Thursday, July 29, 2010

Aiyana is 2 Years Old

I struggled to take a picture of Aiyana this morning as she actively ran around the house making a game out of me trying to capture a good photo, but... alas... daddy managed to capture this adorable shot. Good job Dana!

Seems to be the tradition for Aiyana... a special princess cupcake on her actual birthday (I am making a cake and ice cream cone cupcakes for her party on Saturday).

She LOVED it, of course. Just like her mom and dad... she has a sweet tooth.

Clara... not so much, ha, ha. No, actually this was Clara's first taste of something besides breast milk, formula or baby food. She just may be the only one in the family that doesn't crave sugar.

I was sad to not spend the entire day with Aiyana, but my mom picked her up from daycare and brought her to work to see me. I was grateful for that.
So... My baby girl is 2... Crazy how time flies.
I love you Aiyana!

The Second Eve of Aiyana's Birth

Okay so how long did it take you to figure out what the title really meant? ;o)

Aiyana was born the day after my mom's birthday and just like we did the night before Aiyana was born, we went to Ghallager's to eat again this year... two years later. It's becoming a Phoenix birthday tradition for my mom.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Aiyana is 23 months and Clara is 6 months in this picture. This is the last one year old picture I took of Aiyana ;o(... My baby is growing up.

Clara Sitting Up

Clara sat up for long periods of time today... she wasn't hunched over and she didn't even use the tripod hold to keep herself upright. I am so proud ;o)

I Can Relate

This was on my BabyFit mailing and I had to post it to my blog since it is us to a "T"... minus getting a hot dinner on the table every night... I have not managed to master that yet ;o(.
Eyeing the bags piled in the passenger seat on the first morning my baby was joining his toddler brother at daycare, my fear was confirmed: I didn't have enough hands."OK, kiddo," I said to my toddler. "When we get to school, Momma won't have any hands, so she needs you to hold onto her pocket when we cross the street. OK? Can you be a big boy and hold onto my pocket?" My older son, "The Boy," arched his eyebrow. He is skeptical of any big brother talk since his little brother's arrival two months before. He pulled his blanky from his mouth. "You have two hands." Yeah, that's what I was afraid of. With my second baby, going back to work didn't scare me. I knew, after watching his older brother grow into a well-adjusted, Momma-loving toddler while attending daycare, my baby wouldn't forget me or be scarred for life. The logistics of getting us all up and out of the house--and back in and fed--every day frightened me. It just seemed like an impossibility. Everyone would need something at once. I wouldn't have enough hands. I would never be on time again. We would have to subsist on snack packs and frozen pizzas. Surprisingly, none of that has happened.
Here's what has happened: We have arrived promptly at school and work every morning. We all have breakfast and lunches and a hot, home-cooked supper. We're as well-rested as a family with a 2-month old can be.
And here's how we're doing it:
Getting up early.As a parent, you probably already are waking at an hour many people don't realize exists. But sometimes even 15 extra minutes can make things run more smoothly. Figure out how much time you need to get everyone up, fed and dressed, then set your alarm for 15 minutes before that. That time is a cushion. On a good morning, it means 15 minutes to play together or savor your coffee. On a bad morning, it means you're only five minutes behind schedule.
Making everyone help. My husband packs lunches every night. Even if he doesn't always hit all the major food groups, it's packed and ready, and that's what matters. My toddler carries his lunch bag into school, even if it means we walk a little slower. Even the baby is asked to "hang tight" for five minutes in the evenings while I get a snack for his brother and put away the breast milk I pumped at work.
Tag-teaming. I shower while the husband gets breakfast for the toddler. He showers while I nurse the baby. The husband holds the baby while I fix the toddler's dinner plate. He scrubs the dishes while I scrub the boys.
Encouraging independence. If you have a toddler, you have a child old enough to follow simple directions. My oldest son likes to put away his shoes and climb into his car seat. It isn't always as fast as I would like, but it frees me up to take care of the kid who can't help himself. He also is great entertainment for the baby, provided I can keep one eye on them and am within yelling distance to say, "EASY! You have to be gentle with your brother."
Using our appliances. Our slow cooker has taken up permanent residence on our counter. Between frozen leftovers from extra-large weekend meals and breastmilk, our freezer has never been this full. But with a little extra prep work and help from modern technology, I've managed to put a home-cooked dinner on the table even on the nights the baby needs to eat as soon as we get home.
Putting everything in place. Nothing throws off a schedule faster than lost keys or a missing blanky. All bags are packed the night before and put in their respective homes --lunches and bottles in the fridge; pump on the counter, purse and diaper bag in the bedroom. In the morning, while the toddler eats and before the baby is up, I gather everything but my purse--which is my last-minute dumping ground --into the car so it can't be left in the out-the-door whirlwind.
Giving two-minute warnings. Kids handle transitions from one thing to the next better when they know what's coming. By giving our toddler a steady countdown to time to go or time for dinner, the husband and I also keep ourselves on track.
Making every minute count. Quality time is any time you and your kids are in the same place. Rushing from home to work and back again, it's easy to feel like you have no time with your kids. But you do, if you just take the time to notice it. We sing songs in the car and play I-spy to practice colors. The husband and I flirt over the boys' heads at the supper table (ah-hem... we don't necessarily do this either).
Back to that first morning in the car, when my older son couldn't understand why I wanted him to hold my pocket, I just let the idea drop. Arguing with a 2-year-old is pointless. So, we got to daycare and I hung the bags on my left arm and handed my son his lunchbox. I scooped the baby up on my left shoulder and found my son was right. I had two hands and somehow, some way, I managed to have a hand for both my kiddos. It took careful balancing, it probably looked precarious to someone else and it required a bit of help. But it was possible.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Clara LOVES to eat

