Thursday, December 25, 2008

Baking cookies for Santa

Here we are making cookies to leave out for Santa. I realize now that my mom made Christmas cookies look easy! I took several shortcuts (part of the problem?) -- dough in the tube and a tub of frosting rather than homemade and ended up with Christmas blobs rather than distinguishable shapes. The upside is that they tasted good despite their unrecognizable shapes!

Reindeer Food

In the start of a new tradition (ECDC inspired), we put out our reindeer food right before bed last on Christmas eve. We went out in the front yard and threw out our "reindeer food" -- (oatmeal) -- and made a wish! I guess it is one more fun thing to add to the hype of Christmas eve.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Meeting Santa

On Monday we travelled on up to Columbia to attend the children's Christmas party at the Palmetto club. Obviously, the highlight of this is getting to sit on Santa's lap. It was with trepidation that I brought Katharine, as last year we lasted all of 4 minutes before she set eyes on one of the other bizarro characters they seem to think kids will like, totally freaked, and ended up spending the party playing in Poppa's office. But, this year we had success and a positive interaction with Santa. Matthew looks a little more unsure but he didn't cry one bit so I'm going to take that as a success too! Katharine and Santa had a nice chat in which he requested 3 cookies to be left out for him and Katharine was somewhat vague on exactly what she wanted so he promised to bring some nice surprises (I think this is what happens when you have a late November birthday and have just received a lot of toys!).


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

Compare and Contrast at Ten Months Old

Left - Matthew at 10 months

Right - Katharine at 10 months

I got the music in me: Matthew's 10 month update

Matthew is now 10 months old and growing up like a champ. He has another tooth coming in on the top - so that will make 4 on the top and 2 on the bottom!

He is starting to lose interest in his bottles but his interest in solid foods is beginning to increase some. He still absolutely loves carbs - cheerios, cereal puffs, bread - all good. He is not too crazy about fruits and vegetables which I think has more to do with the texture and feel than the taste. He has also enjoyed rice, mashed potatoes, and mashed sweet potatoes.

We have battled two more colds (complete with breathing treatments) since I last posted. Poor little fella has basically had one cold after another since mid-September. He now seems to be getting over the last of his latest cold so we have our fingers crossed that he will be a healthy boy for Christmas!

Matthew is really starting to crawl! For about the last two weeks he has really started working on it and now he definitely seems to have a forward motion crawl. He can go about three feet. He can also get from sitting to laying and laying to sitting all by himself. And he is starting to try to pull up and get himself standing.

We are also starting to see some gender distinctions between Matthew's behavior and how Katharine was as a baby. Matthew loves tearing things apart, holding toys over his head, and banging things on the ground. Much more physical play than we remember from Katharine.

Matthew is officially transitioning out of the infant room! He will be in the crawlers room within the next wee where he has already been spending a good bit of time and seems to enjoy it. The main teacher is a woman who we use for babysitting regularly so Matthew just loves her and we know she keeps an extra close eye on him!

Finally, our boy is musical! He just loves music and starts swaying back and forth as soon as you start some music. We have received two of the those new musical cards in the last month and Matthew thinks those are about the best toys ever! As soon as the card opens he starts swaying and if you start to sway too he gets even happier.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Parent Teacher Conference and Other Katharine Stuff

OK, so I am pretty far behind on blogging. I am going to attempt to do some catch up over the next few days and I will start here with a Katharine update.

Since I last blogged Katharine has had both her 3 year old check up with the pediatrician and we have had our first parent-teacher conference at her school (still affectionately called "goosh" by Katharine).

Her check-up went great with Katharine weighing in at 30 pounds and 37 inches tall. The pediatrician was very impressed with her developmental abilities. She was able to recognize which line was bigger of two lines the doctor drew, she replicated a circle after the doctor drew one, and she recognized both her name and the first letter of her name. She said our next step is to encourage her to start writing her name by making dotted lines of the letter K and working up from there. We also talked about potty training. The pediatrician seems to think that the thing that might really get Katharine on board with the potty is when some of her friends start going too. But, we are going to use the Christmas break to really work on it and see if we can send her back to school a potty-trained gal. The doctor said she should be physically able to hold it now, she probably does know when she needs to go, and basically it is just up to her now. So, we wait and we hope she decides she would like to do this sometime soon. Katharine didn't have to get any shots but she did have to get a finger prick to check her iron levels. The nurse described the device that was going to prick her finger as "Mr. Thirsty" and that "Mr. Thirsty was going to tickle her finger or something to that effect." That seemed to work like a charm for Katharine and she didn't shed one tear over it (and loved the bandaids she got afterwards). Other than that, the doctor gave her a clean bill of health.

Our parent-teacher conference was also a success, with Katharine getting mostly rave reviews from her teacher. She said that Katharine is one of the most popular children in the room and that lots of the other children want to play with her. The downside of this is that sometimes Katharine will reject other children's invitations by "shrieking" or giving them the cold shoulder. Stepanie (KK's teacher) also commented on how bright Katharine was, how much she loves books, and how socially well adapted she was (no separation anxiety issues with this kid). She said she has the ability to follow multi-step directions, recognizes her name and the first letter in her name. But, along with the brightness, comes the smarts to test limits occasionally. She said that Katharine knows the names of all the children in the room and often shows empathy by bringing another child who is crying a kleenex or attempting to comfort them in some other way. The group of children she "hangs with" tend to play very complicated games that involve lots of imagination, props, and costumes. Katharine is starting to tell stories about events that happen outside of school like life at home, getting our Christmas tree, and our recent trip to Florida on an airplane. At any rate, we were very proud to hear such good things about our girl!

Katharine is such a joy to be around now and is just so interesting and so cute at this age. She amazes us all the time with the things she comes up with, remembers, and recounts. She is still riding the bus downtown with me and she is quite the popular girl on the bus too. The bus drivers to the other passengers all ask after her if she is not with me one day.

We continue to be pleased with Katharine's interactions with Matthew. She is really sweet to him most of the time, telling him she loves him, patting him, or encouraging him. And Matthew continues to become more interactive and aware of what's is going on around him which as a result has caused us to see the first signs of sibling rivalry. Katharine sometimes has a desire to take things from Matthew once he expresses an interest in them. Until recently, Matthew didn't seem too bothered by this but lately he is acutely aware of having something taken from and he genuinely gets his feelings hurt. So, we have to encourage Katharine not to do that, to give it back (or something equally interesting), and to apologize for hurting his feelings. Often she will work hard to make him feel better once he cries.

Katharine has also invented her first imaginary friend. His is a mouse who first "appeared" one day when we were on the bus and Katharine refers to him as "little mousie". He first seemed to appear most often on the bus or in the car. But, now he shows up quite regularly and has recently been named "Cuba" (pronounced as a Cuban would pronounce it).

And, Katharine has her first boyfriend. Yes, that's right, boyfriend. I find this both hysterically cute and totally scary (what are we going to be dealing with when she is 16?). Anyway, his name is Henry and he is a classmate in her class at school. As far as I can tell this relationship has been going on for at least 3 weeks and I am pretty sure that Katharine just claimed him one day (this all started by Katharine calling him "my boy"). Now she is calling him her boyfriend and says that Henry calls her his girlfriend. Interestingly, she has picked the boy in the class who is the most different from her. He is half-chinese and jewish with dark hair and a quiet nature (we think this may be the thing that attracted her - she can do all the talking!!). She talks about it all the time and consistently tells people who ask who Henry is that he is her boyfriend (and she actually gets all giggly and nervous about it about like a schoolgirl would).