Weekend

Jan. 26th, 2016 12:42 pm
dancerjodi: (Geek)
Brian was at the Heroes and Villians con this past weekend (Seacaucus, NJ) and so it was ladies' weekend from Friday until about dinnertime on Sunday.  Mina and I had a lot of nice time together, but she missed him hardcore.  She "slept" (badly) mostly in my bed, and when we weren't together in my bed we were together in hers.  Still, I'm proud that I managed to bathe myself, keep us easily fed and manage laudry, dishes and trash.  I'm shocked, actually.  I'm also glad that Brian made it home safely in the snow, and was insanely jealous of him being snowed in with John Barrowman and Stephen Amell, singing showtunes.

We went for the orientation at the new school yesterday.  I went up to get Mina settled into her new classroom at around 9:30 (after their drop-off/breakfast period) and then once she was comfortable with that, went down to fill out papers/answer surveys.  It is amazing how much different this place is in its formality and involvement with the families.  We talked about volunteer opportunities and regulations that the program is held to.  They actually operate the town's Head Start program (though they aren't exclusively Head Start), and as such receive Federal Funds, and have to meet the requirements related to that.  As a private-pay student, Mina/we don't need to adhere to a lot of the rules, but we had to do things like fill out WAY more paperwork, and get dental reports, which aren't typically required.  After meeting with an administrator I sat with her teacher, Miss Danielle, and went over another long survey so she could get to know our family, traditions, styles and Mina's nuances.  I am way, way, over the moon impressed, and kind of feeling silly that we hadn't found these folks earlier.

I ran into 2 people I knew there.  One used to be a teacher at Mina's school, and I think isn't a teacher or aide there, but has a daughter there in the school.  The other was someone I worked with at Burger King in High School!  I went to her young daughter's 3rd birthday party or something in her old, shitty subsidized apartment.  There were plaques on the wall indicating "PLEASE KEEP THIS AREA TIDY AND CLEAN".  Talk about demeaning.  Said daughter is now 26, and she went on to have 3 more kids.  Still married to the same guy she was married to.  At 17.  She works there in the kitchen, and the kids all know her.  She said we will love it.  It the short time I was away from Mina she played with all of the things, made some friends and made a few art projects to take home.  Mind = blown.

I'm looking forward to getting back to the normal routine.  Between the school transition, visiting Justin and his wake and funeral and then Brian's NJ trip it has been very crazy for us all.  Yay for mundane routines, sometimes.

Preschool

Jul. 18th, 2014 10:58 am
dancerjodi: (Geek)
Our plan all along was to put Mina into the Playschool that is at her current center (they enroll kids infant through kindergarden). They may not be the "best" and surely aren't exclusive at all, but it has been a good fit for her. They have become an extended family of sorts for us and have been flexible with her/our needs.

She's just been early for a lot of things: walking, talking, complex talking. She moved into the toddler room early and though the Preschool room is on paper intended for age 3, they are starting the process of doing her readiness assessment for the preschool now, with the assumed plan of her starting there in September (she turns 3 in late January). They would go through their assessment, review all of the results with us, we'd go back and forth and if all were in agreement we'd fill out a lot of paperwork and she'd start in that room. The director of the center said that they have concerns about her getting bored with the activities/lack of structure in the toddler room. She appears older than all of the kids in there, both in size and verbal ability. She isn't mature enough to handle the preschool structure now, but they don't want to hold her back.

I was kind of blindsided by all of this when I picked her up this week, but it makes sense. Brian and I don't want to rush these early years (thinking too far ahead), but we also want to be prepared.

He and I both have had experiences in schools where we were ahead of what the other kids were doing, and bored. We don't want her to be in that position. When I was born we lived in Wellesley, and we moved to Waltham over winter break when I was in 3rd grade. They wanted us in Catholic school, but they wouldn't admit us mid-year, so I went to the local public school for a 1/2 year. My math and reading abilities were so advanced, that I would leave my class and have private lessons with the librarian (who was also a special ed teacher I think). I remember feeling singled out and awkward about this, and I was even bullied a bit by a couple of kids for it (the followed me home one day taunting me, drilling me on multiplication tables). When I moved to St. Pat's the next year it wasn't much different. In 4th grade I left the class to have math and english with the 5th graders. In 5th grade they were sick of this 'inconvenience' and had me stay with my own class, re-reading the same general english/reading text that I had already read in Wellesley, in 3rd grade! I finished there and did HS at Waltham Public (where I think I actually did thrive, despite being pushed back a bit for 5 years).

Brian was that smart kid in classes where he was bored in the Everett system. They kind of left him to his own devices, and he did a lot of his own pleasure reading. He wanted to be with his friends rather than 'the nerds', and coasted through the general college level courses in a school that almost lost accreditation while he was there. But I digress.

Who knows what kind of things she'll excel in, and where she'll find challenges. Brian has had a lot of concentration issues to deal with. I'm great at multitasking but have a very hard time with memorization and standardized testing (as a result). Plus, she is her own kid.

Brian texted me that one of Mina's friends in the school is going to be leaving. His parents aren't happy with the quality of education in the Preschool, given 'lack of structure'. We'll miss them! They are neighbors of us and have had philosophical similarities to us. I want to give it a chance, but there is this fear in the back of my head that we may need to find a plan B. I have simiar worries about the local kindergarden. I want to support our local neighborhood public school. On paper it is pretty bad, but on paper there is a lot to contend with given the high % of kids that enter who aren't english speaking. As such, lots of resources have been put into that school. Parents I've talked with have been quite happy with it.

Oh the challenges of being responsible for someone's development! I want her to be happy and interested and learn things along the way. I think that in the end, most kids end up at the same place, just at a different pace. I've done find despite my early issues (as has Brian). Who the hell knows.

Iron

Jan. 30th, 2014 01:16 pm
dancerjodi: (Geek)
On Monday I took Mina to her 2 year Pediatric appointment. She is big both height and weight-wise, but she is following along her percentile happily (she's actually dropped weight, proportionally). She's talking like crazy, very expressive, and we've gotten a hold for the most part on her sensitive skin issues. Colds/infections are less frequent.

She did have bloodwork, and it turns out she is slightly anemic! I'm right on the cusp: never diagnosed with it, but am always right there. So it doesn't surprise me. We could surely get more greens in our life. We do eat a good deal of good-quality (CSA) grass-fed beef, but that is a teeny portion of our diet. And the girl loves her dairy. Too much of that can contribute to anemia.

The Pedi suggested we give her 1/2 of a Flinstones Complete with Iron each day. Looking at the ingrediants, oh boy the crap that is in there! Not to mention sugar.

