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Monday, July 27, 2009

Nose As Abstract Art

This is what happens when your toddler thinks you hold the camera lens toward your face. These were taken with my little point and shoot camera. There are dozens of variations on this shot on her vtech camera.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Painted Piggies

I painted our toenails during Violet's long sit on the potty last week. It was a good incentive to keep her content, and she thinks it's pretty neat that our toes match. 

These are the flip-flops handed down by a neighbor. I'm not a fan of them for young kids, but she's thrilled to wear them around the house, where she also wears my flip-flops any chance she gets. The girl is all about footwear. After months of being great about putting matching shoes on the correct feet, now she deliberately chooses different shoes for each foot. It makes getting ready to leave the house even more interesting.

As for the potty learning...she is so close but seems to be scared or confused about actually going on the potty. She did a few little trickles the night we painted toes, and I think she may have stopped herself when she felt it happening. She gets really frustrated by being on the cusp of figuring anything out, and this is no exception. She's frustrated by going in her diaper and frustrated by trying to go on the potty. Fun times.

Turn Turn Turn

Gator really surprised me yesterday morning. I put him down on a fun quilt (thanks, Barb!) for some tummy time. His sister loves to look at all the animals and talk about them. Gator, well, he had other things on his mind. He quickly shifted so he could watch the Tour of France (the jerseys with interesting colors intrigue him).

He rolled from his belly to his back! I thought maybe it was a fluke where he happened to move in the right way at the right time, but he did it again for my mom that afternoon. 

Someone tell this kid he doesn't need to be in quite such a big hurry to grow up! We can't believe his gross motor skills. Violet was pretty early with these things as well, but he has her beat so far by rolling over at 2 months, 3 weeks. She learned back to belly first, I think around 3.5 months. I'm not sure way most babies learn to roll first.

By the way, he's wearing a onesie decorated by my cousin at his sister's baby shower. We have a fun variety of hand-decorated onesies. They make great nightwear for warm summer nights and I think of the people who made them as I dress my babies in them.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A very sad day

Happier days

I feel like I've failed as a cat owner because I couldn't make my girl happy in our home.  She had multiple issues, including a tendency to get stress-related UTIs when babies were around. Which she told us about by peeing in the wrong places. She grew more tolerant of Violet as she got older, but my kitty still didn't like being around her. And the sound of a baby crying visibly irks her. Since Gator's arrival, my kitty did a big backslide and has not been a happy girl. 

When Violet was little, kitty started having bladder issues. It turned out she had a bladder full of stones, possibly from repeated UTIs that weren't bad enough for her to tell us about. Hubby wanted to put her to sleep rather than treat her, but I couldn't bear to do that to an otherwise fairly healthy cat with many years ahead of her. It didn't help that I too have stone issues. And trouble dealing with the stresses of children. Putting her to sleep would have sent my post-partum depression into a deeper state, and we ended up paying for her surgery. It took her longer than we'd thought to completely recover from a deep-seated infection and she continued to get some UTIs and be unhappy about having a child around. She was a big girl and kept slowly gaining weight despite having her on a diet on special food. Because of her bulk, she couldn't jump over a baby gate. The logistics of having a small child and having a cat who needs access to her basement litterbox meant she was on one side the gate and we were usually on the other, and she was understandably lonely. 

I had false hope when she was accepting Violet more. Then Gator was born and things weren't good again. There was an irksome toddler AND a baby with a cry that really annoyed her. My husband has been less than supportive and kept saying to just put her to sleep. When she got her first UTI after the baby was born, I knew it wasn't good. We treated it and I tried to make time to spend with her without a child with me (and I don't have a lot of time like that). Then she let me know there was a problem again, and we knew we couldn't keep doing this. And it looked like there might be a stone in her urine. Sometimes it's hard to tell when you're cleaning up a kitchen floor that needs swept. 

My husband and I had agreed when we did the surgery before that if there were any more problems with stones, we couldn't do the surgery again. Finding out if there were indeed stones, or treating another UTI, kept adding to the cost of her care and funds are very tight at the moment. I wanted to give her every chance I could, but we couldn't keep doing this. And she was so stressed with our current living situation. I would have loved to find a home where there were no small children and someone could work with her special care needs. Life with small children often stresses me out, too, and I wish she could be as happy as she was when it was just two adults and two cats.

The sad reality is that there are so many sweet and caring animals out there who needs homes, and not enough homes for them. Shelters have to make very difficult decisions. Our adoption contract with the SPCA said we'd return our cat to them if we couldn't keep her, and she needed a home where she'd be happier. But the chances of her being adoptable were so slim, especially with her stress reacts to car rides, new situations, etc. I could have returned her to the SPCA and told myself they found her a happy home and let them make the difficult decisions. And put her through a ton of stress in her final days, with lots of car rides, strange people, strange places, and a living situation that is even more stressful than life with small children.

