With Father’s Day upon us, I was racking my brain for something thoughtful and sentimental. I’ve already done the photobook thing, plus I found it too time consuming. I’d have to spend time I don’t have to edit pictures, upload them, then put them in a layout that would satisfy me. That was out.
My thoughts turned to Instagram. All my favorite pictures are already in my account and filtered to my liking, so I decided to look into companies that specialized in Instagram prints. I came across Printstagram and decided to give it a whirl. The web interface looked nice, and I liked the product offerings.
They offer a variety of options – you can get individualized Instagram prints, get them bound into a book, create a poster, or have your pictures framed. I loved the poster idea and at $25-35, it sounded really reasonable. My problem was that I didn’t have enough Instagram photos to do it. Ever since, I’ve been making it my mission to make sure I get my favorite photos uploaded onto Instagram – apologies for those who follow me, and the bombardment of pictures you’ve been seeing lately. I eventually want to get that poster made and framed for our parents!
This is how the process works:
1. On the Printstagram site, they’ll have you login to your Instagram account so they can pull all your pictures.
2. Choose which product you’re interested in. Do the appropriate click-throughs.
3. Pick and choose which Instagram photos you want printed.
4. Checkout! Shipping is a flat rate of $7 regardless of how many products you purchase, so I would recommend ordering in bulk.
I decided to go with a Framed Print, which was part of Mr. Heels’ Father’s Day gift, and 2 Minibooks that I gave both our Mom’s as part of their Mother’s Day gifts.
I was very pleased with the minibooks! You get to choose up to 100 Instagram photos, split into two books of 50 prints each, OR you can choose 50 photos and make 2 of the exact same books. I chose 50 photos and got two identical minibooks, one for each of our mom’s. It truly is mini, and about the size of a baseball card. Now they have wallet-sized photos of our kids to carry around wherever they go!
The cover is made out of thick, transparent plastic and the back is on opalescent, white plastic. I used the back to write a little Mother’s Day note. These would be great to use in lieu of a card because at $6/book, they’re pretty similar in price as the nicer cards these days! The photos are printed on really thick, glossy cardstock, and the colors came out so vibrant and clear. I’d definitely recommend this product!
Framed Print Review:
I ordered two frames – one with a lot of daddy/daughter and daddy/son pictures, and another of just Noelle. In the future, I plan to create one with just Jaren. You can create a frame with up to 16 images by doing a 4 x 4 collage, or frame as little as one oversized Instagram image. I chose a 3 x 3 because I wanted my Instagram prints to be large enough that you can view them from afar, but I also wanted a decent amount of pictures in my frame.
The frames came tightly packaged in a lot of bubble wrap and brown paper, in a box that fit the dimensions of the frames exactly. The frames were really lightweight and felt kind of cheap to me, and although I had an idea of what the dimensions were going to be 12″ x 12″ frames, it still looked smaller than I imagined.
I was not IN LOVE with this purchase, but once I put it on the wall it looked nice. Is it worth the $60 per frame? No, I think it’s supremely overpriced. Next time I will probably purchase a frame separately, print out individual Instagram prints, and arrange my pictures together in the 9 x 9 style on my own.
Bottom Line – I would definitely order prints from Printstagram again, but some of their products are more worth it than others. The quality is excellent. I was happy with the thickness of their cardstock, quality of the ink, and prompt shipping. At the time I ordered, they posted an apology saying there would be a 2-3 week turnaround time for any framed prints… so imagine my surprise when the frames arrived in perfect condition 2 days later! The minibooks arrived the next day in a separate shipment. The biggest con at the moment is that you can’t rearrange your photos in a particular way, they are randomized. However, the company did say that is a feature they are trying to implement. I’m hopeful that this company will only continue to get better, and I can’t wait to see them expand their product offerings as they grow!
Have you printed out any Instagram photos?
I feel like I just did a monthly update, and here we are again! The months are flying by with two kids, and it’s hard to believe that Jaren isn’t considered a newborn anymore. They say that it’s easier to enjoy the second child, and although I do worry less, I’m finding that I don’t get to “enjoy” Jaren as much as I’d like because my attention is divided between two. There’s no time to focus on every little detail of his growth and development. I try to really savor those quiet moments with him, to take in all his smells and every square inch of his delicious rolls. I can hardly believe that he is approaching 4-months, and that Noelle is nearly halfway to 3!
