Monday, October 31, 2011

My Little Lamb

Happy All Hallows' Eve! Happy Reformation Day!

As the 31st of October approached, I had no great ideas for what I should dress Chloë as for our church's Fall Carnival, as well as for a little trick-or-treating downtown. I felt like last year's merbaby was so epic, it would be impossible to even come close. But a few days ago, I had the idea to make a sheep costume. So I sewed some batting on to a onesie, cut and glued some felt into ears and made them into hair clips, and bought a black turtle neck. With black tights and boots, voila, I had my very own little lamb.

I think my favorite part is her little tail. So cute.

Yesterday, before the Fall Carnival. "Chloë, what sound does a sheep make?"


She really enjoyed bleating.

Here we are with Ali and Sam at at our church's Fall Carnival yesterday, sitting in front of the judges for the 0-3 age category. There were some fabulous costumes. I didn't hear who won 1st place, but Abra's son Jude (in a great Mr. T costume) won 2nd, I believe. (Personally, I think Ali's sock monkey costume should have won 1st place. She did a pretty fabulous job knitting it, and really, it was perfect.)

This afternoon, before we went downtown to do some trick-or-treating.

I'm guessing I might retire to buying costumes next year. I don't know how much time I'll have to sit around sewing with two kids on my hands.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Our New Car

Car seats are tricky. When Chloë was smaller and rear-facing, we had to have her car seat in the middle of the back seat. It didn't work next to a window because either the driver or passenger would have to have their seat almost all the way forward. Not very practical. So when we found out we were expecting Baby #2, we knew we would have to start looking for a "family" car.

So we spent all summer eyeing car lots, browsing Craigslist, and thumbing through Wheels And Deals ads. We knew we needed something with 4-wheel drive or All Wheel Drive. Since we live up a bit of a hill, the roads are rather treacherous for about the half of the year. Because we're on the edge of town, we live in a very limited-access area, with only a few roads as options to get home; all of which have an incline. There were several occasions last year when we simply could not get home. So we would park at the bottom of the hill and walk home. Not too horrible with a 6-month-old, but we really didn't want to be doing it with a newborn and a toddler. So we decided we really needed something that could get around in the snow.

Then we considered how soon we would want to be car shopping again. Lord willing, we anticipate having more than two kids, which means there is a possibility that we would outgrow something like a Subaru within a couple of years. Even though mid-sized cars like that seat "5," they wouldn't fit 2 car seats and a booster seat. But, we weren't sure if we wanted to take the dive and jump into something big. We like the Toyota Sequoya, but not only are the expensive, but they are quite the gas guzzlers. And even though there are some great mini-vans out there (which we were both willing to swallow our pride and consider), there are very few that have all-wheel or 4-wheel drive. So.... we knew we really like Toyotas, and have been impressed with Nissans, Hondas, and Subarus,.. so we looked and looked and loooooooked at our options.

We finally decided on the Honda Pilot EX-L, and bought this beautiful 2003 with under 100,000 miles. (The "L" stands for leather, which means I have leather seats, which makes me feel spoiled.) We got a great deal, and are hoping that it will last us for many, many years.

If we fold up the far back seat, it can seat 8. The seat is split, so we can have just one or two of the seats folded up, which is a great option. A couple of days after we bought it, we had 7 people plus Chloë in her car seat for a couple of hours of driving. The people in the far back were a little tight, but it definitely worked. It was advertised to get 21 highway mpg, but after driving it home from Spokane, we calculated that it got 25 mpg, which is fantastic.

I love my new car. I really do feel like a celebrity driving it around.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Good Food

We know Chloë is enjoying her food when we hear lots of "mmMMM"s, and she is very concentrated on what she's doing.

Eating Spanakorizo, a Greek rice dish with spinach. She loves it.

At Aunt Christa's birthday party last Sunday, Chloë got a bowl of whipped cream.

Eating a warm chocolate chip cookie, but breaking it into pieces to get to the chocolate chips.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hemangioma Update

It has been six months since I've blogged about Chloë's hemangioma. Back in February, we saw Dr. Dominey, and decided to quit the Timolol treatment. In March, things look virtually unchanged, and so we have had no appointments or treatments for six whole months. And in that time, the hemangioma has hardly changed. As Chloë grows and skin stretches and grows, I think it's normal to see a very minimal amount of change in the shape.
So here is six months ago, and here is this week.

There is a slight difference in camera angle, but I think you can see that very little has changed in six months. And, just for a good comparison of what has changed, check out the picture from exactly a year ago, shortly after we started the Timolol treatment.

We had a short appointment with Dr. Dominey, and we basically just reiterated what we said six months ago: let's just wait and see what happens over time. She mentioned that there have been some success stories of the use of oral beta blockers in her recent literature. I said we might consider it in a few more years, when Chloë is older and her body is better able to handle such a drug. But for now, we wait and see what the next year or two brings. Maybe it will start to fade on it's own.

So we continue to do nothing. It is almost funny how I don't even see the hemangioma anymore. Her hair is long enough to put in pig tails, and I don't think twice about doing so. We get a very occasional question from a stranger, but people are usually so distracted by her diva personality that they don't even notice the spot behind her ear.

God is good.

For the few of you that found this blog by searching for hemangiomas, timolol, beta blockers, and before and after photos, you can see a few more blog posts tagged under the hemangioma label.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

16 Months

My little girl is growing up. She'll be 16 months old tomorrow. Last month, I said that she had officially started walking, but that she was still hesitant to do so on our hard wood floors. The day after I wrote that post, we were out doing some shopping, and Chloë decided she was tired of the stroller. So she walked up and down the aisles, quite pleased with herself. Since that day, she has been very confident in her walking abilities. She has an adorable stubby-legged walk, and gets around really well.