A coworker suggested checking out Whole Foods, and they do have some dye/crap free alternatives, but none with enough iron. 1/2 a Flinstones has 9mg of iron. The basic natural kid's vitamin with any iron has either 2 or 5.5 mgs. They did point out an iron-supplement, capsules with liquid in them, safe for kids. They are 20 mg, so we'd need to break open and take out around half of the liquid for her. Too much iron in a young kid can be very dangerous.

In an ideal world our diet would make up for all of this, but despite best efforts, we fall short.

I'm going to poke online a bit for another alternative. Any tips? A coworker did mention that perhaps the crap in the Flinstones would be a better alternative to anemia, and that we all took them as kids.

Have any of you parents dealt with this? Thanks in advance!

Related, her bloodwork for lead came back <3 this year, well under accepted limits. It was <1 last year, but now that she's into more stuff, it makes sense that it would be elevated.

Now the act of holding her so that they could actually take that blood: not fun at all. They went for a vein, and I had to hold her while she screamed and watched them take quite a bit of it. Thankfully, we aren't due back for a routine appointment now, for another year! Just crazy.

Green

Jan. 24th, 2014 08:36 am
dancerjodi: (Geek)
Over the years I've tried to take steps to be more 'green', less wasteful, more conscious of chemicals and how I consume things. Having a kid and being responsible for all of the 'stuff' she is exposed to makes it yet more important.

I struggle with the cost, convenience and 'green' issues related to things related to Mina. For the most part we gave her organic baby food, and the cleaner of those options. If you actually read the ingredients on the Gerber organics, you'll see a lot of crap in it that isn't food (or added sugar). This came at great expense, but we had the luxury of doing it. We made our own sometimes (as much as cooking and mashing a potato is making your own). But we are both working, and have things to do. There is the formula of time/money/talent to consider.

Convenience and cost really are the big factors. The $10 cotton PJs at Old Navy that come in lots of cute styles and fit her perfectly are such a sticking point. Fit her well. Soft/good for her skin. Cheap. Easily accessible. But Old Navy = Gap companies = questionable labor practices. I can't bring myself to spend $30 on organic PJs online, that take a while to arrive at our front steps, that may or may not fit her, and if they do, she'll only wear for a short time. On one level I'm OK with this - you make an educated decision and do what works for you. But Old Navy! We have tried to find good-quality stuff in hand me downs from friends or at thrift stores, and have succeeded for the most part with the exception of the PJs. That counts for something, right?

I've had similar struggles with her bed. I'd like her to have the schmancy, 'green' mattress like Brian and I do. But she is a kid, that is going to do lots of gross things to that mattress reliably for years. There are covers and all, but really? We ended up getting one cheap at a local shop that sells a good traditional product. We'll splurge on the natural latex when she's older. Convenience, cost, practicality. It is a mattress on the floor, and we've been playing around with options for a simple frame. Low to the ground, something we can put a rail on. There is the convenient/cheap/easy route (Ikea) which is quite disposeable and made with questionable materials. The next level is more work/time (Craigslist). A local wood furniture store has a simple wood-platform style one which isn't crazy costly, so we may go with that. Her mattress is sliding all over on the floor so she ends up between the bed and the wall OR rolls out and across the floor.

We are learning that parenting is all about the balance. Sometimes having some kind of fruit is more important than having local/organic/fresh fruit. Sometimes, you gotta buy the processed pears in water in a plastic-sealed cup so that you have something in the morning when life has dictated that you can't get to the grocery store for something perishable. Sometimes you just gotta order a pizza.

We all experienced this kind of stuff and 'we all came out fine'. Only time will tell what health/societal impacts have come from our quick/easy/instant lifestyles. Folks didn't know 50 years ago what cigarettes would do to them. I wonder, what did I do to my kid now that will be something seen as just terrible years from now? I think the most important thing I've gained as a parent in myself, is the ability to just chill a bit and let those kinds of thoughts go, just to get through the day sometimes. There is always an argument on one side or the other. You could make yourself crazy trying to be "perfect".

Anyway, this rambling brought to you by a cold, quiet Friday morning at work. Have a wonderful weekend, peeps.

Two!

Jan. 23rd, 2014 01:40 pm
dancerjodi: (Geek)
Mina is now officially two! Her actual birthday was on Friday, and I was actually off of work to have an allergy test (I'm allergic to a particular mold and to grass, so I was told not to have any live plants in my house, including Xmas wreaths or trees) so I was home early to pick her up from daycare. We met Brian at the house and went out for dinner at On the Border Burlington. She likes that kind of food and the sounds/sights there would appeal to her social nature. After dinner we went to the Barnes and Noble down the street to get our free cupcake (I was e-mailed a coupon for her birthday since we're in their kid's club). Who knew that the big kid's area upstairs near the toys had some cushy chairs, a lego table and a train table? She had a blast running around, picking things up and putting them down, and playing with other kids around the tables.

We actually had her party for family and close friends at our house on Sunday. It was a smaller scale than last year (less extended family) but still crazy. There were 10 kids and 1 active teenager, running around the house. Most kids and some adults dressed up (Superhero theme!) and Brian suited up in his Dr. Doom costume for a brief villian appearance. The superkids prevailed, of course! I think we had a nice balance of fun/creative 'stuff' (decorations, favors, foods) that were all very much pro-Mina without being crazy, over the top or stress-inducing (or pinterest worthy). We bought cupcakes at BJs this year rather than ordering frouffy bakery ones, and we made a simple trifle with store-bought stuff (lady fingers, fruit, cool whip) that went over very well. We made lots of use of empty cardboard boxes and superhero duct tape (I can't even remember where we found that tape, but we put it to good use). I made felt capes for the kids (no sew) and the goodie bags were all from post Back to School Target Sale stuff, all things that Mina would love (paper, crayons, stickers, tattoos and a lollipop). Photos are here http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/sets/72157640034473406/with/12085915943/

We had weeded out a lot of old toys that she didn't care much for anymore in prep for Xmas and Birthday gifts, and it was fun to see her excited about the new stuff, and fun to find a place for things. I think this is a magical time where she's actively interested/engaged in toys and games, but not yet old enough to ask for them specifically. She may ask if we are out at a store for something while it is in front of her, but we are able to easily distract her and she moves on and doesn't remember it later. It is so fun to see her developing her own interests and seeing her interact with folks on her own. She really is a kid and less a baby. It is just wild!