One big thing this month is that they both took their first international trip and got a passport stamp to show for it. I was so proud of them for traveling so well (for the most part). It was somewhat stressful waiting through the endless lines at the airport, but once we got to our destination they had a blast.
Stats: none since we didn’t have a well check this month, but the boy is heavy and tall! He is a 3-month old in 9 month sleepers and onesies, and starting to outgrow his size 3 diapers.
New Developments: he’s tracking everything with his eyes and very aware of his surroundings. I try not to even browse the web while I’m nursing anymore because he’ll get distracted. He’s able to hold his head up pretty well and has some incredibly strong legs. He’s also begun to shed his newborn hair and I’m starting to see bald spots on his head. We also noticed that he’s really responsive when we look him in the eye and talk to him directly. He actually responds back with a bunch of gurgles and coos! This lil’ fella is quite the chatterbox. I can already tell he’s going to be much more physical than his older sister too – he is very squirmy and constantly on the move!
Favorite Activities: his fisher-price rainforest mobile, activity gym, and listening to me read from Moo Baa La La La. He giggles every time I make the animal noises!
Personality: he will smile and laugh for anyone and everyone. He loves being around people, and is such a happy, mellow baby! He is very easygoing, and even endured a 9 hour international trip to Cancun this month without fuss.
Sleeping: he regularly sleeps from 8 pm – 5 am in his crib (ok, 4:47 am to be exact – he’s very punctual). We haven’t sleep trained yet (and let’s hope we won’t have to!). Wish I could say his naps were consistent too, but they aren’t. He usually takes one long nap during the day that’s anywhere from 2-3 hours long, and three shorter ones that are each about 45-60 min long.
Eating: breastfeeding is going well, and my oversupply issues are under control now that supply/demand is evening out. He eats about every 2.5 hours, and I don’t pump unless I’m at work.
This month was so much better than last month, and Noelle was mostly back to her sweet self, with some normal toddler tantrums speckled in-between.
New Developments: her imaginative play has been really advancing lately. She is constantly cooking in her play kitchen, but wants to use my real spices to season her food with. She loves to “make” me cake, oatmeal, and eggs. She has tea parties with her toy friends, and loves to prance around in “jewelry”. I don’t know where she learned this stuff.
Would you like a spot of tea?
Favorite Activities: she loves to read, and her favorite books right now are Llama Llama Red Pajama and Mushroom in the Rain, neither of which are board books. She also loves it when I make up stories for her. She is obsessed with Dora the Explorer and that’s pretty much the only show she watches. She also loves to color/draw, and blow bubbles.
Pro bubble blower
Personality: Noelle is still such a strong introvert, and really shies away from new people. It makes it challenging for us because she’s actually more difficult to manage when we’re in social settings than when she’s just with the immediate family. When we’re with friends, she will cling more tightly to me and throw more tantrums than usual. But she is so deliciously sweet when we’re alone – she is like a different person and I wish others got to see the warm, gentle, loving side of her. Her personality is pretty much the polar opposite of her younger brother, which is fascinating to me. I do notice that most siblings I know are pretty opposite from each other though, my sister and I included!
She’s also become the BIGGEST daddy’s girl! Only daddy is allowed to put her to sleep now. And when he walks through our front door after a long day at work, she’ll squeal with delight and rush to give him a warm embrace.
Her daddy lights up her life!
Sleeping: her bedtime has definitely been pushed back. It used to be a very consistent 7-7:30 pm, but now it’s anywhere from 8-9 pm. She also tends to wake up at 6:30 am now no matter how late she sleeps! Looks like she’s needing less and less sleep…
Eating: it’s so hard to predict what she’ll eat/won’t eat and her tastes are constantly changing. One day she’ll happily gobble down some oatmeal, and the next day she’ll look at it as if I’m trying to feed her poison. It can be stressful trying to feed her, and it can be discouraging when I try to provide a well-balanced diet only to have it rejected with nothing to show for my efforts.
