Friday, July 29, 2011

Did You Miss Me?

I neglected to post yesterday; did you miss me? Well, no worries I have returned. I thought that I might just do a little update on the family as a whole today. But, I only have pictures of the kids, try not to be too disappointed.

Dan is growing up so fast it seems! He recently started to roll over during his tummy time. He doesn't do it consistently yet, but he has done it a handful of times without any help. Nicole does not like to wait for him to roll over by himself though. The second I start to say, "Roll over Dan!" she rushes over to him and pushes him over to his back. She thinks she is a great helper.

I love my little Dan so much! He is so smiley and snuggly and just a happy baby boy. He isn't attached to just Matt or I, so he will let anyone hold him and I love it! Nicole was so very not this way when she was a baby and it was frustrating to always be the one to hold her. This is perhaps due to the fact that the kids get watched by a different person 4 times a week.

Dan loves to shove his hand in his mouth and suck on it. He is always knocking out his pacifier because he is shoving his hand in his mouth. But, then he gets upset because his hand is not his pacifier. Silly baby.

Nicole gets smarter every day! Her vocabulary is constantly expanding and she often surprises me with the things that she says. The other day, she unfolded a burp cloth and she turned to me and started crying, "Oh no, it's ruined!" How does she know the word ruined? Oh yeah, because every time she messes up her pony tails, I tell her that she ruined her hair.

In the mornings, Nicole says to me, "You da da go to work Mama?"

"Yes Nicole, I'm going to work."

"Okay, bye!"

Then, when I get home home in the evenings, "You da da stay home Mama?"

"Yes Nicole, I am home."

"I missed you!" says Nicole.

She is just very observant and picks up on so much. She is also memorizing things without me realizing it. She can recite the words to many of her books that she owns, she knows the words and tunes to a bunch of different songs, and she likes to recite things back to us that Matt and I have said to each other (we have to be more careful about what we say in front of her).

Nicole has also started playing make believe. She will often be playing with a toy and give the toy a different (most of the time monster) voice. And she plays out little dialogs between herself and the monster toy.

Toy (low monster voice): I da da jump on the bed.
Nicole (high pitched voice (I don't know why she does an immitation of her own voice in a high pitch, but she does)): No, no monkeys jump on the bed.
Toy: Yes, rar!
Nicole: Ahhh!!!!

So funny! Well, funny if you are her parent... which I am, so... it is funny!

Nicole is also very helpful. She loves to help me do the laundry, cook, do the dishes, feed Daniel, change Daniel, bathe Daniel, and pick up toys around the house. She is definitely my daughter in this respect. I loved to help my mom when I was a little girl.

Nicole can be a real sweetheart one second and a real terror the next. We are working really hard to stop the constant crying. She cries over everything and whines over everything. Sometimes I wonder if she has forgotten what it is like to use a normal tone to her voice because everything comes out as a whine. I have to keep reminding myself that she is two and this is a phase, hopefully. But, for now, I pray for patience.

(Pretend there is a picture of Matt here)

Matt is currently taking a Statistics class for second block of the summer semester at UVU. It is a two hour class in the morning, four days a week. Which means that we rely upon the kindness of our sisters and Matt's mother to watch the kids for three hours a day, four days a week. It has been working out, but it is a pain to have to find sitters that often. I would much rather have the kids with one of us every day, be we can't always get what we want.

Matt finds his Statistics class to be fairly easy and he is glad that he took it on the block rather than during the fall or winter because it is probably easier on the summer block. Matt will be completely done with all of his math classes after this semester, thank goodness! Fall and Winter of last year were full of homework because of his math classes. Hopefully, this next semester won't be as homework heavy.

Matt finishes summer semester in two weeks, then he starts fall semester at the end of August. He is going to attempt 17 credits for fall semester, which I think is a crazy mission, but he really wants to be done with school as soon as possible. He did 16 credits for winter semester this year and it was just a nightmare. He was constantly in school or doing homework and it was really hard on us. But, this was perhaps due to the fact that we were also expecting a baby during the semester.

I just cannot wait for Matt to be done with school. I know that we have only been doing this for a year, but I am already tired of it. But, I have to remind myself that this is just a moment in our lives and it will be small compared to the many years that we will have together.

We are happy and we are blessed, that is what matters most.