We continue to go back and forth on the sleeping situation. The twin mattress is awesome, since we can fit on it with her. The lack of a frame, not so much. The mattress moves and her toys (and her) fall into the crack along the wall. I did buy a body pillow to put on the wall side of the mattress, and that is working to prevent this (also: super cushy/comfy!). Now our problem is that she falls out the other side, albeit only a short distance and onto a cushy rug, onto the floor. It does wake her up sometimes though. We are probably going to suck it up and get a low platform-style Ikea bed for her this weekend that we can put a rail on. Something low to the ground, more structured, but that we can lay in with her. When she is older and has an opinion we may opt for a nicer mattress/boxspring (something more natural/costly) and a nicer wood frame, but for now, the cheap mattress/cheap bed will be it.

Her MO lately with sleeping is to go to sleep generally OK, wake at 1 or 3 am, and settle down only if one of us stays with her. If we settle her and leave she will wake again soon after, and we'll just end up back in the room again, so we just stay with her. She has no interest in coming into our bed anymore. The snuggle time is really nice, though sleeping through the whole night would also be nice. We went a big stretch where miraculously we were doing that, but it has been a while. She tends to be up for the day around 6, regardless of how the night goes (there are rare mornings where she will sleep to a glorious 7 AM!). Brian usually takes her downstairs and snuggles on the couch with a blanket, some milk and some kid's tv while I shower. Then she and I have some snuggle or play time so Brian can shower, and then I head to work. On the weekends we usually all come down and bum around in PJs for a bit, eating some fruit before a full breakfast, and then eventually get into showers, etc. It is not that my life isn't busy, but I surely love this kid-mandated slower pace compared to our pre-Mina life. Snuggle and PJ time and bowls of fruit, there really isn't a better way to start the day. :)
dancerjodi: (Geek)
It was announced today that all Isis Parenting stores are closing suddenly today. So sad!

Brian and I purchased quite a bit of things from Isis both before and after Mina was born. I took a pumping class there and did many of their free webinars. I brought Mina to the International Latch On event to try and break a world record of the most women breastfeeding simultaneously. I rented a hospital-grade pump from them, and met with a lactation consultant right before I went back to work to deal with supply/lazy eating issues.

Now that Mina is 2 and it has been over a year since she stopped nursing, they aren't so important with day to day stuff for us. Though, I still think of them in those early, sensitive, serious days. It is like an old family member dying.

Such a great service, and such great loss to families in the Boston area and beyond. :(
dancerjodi: (Geek)
I hate the new (well, not so new) FLICKR setup, but it is what it is.

We had a runner installed on our stairs/landing. We bought a nice thick 100% wool remnant and had enough left over to do an 'installed runner' of sorts in our hallway too. We went with Mal Elfman's on Moody Street, Waltham. Very happy with them!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/11949262606/

Nephew Colin celebrates his birthday today (my sister's middle kid) - he's 5 now. Space is at a premium in her apartment but they always love playing with Mina's toy kitchen at our house, so I made them a toy kitchen in a box. I purchased the kitchen stickers from a very neat place http://www.stickerskinz.com/. The box was from our attic, it was filled with some new and some thrifted kid kitchen stuff.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/11948851384/

We've been busy prepping for Mina's bday party. It is small (close family and family-like friends). I've had fun putting together favors for the kids: bags with art supplies (Mina is a budding artist), most of which I bought for super cheap with the post-back to school sale at Target. Brian found a Batman ice-cube tray, and decided he wanted to make chocolates. I made some very simple capes for the kids out of felt and stick-on velcro. No sewing required.
Cape bag: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/11948389325/
Favor box: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/11948819564/
Cape pattern: http://www.momsrising.org/blog/how-to-make-a-superhero-cape-by-lara-from-howdoesshe/
Chocolates: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/11948795424/

I miss sewing/knitting and that general kind of creative thing, but have no energy for that at the end of the day. My 'free time' is often dance classes twice a week. I'm missing doing creative stuff. Also missing more regular exercise. I need to get this back into my life again! It is silly how much fun I've had with just simple party prep stuff.

Sleeping

Jan. 8th, 2014 09:13 am
dancerjodi: (Geek)
We have had a random mix of sleeping and cosleeping in our house since we've had Mina.

Before she was born we rearranged things in the house so that there was room for a small travel-sized pack n play next to the bed on my side, figuring I'd nurse her and then put her back down to sleep. Real life doesn't always mimic imagined life with an infant. She was a tired eater, and would nurse for a bit before falling asleep on me. She was basically eating all of the time, for weeks. For the first couple of weeks we slept with her on the couches in our living room, Brian taking care of her in those rare times I wasn't nursing.

When Brian was back at work full time at the 2 week mark, I moved up to the bedroom. I kept her in the bed and figured out the nursing in bed technique (this took some time, particularly on one side that as more difficult to get her latched on). It was a hard, lonely couple of months. We slept this way until I went back to work at 12 weeks. Brian slept in the den and was fully rested. I nursed Mina through the night (every hour or so) and changed her on a pad on the bed when she was messy. Thinking back now though, I miss how that little snuggle baby fit in the crook of my body. Switching breasts was tough. At first I would just flip my head from the head of the bed to the foot of the bed, keeping her in the middle. I tried to prop her up on a pillow and nurse the other side over the top of my body, but that was just awkward. Eventually I just got a bed rail for the outside of the bed, so I'd just move her from side to side.

Once Brian came back to the bed, we transitioned to putting her down in the cosleeper (we had moved the travel pack n play and bought a cosleeper) to sleep at first. We'd have a couple of glorious hours without a baby to care for. We'd tiptoe into the room to go to sleep, and once she awoke for that first night feeding, she'd come into the bed. Cosleeper on the side, Mom there to feed, baby in the middle or between me and the cosleeper, and Dad on the other side. We slept on top of the bed with throw blankets over us, so that Mina was safe of any suffocation hazards. She was usually curled up in the crook of my body. We made it work. Brian could change her mid night and I could use the bathroom. We were sleeping for multiple hour chunks at a time. There were times where she'd start stirring and I'd notice, and stick her on a boob, and Brian didn't even wake up.

It got to the point where it was clear that she was sleeping better out of the bed. She spent more time in her room, in her crib. We sold the cosleeper and put a rail on the side of the bed. We would start the night putting her in her room initially, and when she'd wake, to our bed. Sometimes I'd just nurse her in the rocker and put her back in the crib. It would all depend on how soon it was until wakeup time, or how well she was eating. She became a better nurser as she got older, eating more at a session and being able to sleep for longer.

I weaned her off feedings through the night, and she'd only have one to go to bed and then one when waking (also one when I first got home from work with her). Then only one to go to bed. Then she was all bottle all the time. More time in her bed, less in ours. She'd still have cranky nights where she was teething or sick and would come to bed with us, but those grew fewer and fewer. She told us without words, that she wanted to be in her own bed. We'd snuggle/rock in her room and put her down in bed again.

