Thursday, August 30, 2012

American History Museum

During Aunt Katie's visit we went to the American History Museum.  Currently there is an exhibit on the history of transportation.  They have an actual 'L' train from Chicago on display.  You can "ride" in it. (It's pretty slick the way they make you feel like you're actually moving.)

Later at home Desmond realized his elephant Elle and the 'L' share a name.  So a couple of weeks later we went back so Elle could ride The L.

We also discovered that same exhibit has a train named "Charlotte" on display.  Funny coincidence.

As an aside, the restored flag that inspired the Star Spangled Banner is now on display as well.  I found it to be incredibly moving - similar to viewing the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives.  I highly recommend seeing it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Great Dad

These kids have a great dad.  Wouldn't these have been nice photos on Fathers' Day?  :-)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Charlotte Crawls

Classic tupperware shot.
In July Charlotte started crawling in earnest.  None of this army-style stuff for her. She rocked on all fours for a couple of weeks then started outright crawling.

I wondered if these milestones would be less moving the second time around.  They aren't.  It's really wonderful to watch your child work so hard to accomplish something.  The determination, perseverance, satisfaction they experience makes my heart sing.

Needless to say, she's into everything.  I'm trying hard to just keep her alive....more on that later.

Catch me if you can!

How did she wedge herself in there?

Maybe Desmond will drop some food for me.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Human Body

Last month, Des was been fascinated with the human body.  Beneficiaries of my newly retired mother cleaning out her school supplies, we have models of the human body, posters, books, etc.  It's been fun.

Here are some of the resulting discussions:

- (After an encounter with a stomach bug) "Boy Mom, my sphincter is going crazy!"

- "Oh I can't eat anymore, my liver won't let the preservatives through."

- "Are you sure girls don't pee out of their anuses?"

- "I can't eat that.  My esophogus won't let it through."

Saturday, August 18, 2012

To Know and Be Known

I used to slightly resent the fact that my parents assumed they knew me so well.  My reasoning went, how could they "know" me when I was a mystery to myself half the time?

It's true humans are mysterious beings.  But I'm devloping a new appreciation for how intimately a parent knows his or her child.  Desmond can choose to share himself with guests or extended family - sweet or naughty, repetitive or clever - but none of them will see the full scope of his personality like Peter and I do. They won't see the full picture of his life that makes a one sentence comment deeply meaningful and insightful into his life.

It's a great responsibility and privledge to hold such an intimate view into a person.  May we weild it well.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Charlotte Eats

In early May we started feeding Charlotte solid foods. I've taken an approach loosely based on baby led weaning.  Basically you are encouraged to give your child food the rest of the family eats and let the baby feed himself/herself.  The idea is that your child will be able to physically feed herself what is age appropriate and better handle a wider variety of foods later.

I'm not as hard-core as they promote.  I feed Charlotte things with a spoon myself (yogurt, soup, etc.)  But I've only made one or two batches of purees for her.  It really has been much easier on me.  I think Charlotte might have less variety than Desmond did as a baby, but she definitely handles chunkier food better than he did.

I wanted to try baby led weaning for two reasons.  First, it just seemed like less work.  :-)  Second, we wanted to try and avoid some of Desmond's eating struggles.  Desmond was a fabulous eater as a baby.  I made all sorts of flavored purees for him with a wide ranges of foods nad spices.  At 14 months he became very rigid in what he would eat.  His list of "yes" foods was healthy, but he never ventured off the list.  While he's slowly becoming more flexible, it's still a struggle for him.

For those of you interested in the details, we started her off with soft foods like avocado and soft banana.  Gradually added foods like heavily steamed broccoli, tomatoes, fish, scrambled eggs, etc.  Before she had many teeth I would give her a stick of bell pepper or cucumber to gnaw on.  Once more teeth came in, she could bite off chunks that she couldn't chew, which was a problem.  Overall, I am amazed at how her gag reflex kicks in and keeps her from choking.  I was *so nervous* about Desmond choking as a baby.  It turns out, babies are pretty good at not choking.

While Charlotte eats almost anything we give her now, I'm sure that will change as she becomes a toddler.  So while I'm hopeful, I'm not counting on anything being easy!
Be warned, baby led weaning is really, really messy.
Thankfully there's usually a sink nearby afterwards!

Friday, August 10, 2012


We've had some fun forts in the past few months, but most of them were parent designed. Finally, Desmond is owning fort construction.  His first fort was also his first foray into the world of exclusive play.  He told us people with long legs were not allowed.  Hence we could not come in his fort.

No long legs allowed

Since then, he's learned he can make almost anything a fort or a nest.  For the particularly "cushy" forts, he likes to play in them naked because, "The cushions feel sooooo good on my body!"
A nest with pillows from all the bedrooms, books from his room and all clothes
 from his dresser.  Naked, of course.