(insert non existent picture of Becky)

I am working 9 hours a day, 5 days a week. I am currently working an extra hour every day in order to make up the time when I missed three days of work for being sick. I didn't have the time off to be sick, so my work just asked me to make up the hours (they don't do No Pay days here at my work).

My job is constantly challenging me and I love it! I have been given a lot more products to write for and it has been interesting to learn new things and expand my knowledge. I am so grateful for my job! It is something that I really enjoy and it provides for my family, I couldn't ask for anything better than that.

I recently got a new manager and she is great! I'm glad that we have another female on the team, it was starting to feel like a boys club. Plus, she is a mom and her husband recently graduated from school, so I feel like she understands my family situation. There is nothing better than having an understanding boss. I had a great boss before, who worked with me through the whole pregnancy and Matt's wonky school schedule, and I'm sad to see him go, but I find myself in an equally pleasing situation with my new boss.

Even though I miss my babies so much every day, I'm glad that I have a place that I enjoy going to every day.

And that, is the current standing of the Kimball family.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mommy Tip Tuesday

It is Mommy Tip Tuesday; lets talk... DIAPERS!

Diapers are a big decision when you are having a baby. When I was gearing up to have Nicole, I did not know the first thing about diapers. I stood in the diaper isle overwhelmed by the sizes, brands, and different diaper types. I really did not know what to get. So, I tried a little of everything. And here are my findings...

Newborns: When you have a newborn, they go through like 10 diapers a day, so you need at least 2 packages of newborn diapers. My favorites are the Huggies Newborn Little Snugglers. These have an umbilical cord cut out so the diaper doesn't rub that tender belly button and a wetness indicator that turns blue when baby is wet. This makes it so easy for new moms to know when it is time to change the diaper!
 Older Diapers: I tried a lot of different diaper brands (pampers, target generic, parent's choice, ect...) and my favorite diapers are still Huggies (little snugglers when they are young and little movers when they get older). I think that the Costco Kirkland brand is very equivalent to Huggies and I will switch back and forth between them, depending on which is on sale. The Target Generic brand is really good too, but I rarely go to Target and therefore rarely buy them. 

DO NOT BUY PARENT'S CHOICE! Do not be fooled by the really cheap price into buying these diapers. They leak, they blow out, they rip, and they are awful! I got some as a gift and I hated them! After ripping my fourth diaper, I swore that I would never purchase them again.

Recently, I was turned toward Amazon Moms as a resource for inexpensive diapers. You can get Pampers at 30% off for free shipping. Pampers are not my favorite diaper. We had way more leaks with Pampers than we did with Huggies. But, I think I will peruse the Amazon Mom avenue and report back on my successes or failures.

Now, some of you out there might want to know about cloth diapers... I have no experience with them and I never intend to for multiple reasons:
1. It is gross.
2. It is expensive to get started. You need at least 200 dollars just to get started.
3. I don't like doing laundry as it is, I don't want to be washing diapers twice a day.
4. They are big! They are so big that most babies can't wear pants when they are wearing cloth diapers.
5. It is gross.

If you have experience with cloth diapers and would like to do a guest Mommy Tip Tuesday, shoot me an email or leave me a comment and then I could have someone who actually knows about this subject and doesn't just guess... like me.

Diaper Pails: When we first had Nicole, I scoffed at the necessity of a Diaper Genie as my diaper pail. I said, “A trash can with a lid will be good enough.” So, I got a trash can with a lid and we used it with Nicole. This only lasted until Nicole was 5 months and started eating solid foods. Then, her room started smelling more and more poopy. The trash can started wafting a foul odor even when it had a clean bag in it. 

The trash can did not hold the poopy smell within itself and it started to take on the smell of poopy diapers into the plastic! I did not want to trek out to the outside trash every time she had a poopy diaper, so I gave in and bought the Diaper Genie. 

I love it! It keeps the smell in as long as you use the Diaper Genie brand liners and you don’t let it get over full. If it gets too full, then the lid doesn’t close all the way and the smell escapes. I like this Elite 2 version where no twisting of the lid is required. Plus, there is no way that Nicole can access the dirty diapers for any reason.

Do not be fooled by the 1 dollar cheaper Odor Grabber liners! They fit into the Diaper Genie just fine, but they do not hold in the smell! The smell escapes and attacks your face and then you are spraying febreeze 9 times a day.
So, this is all that I know about diapers right now. I will probably continue to learn more and I'm sure there are other and maybe better diapering options out there, but this is what works for me.