She walked at 9 months, and climbed out of the crib at 16. We took the front off but she was jumping on the bed, pulling on the tall crib sides and they were starting to warp in. So we bought the toddler bed (crib sized mattress). We've had that for around 6 months. She is such a monkey, that she climbs in and out and in and out and in and out, over the side rails, rather than the open foot of the bed. She still has tought nights, but wants us to be with her in her room, while she is in her bed. We'd sit next to the bed or just lay on the floor. For a while we had a nest of blankets and a camping mattress there.

The crawling and us wanting to snuggle sometimes lead us last weekend to buy a twin mattress and put it on the floor. She can climb off and on, but she won't fall in a tired stupor while climbing over wooden rails. She has a nice fun nest for her stuffed animals. It opens up the room hugely (we rearranged the furniture). And WE can snuggle easily with her in her own bed, if need be.

Most nights she sleeps through. Sometimes she wakes up at 4:00 crying for one of us. That parent goes in, puts her blanket on her, and snuggles with her on the bed until she wants to get up (usually between 5-6, though we had a couple of glorious mornings where I went in at 4 and she slept snuggled to me until almost 7).

It is a process. We are selling the toddler bed to someone (via Craigslist) tomorrow. I'll be keeping my eyes open for an actual low frame for her. For now, we have a fun comfy nest of blankets and stuffed animals (her favorite thing evah) on the floor to play in.

It is amazing seeing this kid grow. She will be 2 next Friday.

(Now, naps are another story entirely. She always naps at daycare, very well. With us it is a crapshoot. She always sleeps in the car. Sometimes well at home, sometimes not at all, though we always have quiet time in her room at naptime. She has been so early to do things: roll, crawl, walk, climb, talk. I wonder if she will also be early to drop the nap)

Ho Ho Ho

Dec. 10th, 2013 01:02 pm
dancerjodi: (Geek)
We've had fun doing holiday stuff with Mina, now that she's a bit older and can appreciate it more. She doesn't know what Christmas is about, or what Santa Claus is about, but knows the words, some of the songs and loves the lights. Actually, her Santa knowledge comes purely from Nightmare Before Christmas, but I digress.

Brian took the day off from work yesterday so that we could go to Bass Pro out at Patriot Place (in Foxboro) to do the santa photo. They do it for free (1 free, additional you have to buy) and they decorate this whole section of the store into a cute 'Winter Wonderland' with kid's craft activities. Plus, it is a giant place with a fish and turtle pond and lots of taxidermy, some of it animated. So basically a big fun place for an almost 2 year old. She was really into the decorations, particularly some animatronic elves with their faces covered (one stuck in the snow with his feet out, one under a gift box). Santa though, she said hi, but was confused when I got close to him. She looked quite skeptical. Then when I told her that she was going to sit on his lap and take a picture, and then I put her on his lap she screamed and looked miserable, reaching for me to take her back. I took her off, thanked him and walked away. Now *he* was trying to hold her there and convince her that it was OK, and it would be over quickly and to just relax and take the picture. The family behind us had one happy kid and one screaming kid for their picture. I don't know, I get that it is a 'thing' for some kids to have documented Santa or Easter Bunny cries but really, who is this about? Why force your kid to do it? She usually has no fear and is quite social. I think the lack of personal space and actually sitting on this complete stranger, not on her terms just didn't make sense to her. As it shouldn't, really! I guess, you only learn by trying, right?

She enjoyed her first candy cane (a small one) which cheered her up, and we carried her around the store for a bit and looked at animals, before she was herself again. Then she proceeded to pick up every stuffed animal, lay on every throw pillow, and sit on and 'drive' every ATV on the premesis. Some friends that live nearby came out to meet us and have dinner at the Olive Garden near by. I know I know, but it was right freaking there. And the girl loves noodles! She made a ginormous mess of herself, but for the most part was very good at the meal. She didn't make a ton of noise (until we were in the bathroom changing her before we left) and she ate very well. Even eggplant! Going out to restaurants with her has been more challenging as she asserts herself and never wants to sit still, but she does love the food and the people. We just have to plan it well so that we can accommodate that.

I am having such a blast doing holiday things with my kid. Since the fall Brian and I have picked up things here and there and put them into a box to wrap up for Xmas and/or her birthday, which is mid-January. I'm looking forward to digging into the box with Brian and wrapping everything. Maybe we'll make some real cocoa this Friday night and once she is in bed make a 'date' of it. :)
dancerjodi: (Geek)
We picked up Brian on Saturday morning. Mina was in the stroller just long enough to be getting antsy by the time I was letting her out to jump into Brian's arms. We headed to breakfast and had a great day together. She was so psyched! I was so psyched.

That night he was trying to put her to bed, and she freaked - anxiety attack kind of freaked, asking for me. I was able to calm her down and put her to bed. Too strange of a week? So much mamma mamma time at bed time? She woke around 1 super cranky/anxiety (hyperventolating) and I was the only one able to get her able to calm down. The next day/night and following were totally normal.

I feel like I did well given what I had to work with, and Mina survived. We both missed him like crazy. He had a good time but missed us like crazy. I'm excited about a lot of normal life stuff for a bit (holidays are cool - we'll all be sleeping at home).

Day 3

Nov. 14th, 2013 12:02 pm
dancerjodi: (Geek)
We had Uncle Sean and Auntie Krista over last night after dinner, and Mina had a blast. She put on Krista's scarf and gloves and chased Uncle Sean in a circle around the house, over and over again. What is it with kids running in circles in houses? I'm glad our setup can accommodate that.

She was all riled up and playing later than usual (I want to be a bit flexible this week). We got up for the bath a half-hour later than usual, and she played in there a bit longer than usual. She's been staying up late this week (fighting sleep) despite my attempts to keep on the schedule. If she keeps going to bed around 9 anyway, I don't feel like putting up the fight for longer (fight for an hour to get her to bed at 9 or just take it easy and get her to bed at 9). We played, read books and snuggled and she finally let go around 9. Following that by a hot shower is really heavenly. I managed to do a load of laundry, take care of dishes/cleanup/packing and watch another old episode of Castle.

She fussed around midnight but slept through it (yay). She woke around 3 and slept through it again (yay). She woke up super cranky/needy at 5. What is with this new 9-5 schedule lately? She was crying/groggy and I told her I'd change her and bring her into my bed to snuggle. She cried "I wanna snuggle daddy!". I told her we'd see Daddy in 2 days, and she repeated "2 days?". I told her that he flew on a plane for work, and he would fly back in 2 days and we would pick him up. Who knows if that makes any sense to her, but she seemed OK with it.

