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Monday, January 23, 2012

Finger Lickin' Good

I'm all about finger food with Gus. I was clueless about this with Leo. I thought if he had to chew anything (no matter how soft), he could choke. Now I know that chewing is important, even if you're toothless! Leo does finally like to chew things but he won't dare eat anything crunchy.

The other nice thing about finger food is that the kid can do it himself. (Although Leo liked soft food so much it seems like he's always been spoon-savvy.) I don't have time to sit there and shovel food into Gus' mouth but then again, he's only seven months old so it's not so easy for him to pick it up either.

A friend told me about putting wheat germ on stuff to make it easier for babies to pick up food themselves. It totally works! The only downside: it's a big 'ol mess.

But Gus doesn't mind! Here he is picking up and chewing bananas!

Gus also likes Happy Baby puffs, steamed apples, steamed sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli and avocado! He can pretty much pick it all up himself. And if he can't, well that's what that trough in the bib is for.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hollywood Heavy Weight

I have two things about Leo that I want to report and I'm very pleased with the title I've come up with to cover the dual topics.
1. Leo is eating more and it's showing! It's not just the horizontal stripes either. He's gained about two pounds and to me, his face looks fuller. His teacher even commented that he's eating his lunch now. Woo hoo!

2. In other news, Leo is taking his "stories" to a new level. He's now making up movies. He wants to know all about movie making. "What's a set?" "What does the director do?' He then explained to me how it all works: "The director makes the movie and then he puts the movie on the truck and the truck takes it to the movie theater and they show the movie."

In these videos Leo is an actor, not a director (although he still bosses me around plenty by telling me exactly which lines to say). He's playing the part of the conductor on the Dinosaur Train:

Now that you know the two topics, isn't my title pretty awesome?

Griddle me this, Writinggal

As a minimalist, I normally shun kitchen non-essentials. For instance, we have a sandwich maker and if it were up to me, we wouldn't. I mean, a sandwich maker? I am the sandwich maker. I don't need a machine for that. What's next? A cereal maker?

But about two weeks ago I decided we need a griddle. I like to make pancakes and I could only make two at a time in the pan. And when you make pancakes two at a time, everybody eats separately. Kinda puts a damper on fun family breakfast.

When I told Frank my griddle idea he was surprised: "Where are you going to put it?" he asked. (My minimalism has infected him!) But then he said, "You've got three boys living in the house. That's A LOT of pancakes. You need a griddle."

So I am so stoked about our new griddle that we found at Walmart!
I've already made pancakes on it (as you can see) and they turned out great. The griddle has a tilt feature so we can make burgers and then let the grease drain.
We did have to do some rearranging to make it fit in the cabinets. Usually when I buy something new--anything at all--I get rid of something. Haven't done that yet.
I've got my eye on you, sandwich maker.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sibling Slumber Party

Over Christmas Leo and Gus did a good job sleeping in the same room while visiting family. I don't think, however, that they are ready to share a bed yet. Here they are practicing!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Wine Goblet and The Washcloth

I was just ordering a wedding present online and pickins' were slim. The things that were left on the registry weren't quite enough for a whole gift so I needed to buy two things. I ended up pulling a Frank and buying two totally unrelated items:

--a scale and water filter replacements

I saw Frank do this at one of the first weddings we attended together. We went to Macy's on the day of the wedding (who does that anymore?) and printed out the registry. He saw that the couple needed wine goblets. Now, he didn't want to purchase the desired amount of wine goblets (four?) nor did he even care to invest in TWO wine goblets. He did, however, think it would be in poor taste to buy simply ONE wine goblet. He wanted to spend about $5-$10 more so he ventured over to the bath section with his list and grabbed a washcloth. ONE washcloth.

I'm pretty sure when he had them wrap it he told them to put the wash cloth in the wine goblet. How puzzled the newlyweds must have been to receive such a gift.

"Did Frank think we might need a wash cloth in case we spill the wine?"
"Maybe he figured after drinking wine, surely one of us would need to take a shower?"
"It probably wasn't even his idea. Bet it was that new girlfriend of his. She looked a little ditsy. Is she the one who started the macarena at the reception?"

Frank didn't understand that gifts should be themed. Like if you buy a toaster you can also buy a bread box. (Although that's a silly example because neither of us would ever spend that much on a wedding gift!) How about if you buy them a mixing bowl you can also buy a rolling pin? Or if you buy a toothbrush holder you could purchase a matching soap dispenser? Or here's an idea: If you buy them a wine goblet, get them another wine goblet!

I wonder what this couple will think of my scale/water filter replacement gift:

"Maybe she thought we work out a lot so we'll need to drink lots of water and weigh ourselves."
"Is she saying we're fat so we need to drink more water and check our weights daily?"
"It was probably Frank's idea. He's totally judgmental about weight and water and especially water weight."

Darn. Now we've insulted them. I knew I should have gone with the bath mat and the spatula.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gus has been here seven months

Grandpa Ron says Gus is "Easy Money." I've got a few days left of that because Gus is about to be on the move! And I predict that once our sweet boy is mobile, he is going to be into everything. He's showing small signs of mischievousness already. For instance, if I give him a toy to play with but there's a non-toy item near by like a shoe, he'll go straight for the shoe.