Instead, she got a special treat of canned food that would be awful for her diet, and lots of extra chin scratching and affection every chance I could give it to her. She cried on the way to the vet today, as did I. She hated be there, as usual. I stayed with her as the medication made her drop her agitated stance, relax, and go to sleep. And leave this world. 

Rest in peace, my dear, sweet girl. I'm so sorry we couldn't make it work out better for you. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Grins & Giggles

I LOVE that he's smiling and giggling so much these days! At 2.5 months old, he's becoming a bit more than an eating, peeing/pooping, spitting up machine.

His big sister seems to enjoy his reactions and he likes to watch the crazy things she does to try to make him smile. She seems to be accepting him more and even enjoys having him around sometimes. We still have issues when she's tired or otherwise feeling needy and wants undivided attention.

Some days are really challenging with the two of them. But these big grins really help.

Edited to add: The photos at the top aren't showing up like I'd thought they would. Frustration with the template got me looking, and now that I see how many cool templates are out there... expect a makeover soon! I've spent more time than intended on my blog tonight and need to stop looking at templates and do other things.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Snapshots of our day

"My boo-boo is going really really fast!!"

She's "flying" on the Sit n Spin, and so is the scraped knee that she is so proud of. That boo-boo seems to have a life of its own!

Meanwhile, Gator chills in the swing where he goes if I want to be not holding him and have him still be content for more than a few minutes. And Tour of France coverage is on TV. 

Friday, July 17, 2009

Blame it on the cat.

Not guilty.

Violet likes to announce one someone farts (or has gas, depending on which word appeals to her at the moment). There are people in her life who do this more than others, and she often pipes up that so-and-so farts too when she hears her baby brother making noise with his rear end. 

So, hypothetically, Violet was sitting in the bathroom with company from someone we'll call "Mommy" when Mommy uncharacteristically let one rip. At the exact moment the cat came to visit. Said cat has been known to have some stinky farts, but they're the silent but deadly kind. Nonetheless, my little girl immediately announced "[CatName] farted. He had gas." And so on. It's never a brief remark about something as exciting as gas or poop. (It's super exciting when Gator poops. Which, lucky Violet, is something he does a whole lot, because he's a newborn!)

This is why I'm so desperate for adult conversation sometimes. I just have to remember that not everyone discusses peepee and poopy all the time. Thank goodness some of my friends are moms who won't look at me funny if a poop comment slips out.

"I love you so so very much."

Said my sweet (for the moment) little girl as we left a voicemail for Daddy. Then she kissed the phone, which had a picture of him on the screen, a few times. And then my cell phone got a hug. 

It was really sweet. Our days are full of many more moments like the one pictured below:

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Things I never thought I'd say until I became a mother

I don't want your booger.

I don't want your boogers in my hair!

I get to eat chocolate because I pooped on the potty. 

Daddy doesn't want you to tell everyone he went poopy.

Don't touch your poop! Keep your hands out of your diaper!

Thank you for saying please, but I don't think the cat is going to do what you want.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Two months old

Smiling at his mobile today.

Gator is most definitely a growing boy. At his two month checkup yesterday, he weighed 12 lb., 12 oz. and was 24 inches long. Even the largest of his 0-3 month onesies have to be really stretched to snap, and the smaller ones are long outgrown. He was wearing mostly 3-6 month clothing for much of June. 

We're seeing more and more smiles and coos and even the occassional giggle. He likes having his feet tickled and will coo conversationally if he's in a good mood. The safari animal mobile that his sister adored recently started fascinating him as well. He enjoys that, the aquarium soother, and a soft mirror with a rattle and other things attached when he is hanging out in his crib. It keeps him happy for a little while so I can focus on other things for 10 or even 15 minutes.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Big sis was trying to be nice by letting him use her special pillow and piling toys around (and on) him, but he's not that into it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ginormous Gator

Gator looks huge in this picture. He is getting bigger all the time. I'm curious to hear his stats at his two month checkup this week.

See all those Little People, rubber duckies, etc. on the bed? They are some of Violet's "friends". She loads about 15 of them into the doll stroller and pushes them around. They must be in the room she wants to be in. When big sis is feeling generous, she shares with little brother. Whether he's interested in having toys piled on him or not.

For Mimi, press one. For GG, press two.

Fun with a phone earlier tonight. 

Daddy wears his sunglasses on his head. So that's where hers belong, right??

She burned some energy today at the pool. There was great alarm when she realized that her frog did not come back from the pool. Temporary tattoos can't stay forever. We decided he must have liked the water too much to come home.

Feet Feats

Earlier this week, Violet came home from Grandma's with these:

And a frog "tattoo" on her arm. She's thrilled by both. 

But I don't know what's up with those feet. She keeps sending them to time out. Sometimes we don't know why. Sometimes it's because they are on the table when we are eating. Because of course, it's all the fault of the feet, not the brain controlling them.