We played in her room a bit and got ourselves washed/dressed/bunny fed. Downstairs for cats/snuggle/pack bags/snuggle/fruit/snuggle/breakfast/snuggle. Just as I'm letting her stay up later, I'm letting her watch more screen stuff. I put on Netflix so that I could sit and have breakfast (another 'give' - we always eat at the dining room table) and she asked for the train movie again. Maybe we are in the Thomas phase? She had her own fruit and some of my cereal/fruit, glued to me. We facetimed with Brian around 7, got together and out of the door around 7:40. Drop off was easy: The director picked her up to hold her and she was fascinated by something going on with one of the kids, and I snuck out.

She now has my cold (snotty, snotty girl). I had the chills/sweats again last night, but haven't taken my temp at all. It doesn't feel high, and I wasn't sore/miserable like I felt the night before. I'm stuffy/blowing my nose/coughing/tickle throat. Trying diligent fluids and handwashing and distancing myself from folks. It is hard to do that with a clingy toddler who misses her daddy and wants to be snuggled. I can only hope it runs its course and just keeps a cold for the two of us.

Only one more work morning to deal with! Tonight we don't have plans or visitors. I want to try and get her back to a normalish bed time, so I may take her across the street to visit her friend Sharma (that runs the Convenience store), and attempt a normal bath/bed time. My dad is visiting us tomorrow morning, and then he and my mom are having dinner with us tomorrow night. On Saturday we'll get up, eat something small and head to Logan to meet Brian. And then head out for breakfast, as he'll be in need of something to eat. It will be nice to have an AM shower again, and some time to myself that isn't crazed/workday preparation/pre-bed exhaustion.

Through all of this though, it STILL isn't as crazy/bad as those initial early newborn days. I think that routine really prepared us for anything!
dancerjodi: (Geek)
Last night went well. We had dinner with Tio Carlos and played a bit, and watched some of a Little Engine That Could movie on Netflix (Whoopie Goldberg was a voice actor). Mina has been staying up later lately, so I brought her up a bit later for her bath, and Carlos took off for home at that time. I got her clean and she played in the tub a bit, only after pulling all of my tee shirts out of my closet. The girl loves to play with clothes. I am fighting a cold, and so once dressed and her room cleaned up (diaper trash can emptied, clothes out for the next day) I turned down the lights, laid on the floor with a pillow and read/chatted with her. More whispered than chatted, as my voice was struggling. We snuggled on the floor for a long time, and after a final diaper change I convinced her to climb into bed. She wanted company and I held her hand and rubbed her belly until she fell asleep. She slept until 5 AM again (with a slight stirring at midnight, but she resettled herself).

I was super achey and had the chills. It was really cold last night, but I think it was more a slight fever from this cold. I took a HOT shower which was just heavenly. I went downstairs and did what I needed to do for today (take care of dishes, trash out, pack lunches and bags for the morning). I know I should have gone to bed early, but I wanted to just sit with a blanket and watch TV a bit. We have a bunch of old stuff DVRed, so I watched an old episode of Castle. I figure, that stuff is available online if Brian wants to see it in Vegas.

The shower and the rest (and a lot of tea) helped me feel a bit better today. I did wake up around midnight at Mina's rumblings and I was soaked with sweat. I changed and it seems that the fever broke, because I didn't sweat through the next pair of PJs. I'm feeling a ton better today. Not perfect, but not sore/feverish. I'm just drinking tea like it is going out of style, keeping the kleenex nearby. Cough drops just in case. And a lot of hand washing.

This morning went much more smoothly than yesterday. When Mina woke up at 5 I went in her room and we hung out in there rather than my room. I figured, she didn't need to snuggle up in a bed sans-daddy. She got up and got out her box of trains and started playing. We eased into our morning. I slowly turned on more lights and she played. I got my face washed and we both brushed our teeth and then she needed some hugs before I could get into my work clothes. Play some more, hug some more, and then I got her dressed. We fed the bunny and went down to feed the cats. I was actually able to put her down and feed them (granted, she likes trying to wrestle with Mal/pick him up first thing in the morning) before getting her Milk. More hugs, and then I got her lunch bag together. More hugs and then we had some breakfast. She's been having fun with her Learning Tower http://www.littlepartners.com/the-learning-tower/ (thanks to our friends Tom and Lee who had one in a corner of their porch unused for years). She stands at the counter while I get her some fruit and some things to play with. She likes being able to watch everything. She had some strawberries and whipped cream, and I was able to get myself some cereal and strawberries. Then we sat in the dining room (her on my lap) for breakfast. More cat snuggles/toy playing/hug needing.

We are trying to limit her screen time, but it does happen. Always when trying to change her diaper or get her in the car seat (we have an old iphone that we have some movies saved on). Seeing "Big Siri" aka our TV is a huge treat for her. I put on the remainder of the Little Engine that Could movie and we watched for about 10 minutes and then called Brian. Having this technology is just amazing: my Dad recounts sad goodbyes with me when he was working and going to college a ton of hours. He is just amazed at how we are able to keep in touch now. We chat with Daddy for a bit and then it is time to get ourselves ready for school, which is not a fast task. Start the truck to get it warm, change the diaper, put on shoes and coats and collect bags. Today she didn't fight me at all (it was a chore yesterday, just doing this). We drove to daycare and she didn't fight me getting out (yesterday she wanted to take 'all the things' into school). We got in, she easily let me take off her coat. She asked to see the babies, and the director picked her up and took her over to the infant room, allowing me to make a clean getaway.

Tonight we are having dinner and then Uncle Sean and Auntie Krista are joining us for food a bit later. Keeping her busy and allowing enough Mom snuggle time is definitely going a long way.

Hey, we are in the middle of the week! Only two more work days and then on Saturday morning we get to go into the airport to pick up daddy!
dancerjodi: (Geek)
I know plenty of folks do this, but this is a new one for me. I was with Mina at home for 3 months while Brian was at work (he took 2 weeks off when she was born), but he was at least around. He is at a conference at the Venetian in Vegas until Saturday morning.

We dropped him at Logan last night around 6. We had an early dinner to make sure Mina was fed and not mess with her routine too much. I had this awful feeling in the pit of my stomache all day, mostly because I was worried about her. She is too young to really understand what's happening, and had no clue what was coming. She is such a daddy's girl. He gave her a kiss and hug goodbye in the carseat, hugged and kissed me and was off. She was OK last night with the bed routine. She asked about him a couple of times. I showed her some videos of him on my phone, including one he shot in the airport, saying goodnight to her.