Speaking of stubby legs, the sizes she wears in clothes in kind of hilarious. Just recently does she fit into her jeans that are size 6-12 months. Because she has a long torso, she usually needs 18-24 month size shirts to cover her belly. But, she's skinny enough that she can still wear dresses size 3-6 months as tunics. So basically, she wears all sizes of clothing these days.

Her new words this month include Chloë: "coe-ee," coffee: "cah-yee" hot: "aht," eat: "eat," cake: "cake," tickle: "tey-ah," chin: "nin," forehead: "ah-yahd," Bella: "Beh-bah," Eva: "Ah-yah," Betsy: "Bets." It's getting to the point where she says so much I can't keep track of what's new. Since she is our little parrot and repeats everything, I only "count" words that she uses without prompting.

She loves playing with Bella and Eva. They really get along so well. Chloë and Eva invented a game a couple of weeks ago, where they sit side by side on the step two steps from the bottom of the stairs, and bounce up and down laughing hysterically at one another. I'm amazed that such simple things can be so much fun. And shaking the bars of the crib is apparently a great game too.

They also like to stir up mischief together. I was watching Eva for a couple of hours yesterday, and they were playing so well together, and then I realized things were very quiet. So I went into Chloë's room, and discovered the two of the playing with and emptying bottles baby shampoo, baby lotion, and diaper rash ointment. The baby shampoo was everywhere. At least it was just shampoo. But the thing that gets me the most is that my child was sitting there, running her finger through the puddles of shampoo, licking it off her finger, and going back for more. But she won't drink milk. I just don't understand. Needless to say, I think it is time to reevaluate the location of some of the things in our home. Our trash can, for example. She found the coffee ground puck from my espresso, sitting nicely on a pile of trash, and must have thought it looked tasty. She came around the corner with a look of displeasure on her face. As well as coffee grounds.

Last week we decided to introduce her to the fact that there's a baby sister in Mama's tummy. I know she doesn't really understand, but it is so sweet when she kisses or pats my tummy. We'll tell her to kiss Mama, then Daddy, then Baby Sister. And she does. And it's so cute.

This girl loves to laugh. She loves to be tickled. And she looooves being chased by her Daddy.

She also reeeeally loves her pacifier. But since we've established that it's only for "night night," she sometimes decides that she's "seepy seepy" and asks to go "nie-nie" just so she can cuddle with Mama and suck on her binkie for a few minutes. Then she pulls the binkie out of her mouth, hands it to me, and is off to play some more.

When she does sleep, she still prefers to be next to (or on top of) Mama or Daddy.

She has been doing this thing lately where she randomly uses both her index fingers to plug her ears. She'll do it for a minute or two, sometimes releasing for a few seconds. It must be funny muting everything.

We've seen some very defiant behavior this month. Not that we're surprised, but it still catches us a little off-guard when we give her a basic command ("come here," "put it down," etc.), and we can tell that she's making a decision to do the opposite and disobey. Sometimes it's hard not to laugh at how silly her tiny rebellion seems. For the most part, we're constantly impressed with how much she understands, and how eager she is to obey and please us.

She gets around really well on her Radio Flyer these days.

She has started doing this thing where she has a finger in her mouth when she's chewing her food. I don't understand how it can be comfortable, but I guess there's sort of a gap where her canine teeth haven't come in yet. So we're working on manners. She's a pretty good eater, but isn't a huge fan of vegetables (we're working on that, too). And she still doesn't like milk. She'll have it with her cereal, but that's it. So, every morning, she has cheerios with some half-and-half mixed with whole milk. This month she had her first doughnut, and (surprise!) loved it. I bought some of those mini doughnuts covered in powdered sugar, and she sure had a great time eating a couple and getting powdered sugar everywhere.

Last but not least, this kid has some serious dance moves. I love it.

Friday, October 7, 2011

This Week

Saturday, I helped throw a Baby Shower for Ali's adorably handsome Samuel David Tong III.

Told ya he was adorable and handsome.

Our friend Hope helped me throw the shower, and she made a great banner, and some amazing bacon parsley quiches. I made fresh apple pear cider (I picked the fruit from the trees in my backyard, but decided it was a little ridiculous to spend three hours making a gallon of cider), apple cinnamon craisin muffins, fruit platters, and, of course, I wanted to get crafty so I made some fun garland and decorative toothpicks.

The garland was a lot of fun to make: shimmery cardpaper punched into circles and fed through my sewing machine. I stole the idea from my friend Betsy.

Sunday was my birthday. I am now 28. Most of my family was here, and we had a fun birthday lunch and little party out at my in-laws' house with friends and family. Everyone did such a great job spoiling me. Especially my husband.

The only picture of me, on my birthday. With my sister Katie and our friend Lydia. I just wish the lighting had been a little better.

Monday and Tuesday, Chloë and I were sick. We slept lots, and cuddled on the couch together the rest of the time.

And then yesterday I made jam. I had 25 cups of mashed raspberries in my and my mother's freezers, and decided it was time to jam. So I spent the entire afternoon making five batches of yummy low-sugar raspberry jam.

40 jars of jam. Won't need any jam for a while.

It has been cool this week. I've been wearing sweaters, turned on the furnace, and the leaves are starting to change colors. And now suddenly it is time to think about a Halloween costume for the girl, Thanksgiving plans (which have been mostly sorted out), and start planning for Christmas.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Helping and Watching

My parents were visiting again this weekend, and my dad got out a few tools to piece together a new wheelbarrow. Chloë helped and watched.