Thursday, January 24, 2013

Around the house-typical day

Below are photos of a typical day in our house. Like many of us we spend our time awake at home, cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, hanging with the dogs and trying to get some R&R.

Here Ocoee takes her pick me up zombie poses.

She loves to pester the dogs though Brodie is the only one with the patience to let her get close. She likes to sit on his head and bounce.....poor guy!

Ocoee playing happily with her block and dad's new foam roller.

Ocoee realizing something was going on in the kitchen uses her press and cling tactic to get picked up and see the action.

Success! She is now sitting on the counter in the middle of the action, watching dad peel potatoes.

Look closely at this you see where she gets the facial expressions :)???

And her all time favorite kitchen item...limes! I am sure it will taste good with mashed potatoes.

Hubby switched off to me for the baby and him for the camera...ugh, not to sparkling in this photo for me!

And Ocoee makes the lunge to go back to daddy because he is obviously up to something.

She loves to sit on the counter....not safe but we stay right there...

Now she is happy that she can supervise the mashing of all those potatoes! 

Simple days like this are rarely documented by camera but these strung together is what makes our impressions and memories of the past. I am glad I grabbed the camera to capture these lazy laid back moments.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Car Seats

We have currently been debating about when to turn Ocoee's car seat to front facing. I have a small but very highly rated for safety car though with the car seat in the back the passenger seat is thrust forward at an uncomfortable position. It doesn't matter very often as I don't carry passengers in that seat very frequently. 

The other thing to consider is her legs are getting a bit cramped and the view is limited. 

In the end though we are going to try until age 2, since that is the current AAP recommendation.

Living in Alaska the road can be quite hazardous and any little thing I can do to keep her safer is important.

Currently, 21st Century Insurance is running a contest to promote child safety while driving and they are giving away free car seats to creative people that can redesign the Baby on Board sign. The grand prize winner even gets $10,000 for a nursery redesign. You can find the contest here.


Mommy zombie

So we often call Ocoee mommy zombie because she wants to be held, and most often by mommy, all the time! She sits with daddy for dinner in his lap, not her high chair most dinners. If I am up and walking around doing stuff in the house, she will demand to be picked up. She will cry.

And cry.

I have tried to let her cry it out......ugh, it gets too much and I pick her up. I know I am reinforcing the behavior but I can't handle a crying baby when I have 10 minutes to do a dozen things and I know to just pick her up she will stop.

We have several alternatives we try. I pass her to hubby because she will not cry most of the time when he sits her down. I try to kneel and hug her but not pick her up.....very rarely does this fool her.

The core issue is she wants to be part of the action. If I am sitting in a chair or on the couch she is plenty happy to go off and explore because mommy isn't doing anything cool.

I have become her favorite toy.

Hubby has said I deep down like it....and sometime it is true but really it stresses me a lot, since it is hard to get things done.... and I want her to be happy and a part of the action. I tried using the ergo but that didn't work that well.

So grandma has purchased a tool I hope will help. It is the mommy kitchen helper stand. I think this will allow Ocoee to be a part of the action and allow me to get some things done without dangerously propping her on the counter when my arms are too full and too tired. Who needs an arm work out these days?

The biggest issue is that I love her so and want what is best for her....I vacillate between thinking I am spoiling her and this is awful and she needs me and this is a phase that will pass, and I should hold her while I can.

Any advice!

I work so hard to have a close bond but I want her to be independent too.....such a struggle.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Baby's first Santa visit

Ocoee was only 3 months old last year so we skipped Santa. We spent Christmas soaking up the sun and watching Ocoee roll over, the big milestone for that time.

This year I am embracing all the trappings of Christmas so we planned a Santa visit. A local children's store, spoiled boutique partnered with a local photographer to take photos with Santa in exchange do a toys for tots donation.

When we arrived the place was packed with loads of kids and parents. There was a train set to play with and lots of holiday decorations. Christmas music was playing and everyone was festive. Ocoee began playing with the toy train and was holding her own against a slew of bigger boy kids. She made a friend and found books to drag over and have me read.

It was going very well.

I chatted with other moms and admired the elaborate outfits the kiddos were all decked out in. After about 35 minutes it was our turn. Santa was perfect with a real beard and kind eyes. The photographer had a feather tickler and Ocoee instantly liked her, smiling as giggling as we walked up to the santa set area.

And then it went so, so wrong.

In hind site I wonder what I was thinking. The moment I handed Ocoee to Santa to sit on his lap she extended all limbs in full monkey cling mode and curled those little limbs around me hanging on for dear life.

I began to sweat.

You feel the pressure of other parents waiting, Santa sighing, and the photographer looking expectantly for me to get it together.