She actually slept through the night, and woke up at 5. I changed her and brought her into my bed, and she asked where daddy was ('he is working'). She was good/normal for a bit. We watched some movies on her ipod for a bit before she wanted to get up. She did not want me to leave her sight, but somehow I managed to wash my face, brush my teeth (only because I made it a game and she brushed hers). I brought my makeup downstairs with the plan of putting on in the car or at work. She was so clingy: crying and asking for Brian and not wanting me to put her down. She'd have periods though, where she'd chase a cat or eat some food or play, before coming back to be held. Thankfully I had prepped the night before and had a big buffer to get ourselves together and out of the house.

We called Brian around 7 (4 AM his time, but he wants to have these daily calls) and did some Facetime with him. She was excited and laughed, and would wander off to play, but when I said I was going to hang up, she would come back and urge me not to. Somehow I actually did manage to put makeup on in our downstairs bathroom during one of her short happy moments. I got her coat, shoes and hat on, and got her into the truck (I'm driving Brian's during the week since it is much newer/more reliable).

Daycare dropoff can be tough for Brian sometimes. She is happy to be there, but wants him to stay. We used to feed her breakfast at home but there are some friends of hers that eat there, and so getting her to sit with them sometimes is a good distraction, so we moved to just a bit of fruit at home and most breakfast with the kids at daycare. Usually this distracts her, or her 'boyfriend' wanting to hug her. Or a visit to her favorite old teacher in the infant room. Today, thankfully, I was going into the center at the same time as the director who is well versed at the tactics of Mina distraction. I warned her about Brian being away and Mina being possibly needy. She still did not want to let go of me! Not for an applesauce pouch, not for a boyfriend hug. The director was able to sway her with a visit to the infant room, and I told her I loved her and booked it out of there.

I'm dropping her at the normalish time, so I'm getting to work a bit late. OK fine, I'm just cutting back my lunch time to make up for it. They are flexible. What a day to have to deal with some wet snow (and its resulting traffic), 2 outside meetings (one at each of our hospitals) and catchup from a long weekend away.

I'm fighting off a cold too. I'm keeping it at bay. I'm hoping I can continue to do that. But with the craziness of this week I'm not sure how that will go.

I'm trying to keep Mina's schedule as normal as possible, with things done in the normal way. But, I've arranged for visits from some of her favorite peeps. Tio Carlos is coming by tonight. Uncle Sean and Auntie Krista. My dad will visit Thursday morning before work and Friday morning (he is working in the area, and so carpooling with Mom). They are going to stay over for a visit/dinner Friday night. I'm hoping to set up a visit from her favorite babysitter friend Thursday, but I need to poke her.

It is a light week meeting-wise, which is good. If the cold takes over I can always drop her at daycare and stay home from work. We will all survive. Plenty of single parents do this all of the time. It is just a new routine.

I will be so happy to tell her on Saturday morning that we are going to pick up her daddy!

Chairs

Oct. 10th, 2013 09:22 am
dancerjodi: (Geek)
Mina is purely a toddler now, in the 'terrible two' sense of the word. Most times we are good at figuring out what she is wanting or what her motivations are. Last night was just interesting.

She hasn't wanted to sit in her booster seat/high chair. We long ago dropped the tray and she's up at the table with us. http://www.diapers.com/p/fisher-price-healthy-care-booster-green-blue-85165?site=CA&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=cpc_D&utm_term=FS-437&utm_campaign=GooglePLA&CAWELAID=1338730218&utm_content=pla&ca_sku=FS-437&ca_gpa=pla&ca_kw={keyword} . The seat is a bit high, but without it she is too low. Lately, she just doesn't want to sit in the seat. That's fine - she can sit in the big chair with help. But last night, she wanted to stand on the chair, climb up onto the table. She had little interest in eating her dinner (and she is typically a very good eater). Thankfully, the few bites she had with a glass of milk were enough for her to go to bed and sleep through the night. We were worried she'd be starving later on. This morning was more of the same. She wanted to sit on the chair herself and then on our lap. More and more she wants to mimic the big kid/big adult stuff. I'm wondering if we should find a way to get her little Ikea table into our dining room so she can sit at a kid chair, at a kid table. Of course, I don't want to set that up, because it would make dining at a restaurant difficult. We have similar challenges in restaurants. She doesn't want to be in the high chair, but we've had mixed (mostly negative) results with a booster. She ends up next to us on a chair with the table at chin level (too high) or she ends up on our lap. Or running around the restaurant with one of us, not eating. The girl's gotta move.

We do have another seat we use when travelling sometimes, kind of like this one only the bottom part of the seat is flat http://www.target.com/p/munchkin-travel-booster-seat-purple/-/A-11990151?ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&AFID=Google_PLA_df&LNM=%7C11990151&CPNG=Baby&kpid=11990151&LID=PA&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=11990151&gclid=CPfBnaKtjLoCFQSf4Aodv2cAaA . I found at our local thrift store for $2. We tried that on the chair and she didn't want to be strapped into that either. It isn't a height thing as much as a 'baby seat' thing. Amusingly enough, one of her favorite things lately is to sit on this seat on the floor, strap herself in, and then walk around the house with it strapped to her butt. Hilarious!

Have any of you parent friends dealt with this? She's definitely too big/independent for the booster, but she's too small/squrimy for the big chair on her own. It could purely be just her trying to assert herself, since this is one of the ways she can control her environment.

All in all, she is a fairly easy kid and the toddler challenges are totally 'reasonable' and to be expected. There are days though, oh boy! :)
dancerjodi: (Geek)
I don't think of myself as a big pro or anti Disney person. I have great memories of some of their products. I have great problems with others.

My parents are very big into movies, and we had a VCR quite early in their time given that my Dad did print/graphics work for a local video place. It was the only place you could buy a VCR or buy/rent movies. There was a brisk business in bartering as times (for them) were tight. Dad would provide the work and we ended up with a great TV, a VCR before anyone else had them, and videos.

Some of our first movies included Winnie the Pooh (the Disney/US compilation, recently actually released on Blu Ray for the first time) and some holiday compilations. There was http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disney's_Halloween_Treat and http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0483445/ . We watched these fairly often, along with PBS. We didn't have cable until I was actually out of college.

I have told Brian about these holiday videos and bemoaned the lack of them being released on DVD. People actually pay a lot of money for the VHS copies online, trying to get back a piece of their childhoods and/or share with their own children. Yesterday I learned that someone put up segments of these on Youtube. I was so excited last night to sit down and watch the Halloween one with Brian last night. Oh my goodness.