For more Mommy Tips, see my sister's blog here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

No You're Never Gonna Get It!

Daniel in his baby sling
When I get home from work every day, I go to Daniel and I feed him and I rock him and he immediately falls asleep. And then Matt says, "He hasn't napped hardly at all today. How do you always get him to fall asleep?"

And then I glory in my powerful Mommy skills of putting the baby to sleep and I inwardly gloat that he is so comfortable in my arms that he will sleep right away. And then the weekend comes... and my powers backfire.

On the weekends, I'm home all day and I often hold Daniel because I miss him so much and I want to get in all the baby time that I can. This also means that Daniel sleeps a lot more during the day on weekends. My powerful sleeping powers make him take more naps on the weekends and I usually like this because then I can take a nap while the kids are napping.

But then the night comes, and because he has been sleeping all day, he does not want to sleep all night. He stays up until 11pm, which is later than I would like. I like to go to bed at 10pm, but I can't sleep if the baby is awake. Friday night, he woke up 3 times in the night. Saturday night, he woke up 3 times and last night, he woke up 4 times. Ugh!

On weekdays, he sleeps through the night 50% of the time. And, if he wakes up it is only once. So, I know he is capable of sleeping 8 hours, he just doesn't when he takes excessive day naps.

My Mommy sleeping powers are against me! Silly Mommy, you should know better than to pick up a duck in a dungeon. Lose two nights of sleep.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Thursday Dinner

Thursday night Matt made Chicken Pitas with Cucumber Sauce. These are delicious! It is our own creation and is basically just grilled chicken, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumber sauce (homemade) on a pita.

This was Nicole's response to dinner.

She ate a tiny bitty bit of her pita and then would eat no more and would only cry. So, we let her down from the table and tried again an hour later when she was super super grumpy and very hungry and she would only eat the chicken disassembled from the sandwich and cut into miniscule pieces.

It was a tearful dinner.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Big Sister

Nicole is a good big sister who loves to hold her brother.

Daniel doesn't necessarily like it though.

But check out Daniel's new trick!

Oh yes, he has amazing tummy time skills... 25% of the time

Family Pics

Last weekend, my brother Mike came out to Utah from the far off land of Arizona for a short visit. We don't get to see Mike and his wife Lisa very much and we had not yet met their baby girl Morgan. So, I was very excited to have them come out.

Since all the family was going to be together for the first time in a year and a half and because we had four new babies in the family, I tried to set up some family pics. I booked my photographer that I used for my wedding because she did a great job with my wedding and Marie's wedding and Sarah's wedding. Scheduling 8 families for a family pictures is not a lot of fun.

It was difficult to find a time when we could all be together in the time that Mike was here and after about 3 attempts at finding a time, I called it quits and cancelled the pictures. But, my Mom was determined and she called all the siblings, and convinced Mike to come 13 hours earlier and rebooked the photographer.

We all went to the amphitheater in AF for pictures at 6pm on Saturday. I got there first and called the photographer to see where she was at. She said her baby had an ear infection and she had accidentally fallen asleep, but that she would leave right away and be there in 15 minutes. Okay, 15 minutes late.

By 6:15 all 7 of my siblings, their spouses, my parents, 11 children, 4 babies, and 2 fetuses were there, but no photographer. I call again, she is 10 minutes away. 6:30pm, she calls me and asks me where we are, she can't find us. I try to tell her and after a couple of minutes, we both realize, we are not in the same locations. She has gone to the amphitheater in Provo, not AF. She says she will come as quickly as she can. She gets to us by 7pm, an hour late. We were all grumpy, I was just mad, and the kids, who were so cute an hour ago, look in shambles.

Nicole's hair was a mess and it is so difficult to get her to let me do her hair, so redoing it only caused meltdowns, so I had to let it go. I was very disappointed by the photographer. I was going to ask for a discount for being so late, but another sibling insisted that we pay her full price. I would have tried to get 25% knocked off of our price for the principal of the thing. It is just unprofessional to be that late.

While we were waiting, I snapped some pics with my camera because I wasn't about to go home empty handed.

Mike, Lisa, the back of Morgan's head, and fetus. Oh, and you can also see the back of Norm's head.

Sarah and fetus. See, Marie is pointing to it.

My handsome boys!

