Thursday, July 31, 2014

Waunakee Parks Adventure Day

I had to run an errand in Waunakee yesterday, so I decided to turn the day into a fun park exploration day.  We went to Ripp Park first, where the girls liked to play in the tunnel that they thought looked like a fish.  We also played a game or two of hide and seek, where the best hiding place was right behind me, and everyone took a turn on the swings.  This was our least favorite park because there wasn't much to play on, and there was hardly any shade.

Then we went to the Piggly Wiggly to pick up food to make a picnic lunch - the girls chose baby carrots, apples, croissants, cheddar cheese, baby pepperonis, apple juice and M&M cookies.  It was a tasty picnic, although Amelia realized that she shouldn't have chosen an apple because she had a hard time taking bites out of it with four wiggly teeth.  We ate our picnic at the picnic shelter at Centennial Park.  After lunch, the girls played for a long time on the bouncy bridge, climbing wall, and swinging mushrooms.  Nathaniel and I enjoyed the nice shady trees, although we also sat for a while in the shade of the playset, trying to guess where the girls were just by the sounds they were making.

Then we drove to Waunakee Village Park, which has a little stream running through it.  We saw quite a few kids in the knee-high stream with nets and buckets, so we went over to ask what they were doing.  Turns out they were catching crawfish (which people call crayfish here).  One of the bigger girls was so nice, and helped Amelia and Megan get into the stream so they could wade around.  She showed them how to catch the crawfish, but the girls were not interested in trying it themselves.

I got them out of the water to play on the playset, and they enjoyed the climbing ropes and the big sandpit, but they were really just anxious to get back into the water.

I sat Nathaniel down in the sand, but he immediately tried to eat it.  He wasn't a fan.

I think it would be fun to go back to this park with water shoes and a net and see if we can catch some crayfish ourselves.  Plus, it was such a cute park with the stream, weeping willows and stone bridges.

We were outside from 11am to 3:30, and then we had to go home to get ready for gymnastics.  It was such a fun day!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Visiting Grandma Jane and Grandpa Jeff - everything else

So what else did we do in Glen Carbon?  Well, on Saturday, Uncle Bob, Aunt Debbie, Grandma Marion, Uncle Bryan, cousin Katie, Becky, Dan, Natalie and Rosemary came over for a little party.  It was pretty hot outside, at least by Wisconsin standards, so the girls had a fun time playing in the pool and with the sprinkler.

Nathaniel did NOT like the pool, I think because the water was cold.  He sat in it just long enough to get wet, and then he wanted to get out and snuggle with me:

He was happy to hang out with Katie, though.  He sometimes has a little stranger anxiety now, but he didn't fuss at all in Katie's arms.  I think he could sense that she's a natural with kids.

I have discovered a good consequence when Amelia is not nice to Megan - she has to read Megan a book of Megan's choice.  Megan loves to be read to, and by the time Amelia has finished the book, usually they are getting along well again.  This time they got to read books outside on Grandma and Grandpa's new child-sized bench that was a gift from Bob and Debbie.

Nathaniel may not have enjoyed the pool, but he did like getting to play with Rosemary.  He is very curious about people's faces right now, especially their eyes and eyelashes.  But don't worry, he didn't actually grab Rosemary's face here.

One morning, Jeff decided to swaddle Amelia.  She thought it was really funny, and asked Grandpa to carry her around like a baby.  Aren't they sweet?

We went to get Tropical Sno one evening, although we had to drive all the way over to Troy, since our normal place in Glen Carbon closed.  The girls were very excited to get a sno, and they each made up their own flavor.  Amelia says she had cotton candy, pink lemonade and blue raspberry; she's calling it Amelia's Mystery Flavor, because, as she says, she's "really into mystery books".  I had Frog in a Blender, with watermelon and green apple.  It was very tasty, not like an actual frog.

 We took a walk around a small lake after we got our sno; Megan ran almost the entire way.  We could hear tree frogs chirping from the edges of the lake, but we only saw one.  The girls were having fun watching their shadows, so Jeff tried to get some photos of them jumping.  Megan doesn't quite get the idea of jumping exactly on a number, and plus she was done after a few tries, but Jeff got quite a few good shots of Amelia.

Jeff asked me to send him a good photo of him with the girls, if I had one, and this is the best one that I had:

While the girls were playing in the pool one day, Amelia decided to take a break to make funny faces, and she convinced Grandma and Grandpa to go along with her.  She thought Grandpa might need a little help making a funny face:

I think Amelia's face is pretty funny, too!