"Who me? Mischievous?"

I also predict that he is going to be a climber and one of those kids who gets into cabinets. I say this because a). he's very squirmy and is already difficult to diaper (lots of rolling around) and b). Leo was not a climber nor a cabinet looter so I figure this one will be.

Gus is doing the military scoot so he does a combination of that and rolling and boy, that kid can get around the room! In fact, as I write this he is all over the playroom/guest room/office...most likely trying to get into non-toy things!

He's still very good-natured and smiles and laughs all the time. He loves to cuddle!

Lots has happened on the food front too: In just a little over one month of eating Gus has tried sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots, bananas, apples, oatmeal and those puff things that babies eat. And not all of these are pureed! The other night we went to Bahama Breeze and I forgot to bring food for Gus (which is really more for distraction). I saw that they had a banana milkshake on the menu so I ordered it for him...just kidding, you can't give milkshakes to babies! No, I asked the waitress for a banana and she gave me one. Little Gus ate almost the whole thing! I didn't mush it up or anything. This is actually a big step for me since I was so scared to have Leo chew anything. That kid still doesn't like to chew!

Gus is also very vocal, despite his generally quiet demeanor. He pretty much yells the whole time he's in the high chair, demanding more food. I've been showing him the sign for "more" and "food" and I can just tell he's going to do it any day now. He also says "ma-ma-ma" and "da-da-da" but just in a babbling way, not addressing us. But if I really wanted to stretch it, I could say that he's saying Mama and Dada already :)

Okay, just a few more things to note since Gus is about to make his way under the couch...sleeps well, spits up a lot...

This pic was taken right before Gus sucked on Leo's shoulder to which Leo was greatly offended.
A bare-bottomed Leo trying to crash our photo shoot!

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Playtime with Leo and Gus

It's just starting and it's so fun to watch: Leo and Gus are playing together! This involves Leo rough housing with Gus while I scream, "Gentle! Gentle!" and Gus giggles uncontrollably. I think Leo would have to break one of his bones before he'd cry. This is what Gus is thinking:

"Yes! Roll right on top of me. That would be so cool!"

"I'm not sure what we're doing but if Leo's doing it then it must be good."

"Squeeze harder!"

"Sure! Twist my head. Maybe it can spin around!"

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Identical Cousins

I used to love the Patty Duke Show: "But they're cousins, identical cousins all the way, one pair of matching bookends, different as night and day..."

Now we've got our own set of identical cousins! Okay, they're not identical but sometimes, in pictures, I can't tell the babies apart (and I am the mother of one of them)!

This year Leo went from having one cousin to having two more cousins and a brother. So the cousins as a group are five. This Christmas marked the first time they were all together.

Leo: 3 years, 8 months
Gus, 6 and 1/2 months
Charlie, 3 months
Franklin 9 months
Ellie, 2 years, 2 months

The 2011 babies are all bald, blue-eyed and chubby!

Leo and Ellie may not be identical but they are both super cute
Here they are putting out cookies for Santa
Christmas tummy time with Gus and Charlie
"Leo, hug your cousin!"
Ah, the traditional reading of Twas the Night Before Christmas...on the iPad

Leo and Ellie riding on her really cool dump truck
Santa's little helpers...Charlie and Gus (Seriously, who's who? Only a mother can tell!)

The three little old men! Even their names are old-men-esque--Gus, Charlie and Franklin!
We can't wait for more fun times with the cousin crew!

It's okay to be fascinated with the Kardashians

Here are the definitions of fascinate, according to

1. To attract and hold attentively by a unique power, personal charm and unusual nature, or some other special characteristic.

to arouse the interest or curiosity of; allure.
to transfix or deprive of the power of resistance, asthrough terror: The sight of the snake fascinated the rabbit.

to capture the interest or hold the attention.

Don't Kim, Kourtney, Khole and the gang meet these criteria? Then it's OKAY that Barbara Walters put them on her "Most Fascinating People" list. People--like Bill O'Reilly--got all bent out of shape that Babs included the K's on her list.

He said, "They have no talent. They can't sing, they can't act. They just sit around and whine."

She came back with, "You cannot totally disregard pop culture because you know nothing about it."

Then he said, "I don't think they set a good example to young American women."

It's really all about semantics, people. "Fascinating" to Bill O'Reilly means that you must have done something great. You must have worked really hard and achieved something. But to B.W. it means you captured everyone's attention, which, if you look above at my trusty definition, is exactly what fascinating means.

I'll admit it, every now and then if I happen to be flipping around, I have sometimes been inclined to keep up with the Kardashians. I do find them fascinating.

What does Kourtney see in Scott?
How does Kim have such a prominent rear while the rest of her body is so petite?
Is Bruce Jenner thinking, "What have I gotten myself into?"
How can Khloe and Lamar seem like soul mates when they only dated like, a month, before getting married?
What's the deal with Rob?

Besides, they are always on the cover of my US Weekly so I can't get away from them. In fact, in December, there was a K sis on the cover three weeks in a row. I used to call it Jess Weekly (since Jessica Simpson was always on the cover) but now I think I'll call it Kardashian Weekly.

Now, if there really was a magazine called that, I would not buy it. I'm not that fascinated by them. (Although I may be fascinated enough to read the cover of it in the checkout line).