Nicole before her hair was ruined

Jake and Soren

Even Damon was grumpy, that is when you know it has gone south. This is like the happiest kid I know.

Crying Nicole because she had just had enough.

Nicoel in Daniel's car seat
When the photographer was finally there, pictures went fairly quickly. Because we were not only doing a big group shot, but individual family shots, I was worried that we would not have enough light and we very nearly didn't by the time it was our turn for our little family to have pics, it was 9pm (Nicole's bedtime). I don't know if we got good pics because we haven't gotten them back yet, but I sure hope we did.

I felt really bad because my poor dad had surgery on his back last month and there was just no comfortable place to sit, he was in pain the whole time and it took a LONG time. Plus, the pregnant girls were about ready to eat their whole arms because they were so hungry. We were all suppose to go out to dinner after pictures, but because it took so long, we sent some of the brothers out for pizza. But, it was not comfortable for anyone there. Matt and I thought ahead and packed food for Nicole and ourselves. We are so used to packing food for Nicole everywhere we go because there is a 90% chance that she won't eat the food wherever we are.

So, I will anxiously await to see our first family pics with the kids. We have never done family pics before because we are cheap. I have never even had a professional photo taken of Nicole because I figure that I have a digital camera, I can take pictures all on my own, they just never seem to turn out that well.

Family pics are done though and thank goodness because it was just a nightmarish experience.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Perfect Moments

Last night I went into Nicole's room after we put her down for bed to check on her. She was still awake.

She said, "Hold me mama."

So I sat on her bed, and picked her up and she wiggled until I had her in a craddle hold. Like I held her when she was a little baby. And then I rocked her back and forth and she closed her eyes.

Then, with her eyes still closed, she said, "Sing me a song?" So I sang her the lullaby I used to sing her as a baby.

When I finished I said, "I love you Nicole." And she said, "I love you mama." And it was perfect.

I went back to my room and picked up my sweet boy who was wide awake in his crib. I laid him on the bed next to me so that I could nurse him. He immediately latched and started eating. Then, he unlatched, looked up at me and got a huge grin on his face and said, "Agheeee." Then, he latched again, and ate until he fell asleep. And it was perfect.


Last night I felt like I had a victory with Nicole. We went to the store yesterday and let Nicole pick out the type of noodles that she wanted for dinner. She said she wanted Butterfly noodles (bowtie). So, we got butterfly noodles and the rest of the ingredients for dinner and went home.

I made an Alfredo Broccoli Pasta for dinner. It looked like this...

I served it up on Nicole's plate and then cut up the broccoli into miniscule pieces and cut the pasta noodles in half (she is constantly telling us that her bites are too big, so we cut up everything small). I sat Nicole down in her booster chair and offered her a noodle on her fork.

"Nicole, you want some noodles? They are butterfly noodle."

"No! I don't want it. I can't! I want some gaterade."

I took a deep breathe so as not to get too frustrated because I hate it when she asks for food and then tells me "no." Matt and I decided a few days ago that we were no longer going to make meal time a fight. We felt like we were fighting with her every meal and the more we tried to force and coerce her to eat, the more that she dug in her heals.

She would eat for my sisters or my mom, but the second I came into the room, it was, "No, I don't want it!" So, I figured that it was something that I was doing that was making her purposefully rebel against me.

So, last night when she told me "no," I said, "Okay Nicole, you can eat it if you want to."

Then, I set down her fork and Matt and I ate our dinner and had a conversation and ignored her. (The dinner was really yummy and I will put the recipe at the bottom of the post.) Then, as we were eating and ignoring, she picked up her fork, looked at the noodle and tentatively put it in her mouth. My heart soared! We immediately started cheering for her when she ate the noodle and told her what a big girl she was and how proud we were. She loved this!

"I a big girl Mama! I like noodles," she told me.

Then she just continued to eat her noodles, occasionally asking for help when she couldn't get one on her fork. But, avidly avoiding the broccoli (which she picked out at the store because she said, "I like broccoli"). So, I decided to give it a try, knowing that I might ruin all the success that she had had with eating the noodles.

"Nicole, do you want to try the broccoli?"

"No, I don't want it."

"Nicole, do you want to try a baby bite?"

"No, I can't"

"Nicole, it would make me so happy if you tried a baby bite of your broccoli."

(Side note: baby bites are small bites, mama bites are slightly less small bites, and daddy bites are regular sized bites. She made up these names.)