So now I have two children who LOVE food. I guess they take after their mom and dad ;o)

While Aiyana's climbing the shelves to the pantry to find what she wants, Clara is leaned forward in her highchair acting as if she is not patient enough for the spoon to reach her mouth. You can hear Aiyana in the background saying "I want food... I want food", but she had just eaten. Clara's eating so fast that she gags on her food before she swallows it. Check her out...

This girl can eat... I nurse Clara in the morning then at daycare she gets 4 bottles, 2 servings of oatmeal and 2 servings of rice cereal as well as a serving of fruit or vegetables. After I bring Clara home she is nursed twice (right when we get home and before bed) and she also has a serving of either fruit or vegetables and oatmeal before bed.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Aiyana & Elena

What constitutes a good time for a one year old?

How about running? Here you see Aiyana waiting for daddy to say "go", she has her arm up because Dana will say "ready-set-go" with his arm up and then drop it at "go". Aiyana is imitating him. Elena isn't quite sure what all of this is about, but she thought it looked fun.

Cups with water in them... now that's FUN. Aiyana and Elena enjoyed filling their cups with water, drinking some of it and then pouring the water on each other... or the floor. Good times ;o).

How about picking on the little one? Actually, they were not trying to pick on poor little Clara, but Clara didn't find the attention all that fun. Aiyana decided to use her as a pillow and little Elena was patting her head as if to say "good little baby".

...and here we have throwing cups. Yes, my little Aiyana decided it would be funny to throw her cup at unsuspecting Elena. Good thing Aiyana's aim isn't that great.

All-in-all play time was fun and we enjoyed having our neighbor friend over to hang out with us.

Monday, July 5, 2010

2010 Fourth of July

This was Aiyana's first year watching fireworks on the Fourth of July (Clara's too for that matter). Aiyana has seen fireworks at other places, but never of this magnitude. We went to Tumbleweed Park in Chandler and had a great time. My mom and her friend Al met up with us. We laid out blankets, ate and watched a couple of bands that were playing in the park. Aiyana thought it was fun to have us chase her around the crowd for a while, but she settled down after about an hour of running around. Once the fire works started, Aiyana quickly jumped in my lap and clung to me tightly. She never cried, but once in a while a big firecracker would go off and she would bury her head in the crook of my neck. It was precious. Both Aiyana and Clara fell asleep before the show was over... it was WAY past their bedtime.

Devious Little Girl

Dana and Aiyana waiting for the fireworks to start.

Here are some pictures I took at home before we left.

Clara 5 Months

Aiyana 23 Months

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Aiyana's Antics

All the funny things about Aiyana...

Aiyana loves to imitate Clara and pretend she's a baby all over again. One day after daycare I found her chilling out in the infant carrier. I sat down next to the carrier to nurse Clara and, before long, Aiyana was fast asleep. She actually napped after daycare... it was a miracle.

Aiyana LOVES bananas. I mean LOVES them... and when she eats them she will take HUGE bites. She also has to hold the banana herself because, to her, half the fun is peeling it.

Another thing Aiyana loves are shoes. Oh my goodness, this girl can't get enough of shoes. I've been told that she walks around daycare convincing the other little kids to take their shoes off so she can trade with them.

She will take your shoes if she sees them laying anywhere so "watch out"!

On that note, I took Aiyana to the JC Penny outlet store to pick out a pair of sandals this week. Aren't they cute?

Aiyana's an observant little cookie... Apparently she watches mommy feed Clara very closely. The other day my little one took it upon herself to sit in the same spot that I sit in while nursing then she carefully placed the Boppy on her lap, reached out for Clara (or for me to put Clara on the Boppy for her) and then she lifted her shirt for Clara to nurse. Clara just smiled at her. It was very cute.

Guess What Clara is Doing Now...


Clara first rolled over on accident when she was only a couple of months old. When she turned four months she was rolling on her side and just after she turned five months old she started rolling from her back to her front and her front to her back. Check her out...

Clara often screams when she is excited. My mom and Aiyana were playing with a big blue ball which quickly grabbed Clara's interest. Clara was so excited about this ball. These are happy screams by the way. It almost looks like she is screaming because she is scared of the ball, but this is how she expresses her excitement. She occasionally screams like this when someone picks her up and she is really happy about it or when Aiyana is being goofy around her.

This picture was taken right before Dana left on a work trip for the week. I just love the expression on little Clara's face.