Highlight: one of the biggest highlights this month was seeing Noelle develop friendships with other kids at school. One time, I picked her up from preschool to see a little girl named Katie run after her. Katie was yelling, “Noelle Noelle!!”, and Noelle leaped out of my arms and ran to her too. They gave each other a huge embrace and Noelle gave her a kiss on the cheek. I was pleasantly shocked, and her teacher told me that Noelle and Katie are like best friends, and they kiss and hug each other on a daily basis. That completely made my heart swell. It’s bittersweet seeing my little girl grow up. I’m so proud of her.
Having a blast at preschool
Noelle ADORES Jaren and loves to make him smile/laugh (which isn’t hard to do, but she doesn’t know that!). She must think he thinks she’s the funniest little girl in the whole world. She takes such good care of him, and willingly shares all her toys and books with him, and will often try to feed him anything she cooks in her play kitchen. Oh how I love watching them grow together!
Loves to hug, kiss, and pet her brother
“Reading” to J
It’s been a good month in our household, hopefully next month brings more of the same! Cheerio.
A bunch of old college friends decided they wanted to ring in their 30′s with a big trip, so we ultimately decided on Cancun, Mexico! We got a great deal on an all-inclusive resort via LivingSocial – that meant we didn’t have to pay for ANY of the food or drinks we consumed. We definitely took advantage of that, ate at all the upscale restaurants, and ordered room service every day!
Anyway, let’s start at the beginning.
For weeks leading up to the trip, Sam and I were TORN about whether or not we wanted to bring Noelle. None of our friends have kids so this wasn’t exactly going to be the most family friendly trip. Bringing Jaren was a given because he is still so little, and I am still breastfeeding him. We knew it would be a lot easier to take just one of our two kids, but the thought of leaving her behind tore me apart. It would’ve been an easier decision if we were to LEAVE BOTH or TAKE BOTH.
I hated the idea of bringing one and not the other. The upside of leaving Noelle would’ve been more relaxation and freedom for us since Jaren is so portable and low-maintenance at his age. A toddler… not so much. And we would’ve had significantly less luggage. If we did leave her, she would also be with my in-laws, who she loves! Plus we couldn’t help but wonder, would she really even remember or care if she stayed behind? Who remembers things from when they’re 2 years old?
However, it killed me to think that there would be no pictures of her from the trip. I also couldn’t help but think that even if she doesn’t remember this time in her life, what if she subconsciously retains some sense that her parents and her baby brother left her all alone while they went away. Our subconscious is such a tricky thing! I also knew that I would miss her like crazy in a span of 5 days. We’ve never been away from her for that long, and she is so much more aware of things now! In the end, we both decided we wanted to take her. We wanted her to experience a new culture, we wanted to break out of our comfort zone and not be afraid of traveling with two kids, and we wanted our friends to get to know her. It takes a long time for my introverted daughter to warm up to people so we were hoping 5 days would be enough!
Day 1 – Travel Day
Our flight was set to leave LAX around 7 am, so that meant we had to get to the airport at least two hours before! Mike and Arnold were sleeping over, so they were already ready to go. We woke the kids up at 3 am and left the house by 3:45 am. Noelle was getting excited at the prospect of riding an airplane. We parked, and rode a shuttle to the airport, where we waited FOREVER in the AeroMexico baggage check line. This was a day of a lot of waiting, and Noelle was whiny, fussy, and impatient. I was also struggling to find places to nurse Jaren – in bathroom stalls, in a corner by a trashcan, on concrete floors, you name it I attempted it. It didn’t help that we left my Boppy in the car and forgot to take it with us!!
Our first flight was 5 hours long, then we had a 1.5 hour layover in Mexico City, where we had to go through MORE security, MORE baggage checks, go through customs, and even had to pick up our own luggage and bring it over to our connecting flight. It was incredibly inefficient and time consuming all-around.
Once we got through that we were happy to FINALLY sit on our next plane that would take us to our final destination! BUT WAIT. After we were all situated and ready to go, an announcement came on that said they were having issues with the plane. We ended up waiting on a hot, humid plane without A/C for 1.5 hours. Claustrophobics beware. This plane ride was only supposed to be 2 hours – we would’ve almost BEEN there by now. Shoot me now. Thank goodness the kids were surprisingly well behaved.