Reaching out with two fingers, Nicole picked up a tiny piece of broccoli top. She put it in her mouth and chewed it with a yuck face.

"You did it! I'm so happy!" I cheered.

"You get to put money in the pig because you ate your broccoli!" (this is her reward system)

Then, there was no stopping her. She was ravenous, like she hadn't eaten in days (she hadn't had a nice full meal since taco night on monday; her choice, not mine). She ate the broccoli, and she ate the noodles all gone from her plate and then she said, "Mama and Daddy are happy?" And my heart melted. And then she asked for seconds.

It was one of the happiest dinners that we have had with her. There was no frustration, there were no tears or meltdowns, and she was so happy after she had finished her second and third helping (probably because her tummy was finally full). And, we were happy because it was not a fight at dinner time.

Dinner did take a full hour for her to eat and Matt and I finished eating after just 20 minutes, but Matt patiently sat at the table with her until she was finished eating and he didn't rush her. We discovered that if we try to rush her for any meal she fights us even more and just will not eat. So, we have tried to schedule more time for her meals (though that is impossible for breakfast because they get dropped off at the sitter's every morning).

After she finished eating, she got M&Ms for desert and got to put 5 monies in the pig. Success! Well, for one night at least. Tonight is chicken pitas with cucumber sauce we'll see how well she does with that.

Broccoli Alfredo Pasta

1 pkg Pasta (your choice)
2 small heads of Broccoli
1 1/2 c Whipping Cream
2 cloves Garlic
2 T Butter
2 T Bacon Grease
2 t Olive Oil
1/4 c Parmesean Cheese
1 handful Monterey Jack Cheese
1/2 t salt (or seasoning salt)

Put butter, olive oil, and bacon grease into a large frying pan on medium heat. (I do a mix of grease for these reasons: butter and bacon are for flavor and the olive oil keeps the butter and bacon grease at a lower temp so they don't burn or catch fire.) Mince garlic and put in pan when it is hot. Cook garlic until you can smell it. If it starts to brown, then you have most likely burnt it and it will be bitter... don't do that.
Add cream, cheese, and salt. Whisk all of it together until mostly combined (the cheese will need time to melt). Reduce heat to low and let bubble for 7 minutes so the sauce can thicken. You know when it is done when the cheese has melted and when you stick in the tip of a spoon, it comes out all coated in sauce. Keep sauce on warm until pasta is done.

Bowl a pot of water with a pinch of salt and a dash of oil in it (salt is for taste and the oil is to prevent boiling over). When boiling, add pasta and boil until aldente. Drain and place directly into sauce. (Do this consecutively while making the sauce so that you can throw the pasta directly into the sauce. That is the secret to making it good, don't let the pasta sit!)

Boil a small pot of salted water (enough water to cover the amount of broccoli you are cooking).  Put broccoli in when boiling and cook for 1 minute. Do not exceed a minute or you will have mushy broccoli! Drain broccoli and put directly into sauce.

Putting it together
Once the broccoli and pasta are in the sauce, stir it all up until sauce coats everything. Serve with Parmesean on top and it is delicious! You could also saute some chicken and serve that with the pasta. I didn't because I didn't have any defrosted chicken.

Enjoy! Nicole sure did.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Not So Wordless Wednesday

Daniel at 3 months
Nicoley at 3 months
They have the same concerned face!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Mommy Tip Tuesday

It is Mommy Tip Tuesday and I am going to share another one of my favorite toddler items. 

Munchkin Snack Catcher
These snack cups are amazing! I tried many different delivery systems for snacks for Nicole (ziploc bags, little bowls, mini muffin trays ) and she always spilled, ALWAYS. When she was young, she would spill on purpose, to see the snacks fall, and then when she got older she spilled because she just would not pay attention to what she was doing. Spillage led to ants and an upset mommy, which nobody wants. So, I saw a mom with these one time and I set out to find them for myself.

I got a couple of snack cups like this at Babies R Us, but they turned out to be not that good at keeping snacks in. Nicole would bend back the rubber top and they would stay bent, letting snacks fall everywhere. Then, I found these at Target and they are awesome! Not only does she not spill, but they don’t spill while they are living in the backpack. And, they come in a pack of two, so I have one for salty and one for sweet snacks. These have definitely made my life easier and my car a lot cleaner.

