Rhianwen's Age Tracker

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Rene Zelleweger Smile

No, not Mona Lisa smile. Rene Zellweger, don't you think?

More and more these days I find I can't remember much of the cute stuff that Rhianwen is constantly doing. I'm so much in a fog by the time the kiddos go to bed I just forget to recap the day in my head! So, that is why the blog has lacked some luster of late!

Rhianwen has been having fun drawing. She actually can draw a circle with dots and slashes inside of it thus opening a whole new realm of expression for her. Mainly, one of drawing Nanny Kim. Nanny Kim gets drawn a lot. Rhianwen will say, "Draw Geen Nanny Kim! Draw Geen Nanny Kim!" and she'll wait until I say, "Are you going to draw a green Nanny Kim?" at which point she will say, "Yeah." and do it. Why I have to repeat what she says, I'm not sure. Perhaps she's using me as a sounding board. Thinking of drawing always makes me think of Uncle Christopher who had me insanely jealous when we were little. He is 18 months younger than me but has always been able to outdraw me...well just about. My people looked like string beans (literally) and his looked like Da Vinci masterpieces. He always won drawing prizes at school. We'd wander around the house trying to copy the pictures hanging on the wall. His were always much closer than mine! I still wish I had the talent to draw, but I am so glad he has that ability! Especially since most of our paintings are from him...so cool. I feel like we have an art studio right here in our house. But I digress.

Uncle Christopher sent an email with a link to, in his opinion, the best ever version of the Ode to Joy (http://vimeo.com/1351444). I decided to show Rhianwen since it is high time we started her classical training. She loved it until the end at which point she cried and said, "No more monsters!" not because she didn't like monsters but b/c it was too chaotic. I said, "Ok, no more monsters." Then a little while later, she said, "Watch monsters?" and I said, "Do you want to watch monsters again?" "Yeah." "Okaaay", I said. And I played it for her while I went down to our room to put some things away. I could tell when the end came b/c I heard a distraught toddler running down the hall crying, "No more monsters!" Crazy girl.

She's also figured out that the stereo remote is not a cell phone. I was back in our room the other day and heard this wicked bass coming from somewhere. I thought, "Who in the WORLD is playing music that loud this early in the morning?!" I wandered on down to the family room and discovered, oh, it's my daughter. She looked at me all excited, was jumping up and down, and saying, "Moosic! Moosic!". Nice.

Rhianwen's been trying to play the piano some more. Elmo has been her role model in this area. He plays the tune Jingle Bells to everything, something Rhianwen attempts to duplicate. She's also been having fun with her slide/playcube outside pretending it's her house. We've cooked many meals (mainly popsicles and yogurt) for Grandma Nanny Kim and Grandpa. Not sure why they are the chosen recipients of the meals, but there you have it. Sometimes Rhianwen remembers to put the popsicles in the freezer, but most of the time they end up in the microwave or oven.

We went to an huge consignment sale this week and got tons of clothes for Alden and Rhi for dirt cheap. I found myself wishing I could look as stylish as they do!

Looking handsome in a new fall outfit.

The fashionista.

We've also started Wednesday morning women's Bible study. This particular Wed. was our first. We got ready with no electricity and with no daddy. Amazingly, we were early. Mommy was exhausted by the time we got back, Rhianwen and Alden and Mommy were famished. Why is it when you try to do something that will feed you spiritually, you end up unfocusedly juggling babies and then coming home a big grump? At least, that's what I did! I hate it. Most days I have the hardest time being patient and loving, especially to my overly emotional toddler. I get to the end of the day and feel like I've failed miserably at setting a good example, serving, being joyful, loving, patient etc. and convinced that I am ruining my children. I keep praying for victory, but I feel like I end up just struggling even more or just losing it completely. I heard a song the other day on the radio by Sanctus Real called Whatever You're Doing, and it really spoke to my heart. Here's a small bit from the lyrics

Whatever You're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something Heavenly

Yep. I just have to remind myself that every day!

