Friday, May 31, 2013

Nolan's Dedication

I am finally getting around to posting Nolan's dedication pictures. We had family come out for Mother's day to celebrate this time in our family's faith. We did it on Mother's day with Eliza just after she was born. Nolan didn't cry like his sister did.

The whole Family!

Mr. G parents did the Dedication

Did You Get My Good Side?

This is what sums up how well it went when we tried to get some 2 year old milestone pictures done at JCP after out attempts of a big family portrait with both sides of grandparents. She did NOT want to cooperate and insisted on having Mr. G's phone to play with. The only way we were able to get her to sit for the family was having Mr. G cover up his phone in her little hot hands. Except there is no way for that solution to work out with it being Eliza by herself.

So Mommy took a crummy situation and made light of it and did her own little shoot in the waiting area like a photographer does with a model fashion shoot! My favorite is the shot of her charging the camera in anger after I took several prior.

The will is strong in her, no?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Four Months

Yes, it really has been 4 months since this little guy entered our lives and changed it forever. He is such the wise little old man as family keeps commenting on it. Certainly a charmer for sure. Standing has been a new thing in this last month, along with grabbing and playing with toys. If Eliza gets her hair too close, he'll grab that too!

We still are not sleeping through the night yet. It is hard to gage when one should let them cry it out a little bit. I think if he was sleeping in his own room, it would be a whole different ball game.

We get lots of chatter from Nolan, and sort of a laugh/squeal here and there. Clothing has been mostly in the 3-6 month range, with a few items being 9 months since I am tired of putting away outgrown clothes and want out summer outfits to last until September. Especially if the length can not be adjusted with sleepers or rompers. Plus I think boys can get away with it more with clothing be a bit baggy. Otherwise, I swear there isn't a huge amount of difference between a few of the sizes.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Great FREE Summer Idea

Eliza found new "toys" in the pantry

With summer just on the horizon, many parents might be panicking at the thought of what to do over those long months, especially if they have school aged kids along with "littles".

While Eliza was having speech therapy this morning, a great idea occurred to me. It is free and it encourages new imagination.

The Summer Toy Swap! 

We all know the toys that our kids seem to ignore or have lost interest in. They become more clutter, pieces get lost and we keep swearing that we won't need to buy any birthday or Christmas gifts for MANY years....

Here is what you do!

Get a group of mommies together who want to participate. Have them find the toys which aren't getting much attention paid to. Clean them up and put in a clear plastic storage tote. Depending on size and skill levels, you can spread them out into more totes. Be sure to put a check list of all the contents and how many of each piece. After all totes have been created between the mommies, get together and do a swap. Be sure to set a swap time limit until the next swap happens when you then swap for a different tote. With knowing the ages of the kids in your group of mommies, you will have a good idea as to what might interest the other kids. This works especially well when you have young/older kids who've outgrown some toys and haven't been donated or yard sale'd. Or even having opposite gender kids where all the bigger hand me downs don't work for that gender.

Kids are happy to have something different to play with...

Mom's are happy to have kids entertained with out having to buy more toys...

No more EXTRA clutter!

You might even be able to do the same with large outdoor toys depending. A few ideas for totes are:

Sensory box w/ theme
Action figures
Wooden trains and tracks
Play Balls
Toddler sensory
Video Games
Arts N Craft
Coloring books
Barbies or Dolls
Board Games

The ideas are limitless...and once your original toys come back, your kids might take a new interest in their old toys :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Coming Soon

Life has been a bit crazy lately and family is staying in town. Hoping to post updates soon for my loyal readers near and from afar.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

My Little Chippendale

My little man is now 3 months old! Hard to believe that much time has passed as a family of 4 now. With my last time doing new born shots with the vintage luggage, I wanted to pull it out again and try and perfect the usage and variety of these props.

Of course the bow-tie had to come out and I think the Bum Genius cloth diaper "Genius" series with chalk board equations worked well.

Muslim wraps work nicely as blankets that do not overwhelm the focus point, while an Ikea toddler pillow is just the right size for a positioning cushion.

As the sun changed position in the afternoon, I had to dance around the tree so I wouldn't get any spots or rays falling on my subject.

These last two shots were the most difficult and nerve racking to get since I was by myself and Nolan has wanted to roll a lot and lift his shoulders with head. I suggest using wool socks or any large sock and fill with beans or rice to help in making bumpers under cloths when positioning them in a certain way. And a spouse is always appreciated when it comes to them jumping in the shot to tickle a chin and quickly pulling out in order to get those baby smiles. Otherwise you do a TON of talking to them with tiny windows of changed expressions. 

Over all, I am happier with how these turned out with natural and an outdoor setting verses a studio set up.

Friday, May 3, 2013


As each parent watches their child grow, they watch them among many other children their age. I know one shouldn't break the cardinal rule of, "Thou shalt not compare their children from their peers."' But at the same time, there is this part which keeps nagging you that something still doesn't seem right. You can't exactly put your finger on it, but while other children seem to master or not struggle with the same things your child is, you can't help but wonder.

After initially trying to get the process going for Eliza when she turned 18 months, I decided not to since everyone kept telling me she was "so close" to really talking. Yet, I still kept hearing it after each month passed after the next. This is when I decided to want to know for sure. Was I freaking out or overly concerned over nothing or something?

We had Early Intervention come out, and with a team from Children's Therapy Network, they came out to test Eliza on her development. To her, it seemed like lots of fun games. She struggled to have the therapist pull out a game for her to try and then have to have it put way so they could move along.

After all was said and done, they tallied up her scores and used a scale to see where she fell in numerous categories. To my surprise, they found her to be lacking in some gross motor skills. It was enough to put her in the below average side. This was even after they asked me if she had done any of these tasks with us at all or consistently. They addressed also her body awareness when it came to motor skills, hence why she seemed to always have this dare devil and clumsy tendencies. 

Her speech and cognitive processing fell at 66, where 95 was the low side of the average cut off. This was no surprise to me as I've found her better to communicate with body language than verbal.

We soon should start having physical and speech therapy twice a week starting soon. I am just glad we finally have some answers. But at the same time, I can't help but wonder if some of these issues are because of me? Have I not been a good enough parent trying to teach my little girl these things? Has my working interfered with having the chance to accomplish these things? I have always felt a sense of guilt when I am away from my kids, only to be spending the time working to create fun activities and games for the rest of the other kids in our town.

A shout Out

Just thought I'd give a shout out to my Russian readers as you guys check in more to my blog than those in the United States.

We've been hit by some wonderful stomach bug at the moment. I left work early and took advantage of having some previously arranged childcare so I could be ALONE in my house for several hours to try and recover. Eliza is the other one so far who first showed any sickness with me falling shortly after while at work. I think I am on the mend at this point and look forward to visiting the bathroom less frequently and eating more than toast and biscuits.