But, if you do want to do something fun for your toddler in a controlled, table environment, try taking a mini muffin pan, filling each cup with a different snack and letting them eat from it. Nicole loves this! Probably because it is fun and interesting. But, I don't recommend it as a travel snack idea.

For more Mommy Tips, go to my sister Marie's blog.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Harry Potter Sir!

Matt and I doubled with Johnny and Krista on Saturday morning and we went to see the last Harry Potter film. We got tickets to a morning movie (9:45am) because we had family pics later in the day and we wanted to go out before Nicole's nap (family pics will have it's own post soon). Norm and Miranda were kind enough to watch the kids for us so that we could go. But, Norm was working, so it was really more Miranda than Norm who watched the kids. Luckily, Nicole loves her cousin Hailey and had a good time.

We got to the movie 15 minutes beforehand, which I was concerned would not allow us to sit together, but, apparently, no one wants to go and see a movie at 9 in the morning. Johnny and Krista met us there. It was fun going to see it with Johnny and Krista because they are fans. It is always more fun when someone is as excited about the movie as I am.

Now on to my impressions.

I really enjoyed the movie. It was very exciting, thrilling, and entertaining. I felt like it was a very dynamic conclusion to the Harry Potter story. The story followed the book fairly closely, with the exception of the battle at Hogwarts. I felt like the movie did a better job depicting the battle than the book did. Additionally, the movie did a great job describing the idea of wandlore and wand allegiance. When I read the books, I was always a little bit confused as to the allegiance of the elder wand, but the movie really drove the point home because it is so pivitol to the destruction of Voldemort.

My favorite characters in this film were Snape and Neville. This movie shows such a different side of Snape. He is more human than in any other film and I really got emotional when the movie came to the end of his story. Neville was my second favorite because he gets a couple epic moments in the film that make me root for him. Both actors did a great job with their characters.

Things that disappointed me, the underwhelming relationship between Harry and Ginny. These two end up together, but the few moments that they have together in the film felt very forced and a little awkward. But, the Ron and Hermione relationship was playfully depicted. They added a little humor to the final acceptance of their building romantic relationship which made it very endearing rather than corny.

I really enjoyed the film. I thought that it was well made and definitely one that I would buy for my Harry Potter collection. Matt even enjoyed it and he has neither read the books, nor is much of a fan (he just watches the movies with me because he is a good husband). But, I would put a disclaimer on this film that it is absolutely NOT a children's film. It is scary and gory and I would not let a child under thirteen watch it. One couple in the theater had a 2 year old looking kid with them and I was shocked! People were dying left and right, blood splattering here and there, and they are letting their two year old watch it? Nightmares!

After the movie, Krista, Johnny, Matt, and I ran over to El Pollo Loco for a quick lunch. Matt loves this place and we hardly ever go because it is in AF. So, it was a fun treat. But, it is not the cheapest place. We definitely could have gotten a cheaper meal going to In and Out. I had the Pollo bowl and it was good, but I only got two tortillas for a huge bowl of food, it was not enough. Plus, I ate their delicious salsa, which was a mistake because it gave Daniel the spit ups for the rest of the day. I ended up pumping out the rest of my milk and throwing it down the sink because it was too spicy for him.

It was a good morning date! Even though I miss my children whenever I am not with them, and I try to spend all of my free time with my kids, I think it is completely worth it to go on dates with just my husband. It is just as important to have one on one time with my husband as it is to have it with my kids. Perhaps it is even more important. As much as I love my kids, it is my husband that I'm going to spend the rest of my life with and I love being with him!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Three Months!

I can't believe that it has been three months already! I feel like this guy was gestating just a couple of weeks ago. Babyhood definitely goes by blazing fast! I can see why some women get pregnant when they still have a baby in the house; because babies come and go so fast that you have to get started on the next one before the first one is all grown up.

My little Dan the superman (as we like to call him) is one fatty lumpkins! He is weighing in at 14.5 pounds and the weight just keeps on coming. I think it is obvious that Dan loves to eat and he does it as often as he can.

Other than eating, Dan's favorite thing to do is watch Nicole. He thinks she is just the funniest thing. He loves to watch her play, he loves it when she looks at him and he smiles at her all the time. Nicole likes to be a mommy for Daniel. I often hear her repeating things to him that I say to him. Like, "Dan the man! What a good smile! You're okay Dan the man. Little man, what is wrong?"