Saturday mornings at our house (notice Rhianwen's favorite pj's...Tinker Bell and new shoes).

Daddy's boy.

Alden is a little honey. Smiling up a storm and being wildly distracting in Bible study and church (and not just to me!). Nursery doesn't take babies less than 12 weeks of age...3 weeks to go!!! He's playing with toys that hang down in front of him, getting stronger arms during tummy time, and has passed the 2 month mark! Can you believe it?! I can't. I did decide to let him dictate at night...he's doing b/t 5 and 7h at most, and I did drop the last feeding of the night (the one around 10pm). So far, he doesn't look like he's suffered from it :) Oh, he also got his first cold ever (probably the one his sister had). He's not too bad thankfully, and it hasn't affected his appetite or attitude (wish I could say that of Rhianwen!) other than that he may be slightly more tired earlier during his wake cycle. He's going on his first trip this week. We'll be going to Saluda, NC (mountains), renting an A-frame. My parents will rent another. It will be very interesting to see what happens! I hope it will be fun.

What a long post! And I thought I didn't have anything to say! Lastly, I've decided to try to remember to list the story of the week aka the one that Rhianwen wants read over and over and over and over again. This week's: Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Have That?

We have a new Fisher Price catalog aka "baby magazine" according to Rhianwen. It's her favorite reading material of late. She wants me to read it all the time. It goes something like this when mommy is tired, annoyed, or otherwise not feeling like reading it:

Rhianwen: Read this?!
Mommy: sigh, What do you say? (my stall tactic)
Rhianwen: Please read it.
Mommy: Ok. Let's see....babies, babies, babies playing with toys, babies playing with mommies. Babies.

When I'm more into it, I'll actually talk about what the baby is playing with. Rhianwen will look at the pictures and grab at the toys and say, "Have that?" as if she can lift it out of the catalog and have it! She does this with all kinds of books, not just the catalog. What an imagination! The catalog also has big pictures with red circles that have songs in them. Rhianwen has memorized which songs are on which pages even though the songs don't have anything to do with the pictures. For example, I've Been Working on the Railroad is with a one of many pictures of a baby crawling on the floor, but somehow she knows it! Amazing.

Rhianwen has gotten her first cold of the season. Blah. I hate that part of the beginning of fall and winter. She seems to be taking it in stride for the most part. I'm trying to teach her to cover her nose when she sneezes, but no luck so far. I just hope Alden doesn't get it. She's sneezed all over him today :)

Sporting Clemson orange before stomping NC State on Saturday.

In the world of Alden, we are still figuring out his schedule. (***Warning, if you don't want to read about it just skip this paragraph!***) He's been crazy this week again, not wanting to eat long for a couple of days, then getting back to normal. I've been trying to decide how long to let him go at night and which feedings to drop. I'm a worrywort when it comes to letting him go at night AND dropping feedings even though the Dr. said to let him go. I swear, Alden would go at least 8-9h probably. He went 7 last night, and I got him up! I've dropped the last feeding before we go to bed b/c I just want to have a large chunk of time where I can do whatever without thinking about feeding him. A lot of people don't do this so that they can sleep a longer chunk at night, but I'd rather have the free time while I'm awake. Anyway, today he ate more frequently perhaps as a result of the dropped feeding, so he got his 8 in and still went to bed at 8:30pm. I'll just have to see how it goes. What did any of you BF moms do when it came to the night scheduling? Probably none of you had such children who would sleep like mine do! It's a blessing and a confusion all at the same time!

A night where Alden didn't feel like going to bed when we wanted him to...he thinks it's funny.

I finally got some talking and a smile on tape:

Monday, September 8, 2008

Old MacDonald Had a Cow

Yes, this is how the song goes according to Rhianwen. Some of you may think, well he did, didn't he? But when she sings it, I just immediately imagine this farmer in a plaid shirt with a straw hat and beard just losing it in front of his haystack!