Next time I'll make an effort to take a genuinely nice photo of Jeff with the kids.  As the primary photographer, it is very unusual to see a photo of myself with the kids, so I always appreciate it when someone else takes a photo with me in it.  I'll have to remember to do the same for Jeff.  Oh, and we did remember to put Nathaniel in the antique baby carriage this time.  I'm amazed more babies didn't fall out of strollers when they were built like this, because Nathaniel sure seemed to want to explore in front of him, and he would have toppled right on his face if we'd let him.

Jeff gave Megan a fishing pole for her birthday, and then he took the girls fishing while we were there.  They didn't catch anything, but they said they had a good time.  Apparently there are quite a few neighborhood ponds around here where kids can go fishing, so hopefully Jeff can take them again when he comes to visit next.

And finally, Great-Grandpa Jim came over for dinner one evening, and had a chance to hold Nathaniel.  He was surprised at how much Nathaniel liked to bounce.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Nathaniel is eight months old!

Nathaniel has been a very happy, easy-going baby this month.

Nathaniel's eighth month can be summarized by sitting up, eating purees and eczema.  He figured out how to sit up confidently on his own right after he saw Jonathan at my parents' house.  Who says peer pressure is always a bad thing?  He very rarely falls over now, and he loves to sit up, grab for toys, and eat them.  He especially likes to chew on Peter Rabbit's ears.

He also likes to try to pull up and eat the grass:

Amelia and Megan still love to hold him, but he refuses to be held like a baby anymore.  Instead, he wants to sit up in their laps:

He would rather play with his sisters than be hugged and squeezed by them, though:

And he is starting to like a very gentle type of rough-housing with them:

He is happily eating all kinds of baby food now, and has turned into such a neat eater that sometimes I don't even make him wear a bib.  He hates bibs.  His favorite puree is probably pear, and his least favorite is definitely green beans.

He also loves to eat Puffs; he became interested in those after seeing Natalie gobble them up at the Botanic Gardens in St. Louis.  She shared a few, and he tried them and decided they were tasty.

The girls still love to feed him, and while they are getting better at feeding him with a spoon, they are especially delighted to get to give him puffs.  Nathaniel even has Megan trained to put the puffs right in his mouth so he doesn't have to pick them up himself.  It is so cute.

Poor Nathaniel had bad eczema this month.  It started getting worse at Mom and Dad's in late June, his upper chest was dry, patchy and red, and I'm sure it itched him because he kept trying to scratch it.  In addition to being my pinkeye and strep throat expert, Becky is also my eczema expert, and she gave me the recommendations from her pediatric dermatologist.  So, Nathaniel has had daily baths with Eucerin sensitive baby wash, and has been slathered in Cetaphil and petroleum jelly twice a day for the last month.  His skin is looking a lot better now, and it doesn't seem to bother him any more.  I also had removed gluten from his diet, so I will reintroduce that pretty soon and see if his skin gets worse.  Thankfully, Nathaniel really likes baths, and is happy to splash and play in the water every day.

Julie posted a cute photo of Jonathan wearing seersucker overalls, in honor of National Seersucker Day in Congress (the history escapes me), so I thought I'd dress Nathaniel in his seersucker overalls, too.  I think he liked them.

I got a video of his precious baby giggles:

He is starting to show interest in crawling, but so far he has only figured out how to scoot himself backwards.  He can't quite get his knees under himself yet.  You can see him trying to scoot his knees up in this photo:

He gets kind of angry when I put him down for tummy time and then put his toys just out of reach.

So then he rolls over, scoots himself backwards, gets himself turned completely around, and pulls the blanket towards him until he can get to the toys he wants.  He's resourceful!

He helped me with the laundry today by tasting Daddy's socks to make sure they were clean.  Thankfully they were!

His baby hair almost completely fell out, and now a new set of hair is growing in.  You can see the hair on the top of his head, but the back is still mostly bald.  This means that you can barely see the bald spot he got from scooting around on his head.  His hair is growing in blond, with maybe a hint of red.

Let's see.... what else?  He is wearing 9 month clothes, has no teeth yet, weighs somewhere above 17lbs, and has been going through a stage of waking up 3 times a night for the past few nights.  I don't know why, maybe he's teething?