Anyway, the plane finally takes off and we make it to Cancun! We were meeting Dave and Grace since our arrival times were about the same time, but with the delay and no cell phones who knew if that was even happening! Luckily we found them quickly! Now we had to figure out how to get to our resort. It took another hour before we were able to get on a shuttle that would take us to our resort. Jaren was getting hungry, and there was no good place to nurse him… so I ended up nursing him in the shuttle! Totally would’ve been illegal in America. Sometimes it’s nice to be in a country that doesn’t monitor your every move. It was already getting pretty late in the day, around 6 pm Cancun time, and Noelle hadn’t slept for more than an hour since we first woke up at 3 am!!
Day 1 was off to a rocky start, but the rest of our trip made up for it!
… to be continued (with better pictures I intend to steal from my friends!).
Let’s assume I work 8 hours a day (which I do) and get 6 hours of sleep (which I don’t). Let’s throw in another 2 hours for things like going to the bathroom, brushing teeth, and commuting. For those of us who also have to drop off and pick up our kids at daycare, you get another hour taken from your day! That’s 17-hours gone, just like that. But let’s not get too carried away.
Let’s pretend I’m left with a full 8 hours of “down time” to squeeze in everything else I’d like to take care of in my personal life – you know, stuff like cooking, eating, grocery shopping, and cleaning. Oh, and breathing – let’s not forget to breathe. Whether you stay-at-home, work-at-home, or work-out-of-home, you know those hours literally evaporate at the snap of a finger before a new day starts again.
The number one tip I have for streamlining our routines with such a limited amount of time is to…
1) Take Advantage of the Night Before
These are all the things we do the night before so that we can do less in the morning:
Dinner. I don’t want to end work at 5 pm, come home, and scramble to put dinner on the table. I don’t know about yours, but my daughter walks through the door saying “eat time!”. As a mama to a toddler, I know first hand that nipping hunger in the bud is one of the easier ways to prevent a meltdown. My dinners are really easy so doing it the night before isn’t too much of a time suck. I do a lot of stirfries and crockpot dishes, and I always make sure we have rice in our rice cooker and enough for leftovers.
Toddler Breakfast. I pour milk into a straw cup and set aside a container of yogurt and put some fruit on a plate, then cluster them together in our fridge. This way, all I have to do in the mornings is grab everything and put it on the table. No running back and forth for multiple things. I also make sure breakfast is on the table before I wake her in the mornings.
Toddler Lunch. She usually gets dumplings as her main entree for lunch, which I make in the morning. However, I put everything else I want in her bento the night before (fruit, veggies, cheese, etc). It can be time consuming to assemble a bento, but it’s very easy when it’s all ready to go in the morning with the exception of one or two items.
Bottles for Baby. I mix what I pumped at work the day before and older frozen breastmilk, then divide it into 3 bottles that I keep in the fridge so that my MIL can easily grab and go when she needs them while I’m at work. Once he goes to daycare, I’ll continue to make sure my bottle are prepped the night before.
Pump Parts. I’ve had dreams about forgetting my pump parts at home, so I make absolutely certain the night before that all my pump parts are cleaned, in good working condition, and packed away in my Medela bag. In addition to that, I also keep an extra set of parts at work.
O T H E R T I P S
2) Mass Breakfasts and Lunches
What works for our family is making easy, make-ahead, repeatable breakfasts and lunches. I like to make quiches or baked oatmeal on Sunday nights that will last us for breakfasts through the week. These are extremely easy, healthy, and versatile breakfast options that can be tweaked to your personal preferences. I make my quiches crustless and with greek yogurt for a healthier version. With these breakfast options, all you have to do in the morning is slice and microwave – no mess or cleanup to deal with!
Lunches are often a variation of tuna, chicken, or egg salads prepped on Sunday night ready to be slathered on bread throughout the week.
3) Divide and Conquer
Ever since I got pregnant with #2, Mr. Heels has been handling Noelle’s bath and bedtime routine. He continues to be in charge of that, so while he’s managing her I’ll clean up and wash the dishes (after I finish nursing Jaren). It may not be realistic to always divide and conquer, but we try to whenever possible!
4) Lists Lists Lists!