Rhianwen introduced all of the Pooh characters that we had lying around to Alden. He looks a little perplexed. (Oh, and that basket of laundry in the background...3 days to fold...1 day to put away...sigh).

Alden:"Wait Rhianwen, now, where in the story does the pelican and Clemson frog come in?"

I about had a cow when I found out that Daddy was going to be gone potentially from tonight through Friday! Me, ALONE with 2 kids?!!! Augh! How was I going to do supper, devos, bath, bed, BF, and take care of me? Oh no oh no oh no. Rhianwen got a talking to from daddy about how she needed to be a good girl while he was gone. What did she get from it? "Daddy is going to Aldabamba! Bye!" Well, hopefully he won't be gone too long. Tonight went surprisingly well although daddy did leave after supper. I managed to give them baths, do devos, BF, and get them both to bed relatively on schedule! Rhi did fabulously and thought it great fun that she got to kiss all her animals goodnight and to run around playing with various toys while mommy tried to get Alden to go to sleep (a lost cause...we ended up letting him cry while mommy put Rhianwen to bed).

Alden is doing well. He's starting to talk baby talk more, definitely smiling more, loves his reflection and mommy's, and absolutely gazes transfixedly at Uncle Christopher's paintings.

Admiring Uncle Christopher's painting of stars in a night sky over a lake (nice contrasts).

Unfortunately, Alden has also decided he prefers not to have the nipple shield at least during some feedings. He's definitely gotten better but not better enough...so it's been a little crazy knowing how to deal with that. He continues to gain well and is 11 lb. 6.5 oz. today! Getting a little roly-poly perhaps!

In case you thought Wally's life as an engineer was a boring old desk job, just take a look at his work clothes...at least for some days like his trip to Aldabamba. Makes mommy think of hazmat gear.

"Wow! I totally dig this!"

Monday, September 1, 2008


Well, daddy is at it yet again. He's always trying to get the kids to do things ahead of their developmental capabilities (at least according to the books). Alden has been placed in the Bumbo a few times much to his delight. Rhianwen has had a difficult time sharing her Bumbo even though she doesn't use it much except for when she wants a zany hat.

Yes, I like this quite a lot!

Speaking of hats, the polka-dotted one that Grandmama gave Rhi has been on her head constantly this week. She even wore it to church with the outfit that she picked out (a romper with Easter bunnies all over it).

Looking like a tourist.

Rhianwen has been full of cuteness this week. If the above picture is not enough here are some other things:

She was throwing her Snowbear around and it landed on the brick hearth. This left a red mark on Snowbear, and from then on, Snowbear had a "boo-boo".

She loves jumping on our bed and treats it like a trampoline. Whenever she does it she says, "Jumping Joan! Jumping Joan!" (from the nursery rhyme that goes "Here am I, little jumping Joan. When nobody's with me, I'm all alone!")

On Sunday afternoon, she colored a bunch of green marks on a sheet of paper and then went to get the little "popcorn popper push along thing" and announced that she was going to "cut grass with the lawnmower". After several passes back and forth over the "grassy" sheet of paper, she announced, "It gettin' better!" and continued to mow.

Her sock monkey has a red mark on his butt, and Rhianwen took a look at it and said, "He's got poo-poo!" and started wiping it with a blanket.

I often discover Alden covered in blankets (thankfully never over his face unlike Snowbear in this next picture where she is trying to swaddle her).

Hm, Rhianwen, something's not right. Oh, yes, we should see Snowbear's head, not her feet!

I've gotten so tired of stepping on legos that I asked Rhianwen if she thought she could dump them on a chair and play with them there. She has been very compliant, much to the cat's dismay.

Lastly, here's a video of our 2 cuties playing or working...we report, you decide!

Oh, at the Dr. appointment last week, Alden was 10 lb 5 oz (75th percentile!!!) and 23 inches long (90th percentile!!!). No wonder why he looks so skinny.

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