And, whenever he cries, Nicole starts to cry to and she says, "Oh no, oh no, he's hungry mama." She assumes that he is hungry every time he cries. I'm sure that Dan would not mind eating every time that he cries, but I think he is plenty fat. He is already catching up (in weight) to his two older cousins, Damon and Olivia. I fear that he will pass up Olivia in weight in the next month even though she is 6 months older than he is.

  • Daniel's accomplishments this month include: 
  • Pushing up during tummy time (though he cries every time we put him in tummy time)
  • Sitting up for 3 seconds (this may not seem like long, but he is really fat, it is trying to hold all that body and head upright)
  • Spitting up less (he used to spit up all the time! Like Nicole when she was a baby)
  • And, getting his hand to his mouth. I try to discourage the hand to the mouth thing because I don't want him to be a thumb sucker. I would much rather have a pacifier boy.
We love our little Dan the Man so much! He makes my heart happy with his smiles and his snuggles that he is always willing to give his mama. I just wish that he would grow a little slower. I love having a baby, I don't want a big boy just yet.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Picky Eater

We were making such good progress with Nicole. Most nights, she would eat some, if not all of her dinner and it was often new or different food for her (i.e. not mac and cheese or hotdogs). We were even convincing her to eat broccoli, spinach, lettuce, and carrots for dinner (usually cooked into a dish, not as a side). And then, the stomach flu happened.

Nicole got the stomach flu last week and started throwing up everything for three days! I thought that she was going to starve because she kept refusing food for three days. We were able to get her to drink gaterade, but beyond that, her diet was graham crackers and popcorn (the ONLY thing she would eat).

If you don't have a picky eater, you may not know this, but you CANNOT force them to eat. People tell me all the time, "Oh, you just need to force them to eat." Or, "Just don't let them leave the table until they have eaten." Or, "If they are hungry enough, they will eat what you give them." This is entirely untrue when it comes to Nicole.

She will scream and cry and throw a fit if we try to put something in her mouth that she doesn't want there. If we get it in, she immediately sticks her hand in her mouth to get the food out, then she gags herself with her fingers and throws up. We have also tried waiting her out, letting her sit at the table for over an hour after we are all done eating. Let me tell you, she can wait longer than us. Plus, she screams the whole time she is there and the screaming and the crying really get to me. And, Nicole will not eat, even if she is hungry, she will just go hungry and get more and more upset (crying, yelling, throwing fits) the longer that she waits to eat. She will even go to bed hungry, and then wake up at 2am crying for food (which she still won't eat).

Yesterday, she finally started asking for food again after many days of the stomach flu, so we tried to get her back on her eating schedule that we had her on before the flu. But, it seems that catering to her every food whim while she was sick has set us back and I feel like we are starting over. She WOULD NOT eat the burritos that I made for dinner last night (just beans, cheese, and ground beef). Burritos were on her list of foods that she would actually eat, so I thought it would be a safe dinner, but no.

We fought with her at the table for an hour, trying all the tricks we usually use to try and get her to eat (incentives, asking nicely, having baby Daniel at the table for her to show him how to eat, ect...), but none of our tactics worked. So, she went to bed hungry.

I am beyond frustrated with this stupid picky eater thing! I spend so much time carefully planning dinners that contain food she likes, while integrating healthy foods. I spend so much time researching picky eater tips and recipes on the internet on how we can get her to eat and she is still as belligerent as ever.

Most kids LIKE to eat! Eating is a reward, it is fun, it is something they love to do. But, in the Kimball household, we dread meal-time because we know, that no matter what we bring to her, it will be a fight for every single bite. Even if it is a food she has eaten before, even if it is a food she loves, even if it is desert! We have to fight her to eat delicious things like cake and ice cream!

Additionally, Nicole has food allergies, so we also have to be careful what we feed her. We have switched to organic milk and eggs to try and alleviate some of her digestion issues from her allergies and I always plan meals around what she can eat.

Eating away from home is even more of a pain than eating at home. We always have to bring her meal with us because it is 95% likely that she will not eat food from another person's house. Why? I do not know.

Anyway, it is back to the beginning for me with Nicole's picky eating habits. What am I cooking for dinner tonight? I'm going to try chicken fried rice (which she has had before and liked) we shall see how it goes.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Letters to Mommy

Dear Mommy,

After spending almost 10 straight days with you, I missed you so much yesterday! You were gone for such a long time that it made me very angry. I decided to grunt and yell at Daddy all day.