I’m a list maker – always have been, always will be. It’s become even more essential now that I’m a mom of two. I also have a terrible case of mommy brain, and I fear it may be chronic. Everything from grocery lists to packing lists to to-do lists, you name it I’ve got it. One list that has come in extra handy lately is our morning routine list. As Noelle grows, she’s become increasingly more opinionated and insistent on doing things her way in her own time. To remedy some of that, I reread Mrs. Jacks’ post on how she sequenced her morning routine with Little Jacks.
I created my own morning routine using only visuals because Noelle can’t read yet (I found images online and inserted them into a word document). It’s laminated so I just use a dry erase marker and check it off as we go along. It’s broken down into 5 simple big steps that are easy for Noelle to understand – 1) Eat Breakfast 2) Change diapers/clothes 3) Brush Teeth 4) Choose Gummi Vitamins 5) Go with Daddy to Car. This particular list has helped condense our mornings into a relatively short 30-minutes.
5) Shop During Your Lunch Break
Sometimes it’s a necessary evil, but I really don’t like spending family time on the weekends grocery shopping (I’ll give Costco a free pass. Costco is like an amusement park to her filled with goodies of every shape and size for her to taste and sample). Other than that, I try to do my grocery shopping over my lunch break whenever possible.
I’m constantly racking my brain for new ways to streamline and simplify our routines so that we can have more quality time together as a family, and downtime to recharge. Most days, it feels like an impossible goal, but we do what we can. Even with my mother-in-law around to help, there is still so much to be done.
Do you employ some of these methods? What are some things you do to streamline your life?
As a working mom whose workdays normally start at 8 am, it is now a madhouse in the mornings with the addition of another child. This is a glimpse into our morning shuffle with a 2.5-year and 2-month old.
My days start at 4:30 am and don’t stop until I go to bed at midnight.
Let’s rewind a bit and start our journey at midnight. Jaren will normally wake up anywhere from 10-11:30 pm for his last feeding of the day. Once I’m done nursing, Sam takes him and puts him down while I go to sleep first. This works for us because Sam gets to sleep until morning, whereas I’m up at least once a night, and proceed to stay up.
Jaren’s one night waking happens around 4:30 am. I get up, nurse him, then put him in the swing (because for some reason he’s always wide awake after this feeding!) while I pump for an additional 15-minutes. Once I’m done pumping, I put him back down to sleep in his crib, then get ready for the day.
(Left) Happy as a clam at 4:30 am! It definitely makes the sleep deprivation bearable
(Right) Jaren gets a big sisterly hug
5:30 am - I shower, blow dry my hair, put on my face and clothes (non-work clothes for now because I don’t want to get them wrinkled).
6:30 am - I scramble downstairs where my multi-tasking skills go on overdrive. I immediately put 1 pot and 2 skillets on the stove. The pot is for oatmeal, 1 skillet is for pan-frying dumplings (to go into Noelle’s lunch), and another is for Sam’s eggs. In the midst of all this, I also make myself a very much needed pot of coffee. Finally, I lay out Noelle’s breakfast before I go wake her – it’s usually yogurt and oatmeal with a cup of milk.
6:50 am - I enter Noelle’s room. She’s usually already stirring, and pops up at the sound of the door. It takes about 10-minutes before I can actually get her downstairs for breakfast. She’ll want me to read to her, or she asks to see Baby Jaren. I usually accommodate because I’ve learned that rushing a toddler only causes more problems and takes more time than it’s worth. I read one book with her, tell her Baby Jaren is still sleeping, then whisk her away downstairs.
7:00 am – Breakfast is served. While she eats, I also tie up her hair and put sunblock on her. Jaren usually wakes right around now. By this time, Sam has gotten himself up and ready for work. He usually eats breakfast with Noelle while I nurse Jaren. If Mr. Heels is unavailable, I’ll enlist the help of my Mother-in-law. Once Noelle is done with breakfast, Sam takes her back upstairs to change her diaper and into her school clothes (already laid out for him).
No more high chair for this little lady~
7:30 am - I finish nursing, then hand Jaren off to my MIL. We let Noelle choose her gummi vitamins, and she’s out the door with Sam, who drops her off at preschool on his way to work. Once they’re out the door, I quickly change into my work clothes and gather all my belongings if I’m headed into the office (laptop bag – check, pumping bag – check, insulated lunchbox – check check check).
Have a good day at school, sweet girl!
8:00 am – I’m logged into my computer and ready to start my day!