So I try and peel Ocoee off me and thrust her into Santa's loving lap. She is now bright red and crying like I was abandoning her forever. I was really really hot. I tried to step back thinking maybe I just need to remove myself from the vicinity.

Ocoee wailed louder. I stepped in, scooped her up and snuggle her in. She hiccup and sniffed. I was about to just walk away when the photographer suggested I sit beside Santa with Ocoee on my lap.

So I tucked into the set made for Santa and a small child, an Ocoee turned as far away from santa as she could and scowled.

Then the photog worked her magic. She tickled Ocoee and a Christmas miracle occurred and bug smiled!!

So the end result is a photo of us three (which I cropped myself out of-not a good look for me, sweaty stressed mom) and Ocoee looks sheepishly happy.

Merry Christmas!


15 month check up

Last night a cold hit Ocoee and has her coughing and snotty today. We had her 15 month check up for today so it was good timing. She was generally in a cranky mood but took the shots ok. Hubby left work and went to the doctors with us, and then straight home to bed with the same cold.

Ocoee weighed 24.1 pounds and was 32 inches long. She has grown a foot since birth and over doubled her weight. This makes us really happy since growing is hard work for babies! Her percentiles were all high 80s and low 90s. Her strawberry birthmark is fading rapidly and her leg birth marks appear unchanged. They all make her uniquely Ocoee and I love them both.

We had a steamy bath for the cold and she went to bed happily, eager for a good nights sleep. One trick we do is to elevated the head of her bed by placing a pillow under the mattress. This allows her to breathe and drain mucus much better and always leads to an improved night sleep.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The best Christmas ever

Ok so this is really late. I apologize.

This was the best Christmas ever though. One of the first things that made this Christmas great is that my family and doggers were all healthy! Here all three pups are in full holiday gear and happy to have their parents at home finally for a Christmas. I am not sure how many more we will all have together so this was very special.

We also as I have stated before, had the prettiest Christmas tree ever. It was a huge mess to clean up the tree and garland before we left for Hawaii, but brought me tons of joy during the month we had it up.

Above is our family shot I took really quick before heading to our friends house for an xmas eve extravaganza. It was so great to be with friends, have amazing food and to have Ocoee play with the other kids. Now that I have a kid I understand the saying, Christmas is for the kids. Sam tracked Santa on the computer while the girls colored in their new coloring books and we all joyfully popped Christmas crackers and told corny jokes.

Here is the view of the tree Christmas morning. Ocoee came downstairs in her dads arms and said Woa!

Hubby shows Ocoee how to use her new xylophone. We somehow lost the screws to the legs so we had to just place it on her new table and chairs.

Ocoee was pitifully neglected when it came to dolls, we had never bought one. This year she received one from grandma and one from Santa. She loves them the most. One doll, Nelle has clothes and shoes that come off and she loves to take these off. She is such a clothes horse!

Ocoee also received a Wheely Bug from her grandparents. She loves to push it around and has let me push her on it a few times, but is still unsure about riding it by herself.....she will soon though.

Grandma actually did a wonderful job with Christmas, she had a ladybug theme, with a ladybug book, charm bracelet charm, wheely bug and tons of other gifts. Ocoee was very spoiled by her!

 Ocoee also got a table and chairs from Santa. She sat in them so happily on xmas morning but then she got stuck and sorta fell a bit and now has yet to sit in them again.....she will though.

 Above hubby reads Ocoee a new book called MOO.....we must have read it 20 times Christmas morning!

Below I love that I actually caught a look of surprise on Ocoee's face. She said Woa's all morning long. We had so many gifts that we had to take breaks in between opening them. I felt like a kid as I opened my new Ugg Brooks......they are so comfy and nice. They don't look like Uggs, but rather cool boots. They made me go WOA!

This year Ocoee was old enough to open gifts and she really started getting the hang of it. She even unwrapped hubby's handmade soaps from his stocking.

The best thing about Christmas was that the weather warmed and there was fresh snow. Ocoee was able to go sledding for the first time in her new sled. We bundled her up and wrapped her in cozy blankets and headed over to the park. She smiled and smiled as we sent her down the small bump that was located near the big sledding hill in the park. Mike and I both looked at each other and smiled and said, how we felt this was the best Christmas ever. It was just us three and was very relaxing. We sipped tea and coffee while munching on bagels and lox and just soaked it all in. Ocoee being a little over a year and learning new things every minute really made it magical. She also loved the salmon lox....she could eat and eat it!

 Happiness is often not in the big things but in the small things and this Christmas really reminded me of that. The entire season was filled with a special quality this year and I hope we can capture this magic every year.