Some people say that absence makes the heart grow fonder; this is a lie. Absence really makes the tummy hungrier! I cried at Daddy's face for bottles every hour. I upped my dosage of milk from 3oz to 4oz. I drank all the milk we had in the fridge and Daddy had to thaw out more. I cried at Daddy because the milk took to long to thaw. He really should have foreseen my ravenous tummy needs.

Nicole was on my side yesterday. She also cried at Daddy for food all day, except she would cry for food and then cry again when food was given to her. I think perhaps she is not my sister. Why would she not eat food that is given to her?

When you got home, Mommy, I was so happy! I smiled and then yelled at you to let you know that I needed more milks. I love that, when you are home, I can have milk on demand, every hour, just like it should be.

I don't know what today will bring Mommy, but I'm thinking it should bring milk!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Mommy Tip Tuesday or Monday rather

As a brief reprieve from my favorite baby items I want to talk about helpful tips for sick babies and kids since I just went through a week of sick. But, if you are looking for favorite mommy items, check out my friend Jasmine's list of favorites.

Babies With a Cold

Daniel has had a cold for a while now. Which just means that he is so extremely stuffy that he can't breathe through his nose. Here are some tips to alleviate your baby's stuffy nose.
  • Nose Drops: Get some saline drops and put two drops in each nostril, then suck it all out with a nose sucker. This is pretty much a baby sinus wash. Just be sure to suck it all out or that saline solution will only make baby more stuffy.
  • Humidifier: Never underestimate the power of a good humidifier running at night in baby's room. Don't put it too close to the crib because you don't want baby to get all wet, but just close enough for baby to breathe in the vapors. Additionally, be sure to change your filter every year. Matt and I had a bronchitis incident because of a dirty humidifier.
  • Phone Book under the mattress: If baby can't breathe while he sleeps, try slipping a phone book under one side of the mattress so that baby's head is elevated while sleeping.
  • Steam shower: Turn your shower on really hot, close the bathroom door and stand in the bathroom with baby so baby can get a nice steam to clear out those airways. Do NOT take baby into the hot shower. You don't want to burn baby.
Babies With the Stomach Flu

Nicole, Matt and I have all had the stomach flu this last week, so I am very familiar with this one. Nicole is still throwing up (after four days) so it is very very familiar. Here are some tips:
  • Pedialite: If you have a child who will drink anything that you put in their mouth (which I don't) then pedialite is a great option to keep child hydrated. I don't know if it is safe to feed to bitty bitty babies, so consult your doctor on that one.
  • Gaterade: If you have a belligerent child who refuses to drink pedialite, try gaterade. It is one of those drinks that you can vomit up and then still drink right away again. It keeps you hydrated and soothes the stomach. 
  • Bowl or bucket: If you have a two year old or a baby who can not warn you before they are going to throw up, keep a bucket or a bowl handy at all times. If baby or child starts crying for unexplained reasons, immediately place bowl under mouth because vomit is likely to ensue. It will save your carpet and your tears.
I'm sure there are other good things to remember for the stomach flu, but Nicole is the pickiest eater and so all we have been able to get into her these last four days is gaterade and popcorn. I don't recommend the popcorn diet. Try to get your kids to eat crackers or broth or other good stuff that Nicole won't eat.

I hope these sick tips were helpful to you. If not, then you will just have to learn by doing when your children get sick, just like every other mom out there.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Mommy Tip Tuesday

It is time again for Mommy Tip Tuesday and we are still featuring my favorite baby things. Well, this is really more of my favorite Mommy thing, but you wouldn't need it if you weren't having babies.

AmedaPurely Yours Ultra Breast Pump
When we were having Nicole, we knew that I had to go back to work for at least a month, so I would need a pump if I wanted to keep my milk when I returned home. So, Matt did a bunch of research and landed on this very expensive pump. 

So many of the pumps out there had reviews where the motor died or the tubes got mold and I figured if I was going to spend money on a pump, I wanted it to last through all of my children. 

I love this pump! It has a Speed dial and a Suction dial, which means that I can set it to my preferences and it doesn’t cause me massive pain (as many pumps do). Plus, it comes with a carrying bag so I can bring it to and from work easily. It works just as well now as it did two years ago, so I can still nurse my new baby Daniel. I recommend this to anyone!