We’re pretty lucky that both Sam and I have short, 15-minute commutes, but how do you do it if you have a long commute? I cannot even imagine. There are not enough hours in the day to do everything I want and need to do.
Who can relate to this fiasco?? Talk to me about your crazy day!
I can’t believe another month has passed! Some weeks felt incredibly slow, like when I found myself at the peak of newborn fussiness, and other days zoomed by… where all he did was nap all afternoon, while this mama caught up on her blogging! Here’s a brief breakdown of what these past two months were like for me:
Weeks 1-3: PURE JOY. My baby slept around the clock, and barely fussed except when he was hungry. I was still running off adrenaline from new mommyhood and found everything my boy did endearing and sweet. I forgot how wonderful it felt to hold a teensy tiny newborn again. I was in love.
Weeks 3-7: PURE HELL. This period left me wondering, “What the heck was I thinking?? How could I forget how torturous this newborn stage was?!” – I was so tired – nursing every other hour for 24-hours day after day was leaving me ragged.
Weeks 7+: REALITY. Things have been calmer from here on out. There are good moments, and there are bad ones. Jaren’s getting more consistent with his wake, sleep, and eat times. I’m getting longer stretches of sleep, and he’s going longer between feedings. Things feel pretty good as we start seeing the semblance of a rhythm and I get my confidence back as a mom.
Height: 23.5 inches (77th percentile)
Weight: 15.1 lbs. (96th percentile)
Head Circumference: 16 inches (91st percentile)
Clothes: wearing 6-month onesies and sleepers
Diapers: almost out of size 2′s, and can fit size 3′s
- At 5 weeks – he started cooing and smiling a lot.
- 5 weeks 4 days – we transitioned him from our room to his room, but he continued to sleep in the co-sleeper.
- 6 weeks 5 days – we transitioned him to his crib both for naps and at night.
- At 7 weeks – the first time he had only one night waking (he slept from 11:30-3:30 am, then from 4:30-7 am), but this still isn’t consistent.
A lot has happened this past month, and he is a BIG baby! Although we don’t have a predictable schedule in place yet, we do have a routine. We follow an eat/play/wake routine. If he falls asleep nursing, a diaper change is just the trick needed to wake him up. He usually stays up for an hour before his first signs of tiredness start to show (zoning out, yawning), where I’ll promptly prepare him for a nap by changing his diaper, putting him in his swaddle, shutting the curtains, and turning on the white noise machine.
We’ve tried in vain to get him to take a pacifier. I guess both my babies were not meant to be pacifier babies! However, we noticed he started sucking his fist at 5-weeks old and he often does this when he’s starting to get hungry or sleepy. We also started putting him down sleepy but awake around 7-weeks, and happily discovered that most of the time he can fall asleep on his own with minimal fussing.
He got the standard 2-month vaccinations this month (3 shots and 1 oral vaccine for the rotavirus). He seemed fine right afterwards, and even took a short 45-minute nap, but as soon as he woke up he was fussier than normal. I tried shushing, rocking, and patting him but he just seemed so uncomfortable. I finally gave him a small dose of infant Tylenol, and put him down for another nap. He pretty much slept all day from 2-6 pm, and finally woke up to eat. Even though he slept all afternoon, it didn’t affect his night sleep at all. In fact, he only woke up once in the middle of the night. He slept from 8-11pm, then again from midnight-4 am, and finally woke up for the day at 9 am.
I love our son so much. As tired as I am, I look at him through the eyes of a mother and often stare in wonder at the peaceful, happy baby he is. I can’t stop munching on his enormous cheeks, and find myself squeezing his chubby arms, thighs, wrists, and belly every chance I get. It’s incredible how fast he is growing, and I’m excited to see how his personality takes shape in the coming months!
Unfortunately, not all months are fun and games… and month 28 with my firstborn was a particularly brutal one. Her worst week this past month happened to coincide with Jaren’s worst week of sleep (between weeks 6 and 7). Lucky us!! That was the week when I thought, “what the heck did we get ourselves into?!” – it was the week where I really wanted to escape my life, only to discover that there’s no way out.
