I gave Harper a plate of pizza and after a minute he said "actually I need some ranch!"

-I was picking Harper up out of the crib and must have groaned because of his weight, he said "I'm heavy because I am growing"

-The other night Bryn started to get fussy in the piano and he told me "Mom, I got this" and went over and started to play with her to calm her down.