On the one hand, I think that parental suggestions on media, and sheltering your kids from icky stuff is a bit nuts nowadays. That whole 'I did it and I turned out OK' thing. On the other hand, I was astounded by the level of violence in these cartoons. Mickey Mouse was going after a strange noise with a gun. Donald Duck going after an escaped, violent gorrilla with an ax. Lots of characters telling each other to "Shut up". It is no wonder that the Disney of today would not release this on DVD.

My intention was to try and download or acquire these to at some point show Mina. Watching them last night, I don't think there was much value to them. The clip from Fantasia (ghosts/demons) could be found via Fantasia. The slapstick/violent stuff wasn't funny, and wasn't entertaining. Which just left the Sleepy Hollow segment.

I'm interested in finding the Christmas comp (or its segments) and seeing how that compares.

It is very interesting to compare the Jodi pre-kid with the Jodi post-kid. I want my kid to be exposed to things so that she isn't afraid, and so that she has a healthy respect for what's real, what is imagination and what truly are things to be cautious about. I want her to love Halloween and all of the spooky things that Brian and I love. It is surprising to see me wanting to pause now.

After dinner last Friday we took her into the local party store, not thinking anything about the creepy Halloween stuff in there. She's grown up going to conventions (Sci Fi and Horror) and is used to things like her Dad's zombie trooper costume. She playfully poked at and commented on (by name) skulls, bats, mice, rats. We turned a corner and she saw a skull decoration with hair and a wispy gauze-like dress laying on the floor. She got this horrified look on her face and exclaimed "THE LADY!", with a look of concern that it was an actual sick (dead) woman laying on the floor there. I hugged her and said "oh baby, this isn't a real lady, it is a toy" and tried to show her that it was fake. I felt like the worst parent ever for her having to experience that.

I wonder what is nurture and what is nature. It is magical and heart-warming to see the empathy in our girl. She knows what is 'wrong' in ways that we can't even fathom. I want her to be aware, don't want to shelter her from everything. But then I do.

Parenting is such a crazy journey. In the meantime we trudge along, do our best. Our girl was scared/concerned for the "lady", but at the same time loves Batman (POW! BAM! WHAP! - albeit cheezy, is also violent) or thinks of Darth Vader as a snuggly guy to give high fives to at conventions. It is just fascinating.
dancerjodi: (Geek)
Mina was having a crazy, boisterous day yesterday. Of course, it came on a night that Brian was doing his own thing and I was going to be chilling with her and putting her to bed.

She was RAVENOUS when we got home from our day's activities, and I ended up sitting her down and feeding her dinner in bits as it was cooked. She ate very well. Then there was ice cream sundays. SUGAR! Just what the weasel baby needed? ;)

We had a fun time playing though, and she is participating more and more with regular house things like loading the dishwasher. She likes to sweep the floor (she has her own kid-sized broom and dustpan and brush) and wiping things with a towel.

Once her closet is all done we'll be making her a DIY learning tower http://www.ikeahackers.net/2013/03/lucys-learning-tower.html so she can more effectively work with us in the kitchen. I'm very excited about this! Purchasing one made commercially is around $200 and most DIY plans are quite complicated. When she is done with this we'll take the top bits off and be left with a nice step stool. It will live in the corner of our kitchen near our basement door.

Ballet class tonight! I'm excited to get back into the swing of things. I'm still on the fence about GraniteCon on Sunday. On the one hand it would be nice to see family in the area, on the other hand it may be nice to take a more chill day at home. We shall see.

Mina has decided she wants to be Batman for Halloween. It is a commercially purchased costume, but she picked it out herself all excitedly and it is OMFG so cute. Maybe I can throw together some kind of fun Batgirl thing quickly, low tech. Halloween is a Thursday, oh what to do this year with her?

Weekend

Sep. 10th, 2013 09:12 am
dancerjodi: (Geek)
Toddlerhood is both fun and trying. On Friday night I felt like Mina was pushing and Brian kept trying to undermine my attempts at parenting, not giving me a chance to intervene and/or trying to tell me what to do or cut me off when trying to interact with Mina at dinner. That night putting her to bed was just terrible and took forever. It was really just miscommunication and me being tired/frazzled with things going on. Brian just was trying to help, while I was taking it as him trying to step in because he thought I was incompetant. You have good days and bad days.

On Saturday I spent the morning weeding/planting/mulching our front yard for fall while Brian hung with Mina on the front porch and back yard. I took out the dead/fried pine bush and put in an azalea - we'll see how that goes. I added some mums to fill space and get into the fall spirit, and it is all mulched. Sprinklers on a timer are out there now, and hopefully the worst of summer sun is past and we can keep that azalea going. My grandmother always had azaleas in her front yard, and I've wanted to do it too. We have some plans for the yard for next year. We got the landscaper bill and that check was written. Lots of ideas, and lots of decisions about timing and payment.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/9717880462/in/photostream
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/9717881226/in/photostream

She has discovered sidewalk chalk and picking and eating our tomatoes (mostly green ones - heh).
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/9717884608/in/photostream

We had Harvard Square haircuts and had fun with Mina at Curious George, the Urban Outfitters Photo Booth.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/9717853414/in/photostream

Sunday was Brian's day - he did more work on the closet projects and I took Mina out to try and find her slippers (got em), a closet rug (got it), rain boots (nothing) and dance shoes (nothing). Her first class is 9/21. She has some shoes that are just too big, so it looks like I'll have to buy the first pair. We went to a birthday party for a friend of Mina's from school that afternoon. the kid's Dad and I were friends in High School, so it was a funny reunion. They have a cute place nearby so we walked. Brian and I are learning about the challenges of having a kid that is bigger and older in many ways than her peers, and what is average for her age. There are challenges in this. She wants to play with the big kids, but has some limitations in being fully able to do this. But she is bored with the babies. And the big kids (at least some of them) don't want this "baby" playing with them. She is just so outgoing, she seems almost confused about why the bigger kids don't want her playing their games. I feel so sad for her. Then there is the issue of her never moving and constantly getting into everything. Our home is set up to be safe for her to explore around and to do that, but other places are not. More and More Brian and I have been talking about how things will be a few years from now when she enters school. He had the experience of being extremely bored through his entire school career. I don't want her to be in that position, but I've always been a firm supporter of public schools. I think Waltham has a lot of things going for it, even our local school that has had some issues. We'll see what life brings!

Yesterday was her first swim class with G and I. She did great it seemed and she had a lot of fun. She's old enough that I think if we continue with the next session, we'd be moving up to the next age group. She was comfortable with the water and blew bubbles in there with her mouth. She was EXHAUSTED after, and took a good afternoon nap. She was beat in the afternoon; we took a walk with C and stopped at a local park where she had a bout of crazy toddler: wanting to take all the other kids' toys/cars/apples and wanting to climb all of the big things all by herself (she's not coordinated enough to do this safely, entirely). Oh boy. She did well at dinner though (NOODLES) and though she was up a bit late for her, we had a nice bedtime. I settled her down since Brian had to work on a build, longer than was anticipated.