Things have improved since then, but we definitely have a very opinionated, independent girl on our hands. She wants to do EVERYTHING herself, from opening her own vitamin bottles to dressing herself to cleaning her own snot (yes, she tried to use the NoseFrida on herself). This past month, a few new things occurred:
- She reads books to herself. She kind of memorized Brown Bear Brown Bear, so she’s been reading to ME lately while flipping through the pages.
- She learned how to put on her shoes correctly. She knows that the left shoe goes on the left foot, and vice versa (most of the time).
- She can say her name correctly now! Before, she was calling herself Yoelle. I have no idea why she wasn’t able to say the first syllable of her name because it’s pronounced the same as her favorite word, “No!”
- She can count up to 30 now. I teach her her numbers by randomly counting out loud while we stroll to the park (I’ll count houses, flowers, clouds, etc). She has a great memory, so she can easily repeat it back to me after just hearing me recite them a couple times.
- She knows how to “pump a swing” on her own, meaning she doesn’t need us to push her anymore. Growing up too fast.
- She insists on sitting on a regular chair like the adults do. No more high chair for this little lady!
I’m really tempted to get a learning tower for our kitchen. I’ve been wanting one for so long, but always manage to talk myself out of it. We have a pretty spacious kitchen, and she always wants me to lift her up so she can see what I’m up to. I think this would really allow her to thrive as her need for independence continues to increase.
This month, I constantly found myself on the offensive with her, trying to nip tantrums in the bud before they even start. We’re guaranteed either a tantrum or a huge whiiiiiiine almost every time we say no, or if we pull her away from an activity too quickly. I often arm myself with premeditated words and have to think 5 steps ahead before I approach her. It’s draining, and by the end of the day when both kids are down, I have nothing left in me.
I reread one of Mrs. Bee’s old updates on Charlie, and she gave me words I so needed to hear:
I didn’t get around to doing a 28 month update for Charlie last month because it was a brutal month. Charlie was throwing a lot of tantrums; I feared that the terrible twos had finally set in, and my sweet little boy was gone forever. A friend of mine with 2 kids older than Charlie and Olive told me that during the 2′s and 3′s, there is a continuous cycle of two good weeks and two bad weeks. Then from the age of 4, it gets better with 3 good weeks then 1 bad week. I thought it was an interesting way to look at the toddler/preschool age!
But after the epic month of tantrums, Charlie went back to being his sweet self.
It’s good to know that everything we’re going through is NORMAL. This too shall pass, this too shall pass, this too shall pass…
That’s pretty much it for us this month!
I’ve been into horoscopes since I was a wee pre-teen. Not the day-to-day kind, but I do love reading up on people’s sun signs. I’ve found that they’re generally pretty accurate, with the rare exception. I know practically all my friends’ sun signs, and in the past, when I had a crush on someone, it was fun to see if our sun signs were compatible. Did I just admit that on the world wide web?! For the record, my husband fits his sign perfectly – and although he balks at my horoscope-loving ways, even he admits it’s pretty accurate for him.
Naturally, finding out my childrens’ sun signs was just as thrilling for me as it was finding out their sex. Right when I found out their expected due dates, I went home and looked up what their signs might be.
My daughter had an expected due date of January 15th, and an actual due date of January 6th, making her a full-fledged Capricorn. I was pretty ecstatic with this sign because one of my best friends is a Capricorn, and I like the characteristics often found in this sign. Realistic and grounded, down-to-earth, practical, introverted, independent, and risk-averse are some of the qualities embodied in a Capricorn. If you know my daughter, you will know that this sign fits her to a tee.
My son had an expected due date of February 23rd, which falls right on the border of two signs – Aquarius and Pisces, so I had to wait until his actual birth to find out if he was going to come early and end up an Aquarius, or come on time or late and end up a Pisces. His actual birthday is February 22nd, making him a cusp sign. If you fall on the cusp, it means you embody the characteristics of both signs. I am also a cusp baby (Pisces-Aries). Those who fall on the Aquarius-Pisces cusp are often characterized by compassion, sensitivity, romanticism, imagination, and sociability. At only 8-weeks old, it’s too early to tell if he fits his sign, but he already seems pretty opposite from his sister personality-wise. He is already so smiley and coos all the time over any little thing, whereas Noelle was often straight-faced and rarely cracked a social smile in her infant days. From what I can tell, their two signs are as opposite as their personalities.
Do you believe in horoscopes?