Tonight is dinner with my boss - his direct reports are taking him out as his last day is tomorrow. Just so odd. We have no idea what our transition plan is or what kind of recruitment is happening or has happened. He is an Executive VP that reports to the Chief Medical Officer, so this is going to take some time. I realized that my review is due in November. So I'm assuming I won't get one this year, since there won't be anyone to do it? Suck. We shall see where things go here.

Cranky

Sep. 5th, 2013 09:38 am
dancerjodi: (Geek)
Poor Mina had a tough start of the night yesterday. He was just odd in the bath, and not interested in coloring with her tub crayons which have been OH MY GOD THE BEST THING EVAH since we gave them to her. She fought me to get a diaper on and start to get into her PJs after her bath, so I just let her run around shirtless for a while. She was so freaking worked up, like a building anxiety attack with the start of hyperventolating and all of that. Maybe normal toddler stuff? Maybe she may be more likely to suffer from this kind of stress reaction since her Mom did (worst of it in high school, though it never required medication). Poor muffin.

I was able to calm her down, and cheer her up by putting her PJ shirt on her toy rabbit, then taking it off and letting her put it on herself (with some help). Then we picked out another shirt of hers to put on her bunny. She thought it was hilarious.

The rest of the bedtime routine was nice, but still odd. She was exhausted but just kept fighting, fighting to sleep. She clearly needed some time/love from Mom, so I spent an extra half hour in there. She woke up crazy/confused/sad/needy around 1 AM and we brought her into our bed, where after some time to get her settled, she spent the rest of the night.

She has actually been doing quite well at night! No more overnight bottles! We've moved to only 6 oz of milk before bed. A couple of nights ago we gave her a cup instead of the baby bottle, and she took to it. 2 nights in a row now, she'd drunk the cup of milk. We brush her teeth, read some books, sing some songs/dance/rock, and put her in bed. We sit and hold her hand a bit and rub her back or belly and continue to sing/talk. When the time seems right, we tell her we love her, goodnight, and we walk out. She will scream for less than a minute most nights, but then she settles into bed to sleep. She has been sleeping through the whole night, and waking up around 5 or 6 am. If she wakes up super early we try and settle her back to sleep snuggling with us in our bed, and we'll usually get another hour out of her.

Something is definitely going on. Maybe it is back to school transition? Her routine is the same, but we had that break over vacation, and there have been changes around her in school (new paint, new supplies, the vibe of a new school year). Growth spurt? Coming down with another cold?

Her rash seems to be getting better. Still there, but not as enflamed.

She starts swimming lessons with me on Monday: 8 weeks at the Woburn YMCA. Their schedule just worked out better than the one in Waltham, and hopefully we will see G and I there too.

She starts Saturday dance class on the 21st. Just crazy!
dancerjodi: (Geek)
Our girl has sensitive skin and is prone to rashes. She's experienced excema and fungal/yeast rashes. The latter comes quite frequently, but we've figured out how to keep on top of it and get rid of it quickly before it becomes out of control and painful. She gets it in her diaper area and rolls of her body. Last summer her rashy/rolly area was her thighs. Before that, her neck. Now it is her armpits.

This time around though, a rash had spread around her body and her armpits were pretty bad, despite what we kept doing to keep up with it. It wasn't getting worse, but wasn't getting better either. Her armpits and diaper area were itchy, but the rest of her body didn't seem to be bothering her.

We took her to the Pedi on Friday and they gave us an antibiotic for her armpits and told us to alternate that and the antifungal we've been using with the yeast flares up.

They told us the rest of her thought, was covered with this http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/keratosis-pilaris/DS00769 . Brian has it on his arms, and never gave it much thought.

Makes sense. I'm skeptical with skin issues, since I've had a couple of bouts of odd ones that despite going to dermatologists were never figured out. We'll just try and keep her gently cleaned and moisturized and see what happens.

Closets

Sep. 3rd, 2013 11:25 am
dancerjodi: (Geek)
Now that the cooler weather is here we are going to be focusing on some more indoor home projects. Brian has wanted to rip out a built-in bureau in his collectible's room closet for a while, and I have wanted to patch/repair/build out Mina's large closet.

Over last week Brian and I were kind of brainstorming these projects. Before I was even pregnant I told Brian that I wanted to build a nice little play/reading nook in Mina's closet given how deep it was. We have been storing a lot of things in there since she is so young and not really using it, but someday she will be able to open that door herself. And it will be hers, and not our spot for storing crap that has no other good home.

We were talking about how specifically to create this nook for her. I thought maybe putting up a small wall in the back would give her a little cave-like spot to pile pillows, blankets and such and to 'hide' from us, with storage in front and a pole to hang above. I'm not sure how it came about, but it clicked that the two closets were back to back. Brian hasn't used his closet much at all, and wanted to rip out/reconfigure it to make better use out of it. We would break through the wall to make Mina a secret room! On Brians side you would open the door to see a box on the lower part, and a closet pole/shelves on the upper part. On Mina's side you would see a closet with a big open doorway/babycave, which would be the inside of that box in Brian's closet.

Now that we've conceived of this plan, we are so excited about it! On Sunday Brian ripped out the built in bureau. We will repurpose the (apparently copper) drawer pulls elsewhere in our house. Yesterday he cut the hole between the two closets and put the interior frame in. For ease, it will have paneling for walls, but clever Brian bought white-board paneling, so Mina's whole baby-cave walls will be whiteboard material. We'll put some kind of cushy padding/carpet on the floors.

Working in here while it is in her bedroom should be interesting. We need to take things out and try and keep her room clean, and keep the work to small chunks that don't interfere with her napping or sleeping at night. It may take a while to get it done because of this, unless we take some more time off of work while she's at daycare.

Once the frame/trim is all up, there will be plastering and painting to take place. Then putting in a closet pole/shelving above. Then figuring out what kind of storage/organization will go in front on the side wall.

Pictures are in this set which shows the progression of her room in general:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/sets/72157627994323257/

I love creating little spaces in our home that are all hers. The last of this type was her mini-kitchen inside of our kitchen:
http://www.theshare-space.com/Spaces/dancerjodi

Given that we were cleaning/organizing/planning, we finally hung up some more prints that she's acquired over time on an apparently growing wall of art, too:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dancerjodi/9661997141/in/set-72157627994323257

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