Friday, November 28, 2008

Sleeping "Through the Night"

Macie's been sleeping for 8 hours for several weeks. But when you go to sleep at 7:30p, 8 hours only gets you to 3:30a. Not "through the night" in anyone's book (except for those folks who write books about when babies will start sleeping through the night!). I guess I could try to keep her awake until 10:00p, at which point 8 hours would get her to 6:00a, but I value the quiet hours of 8:00p - 10:00p too much. That is Mommy and Daddy's TV-watching time!

But last night, as if she were showing her thanks for us giving her her own parade, Macie decided to take a stab at Mommy's much tougher definition of "night". She went to sleep at 8:00p, and woke up at 7:00a. 11 hours! And in Grandma's Pack-n-Play instead of her own crib! Now THAT is "sleeping through the night". Even in Mommy's book!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! We're in Hickory celebrating with Dale's parents. We've spent the morning watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Ivie's favorite balloons, no surprise, were Dora, Shrek, and the Sesame Street clan. As excited as she was to see them, she was equally upset that they didn't stay on the screen longer.

After telling Ivie the name of the parade, she was very sad that the parade is not known as IVIE'S Thanksgiving Day Parade. She refused to let the parade belong to Macie... Reminds me of growing up in Missouri and driving through a city named Eureka on our way to St. Louis. We would tell the baby of our family, Matt (now 26!), that we were going through Eureka, and he would say, "MYYYYY Reeka?!?" and get mad if someone else tried to claim ownership.

It's too bad that everyone can't have a parade named after them. Macie's a very lucky girl!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ear Update

In all the pneumonia madness, I forgot to mention that we had Ivie's ear check appointment yesterday morning. She came out of it with a clean bill of ear health - Dr. Clarke said that he saw NO fluid in her ears. And he gave us instructions not to come back unless she has a relapse of ear infections. Yippeeeee! So now we just wait and see how she handles the winter. Let's goooooo, Eustachian tubes!

Pneumonia...

Yesterday (Monday) around 2:00p, I got a call from school. Ivie hadn't rested well at nap time, and was telling Miss Rosa and Miss Freda that she was tired and her throat hurt. Since I'm not sure she knows where her throat is, much less that it's something that can hurt, I was skeptical. I admit that a small part of me thought Ivie was playing on her illness from the weekend (strep throat) and looking for a bit more television time at home with Mommy. Especially when Miss Rosa put her on the phone and she said, in a much-too-happy voice for a sick kid, "Hiiiiiiii, Mama!!!".

But I went and picked her up early and brought her home. And she DID get some extra television time. At bedtime, all seemed fairly normal, other than she was breathing a bit heavy. But not badly enough to scare Dale or me as we headed downstairs to watch 24 (DVR'd from Sunday night).

We were only upstairs after the show for about 10 minutes before Ivie started crying. Since at nighttime Ivie "belongs" to Dale (I get the late-night feedings with the infant, Dale gets the occasional cry-outs from the toddler), he went in to check on her. He returned about 3 minutes later saying that he could tell that she felt miserable and that he couldn't blame her for crying - she wasn't breathing easily at all and couldn't get comfortable.

The next time she cried out, I took a turn checking on her (when one of your babies is sick, the nighttime ownership thing gets thrown out the window). I've never seen her working so hard to breath. Thoughts of a trip to the emergency room went through my mind, but I thought we'd keep an eye on her and try to make it through the night (since it'd probably be morning in the ER before we'd get seen, anyway - UNC's ER is a nightmare).

I laid in bed with Ivie for a while until Dale swapped out with me (I had to listen for Macie to wake up hungry, and couldn't do that from Ivie's room, so Dale drew the short straw). I knew that Dale wasn't going to get much sleep, since I was in there for over an hour and hardly was able to even close my eyes. Ivie's little chest was pounding, and she was tossing and turning every 10 seconds.

So fast-forward to this morning. Quick tidbit on Macie. She ate at 7:30p, was asleep by 8p, and didn't wake up until 5:30a. 10 hours! Another record. I, of course, awoke with a start at 5a and went immediately to her room to check on her - she was snoozing hard! She and I were the only ones in the house that got a good night's sleep. And when she got up this morning, Ivie's fever had spiked to 102, and her breathing was still horrible. So it was off to the doctor's office at 9:50a, after taking Macie to school for the day.

Let me just say that I'm thankful that we had day care for Macie today. It was hard enough trudging to and from the doctor (we had to go in 3 times) with Ivie, I can't even imagine how difficult it would have been if we'd have had Macie, too. Thankfully, Dale was able to join us for the 2nd and 3rd trips after his morning meetings. Ivie was so happy to have her daddy along. It was nice for her to have another shoulder on which to cry!

I won't give all the details of the doctors visits - it would get really boring and long, since we were in the doctor or picking up prescriptions pretty much straight through from 9:50a - 4:00p. But here's a summary of her treatment for what was ultimately diagnosed as viral pneumonia:

2 nebulizer treatments
2 shots (1 in each leg)
1st dose of prednisone (dissolvable tablets)
countless pulsox measurements
chest x-rays
Another nebulizer treatment

And the medicines that followed at home:

1st dose of a Z-Pak
continued dosage of Amoxicillin (still from the Strep Throat)
2 nebulizer treatments before bed (and 5 more per day for several days)
continued dosage of prednisone for several days

About the nebulizer treatments. We've had to do these with Ivie before. Once when she was around 8 months old and got RSV. And again when we visited Sarah's family in Dallas and the nasty air quality down there got to her (we still had a great visit, though, Anderson clan!). Suffice it to say that Ivie is NOT a fan of the little dinosaur mask that is a sad attempt at making the treatments tolerable for kids. It was one thing to hold down an 8-month-old. Quite another with an almost-3-year-old! In her defense, she sat pretty still throughout. But cried the whole time. And each treatment is about 10 minutes. So that was about an hour of crying today, just during those treatments. And plenty more just because she didn't feel good. No wonder she's WORN OUT tonight.

So we're hoping that she gets a good night's sleep. Doctor Joe was about ready to have her admitted to the hospital this morning. Her heart rate was at 177 and her oxygen levels at 95%. But by the end of the day, her heart rate was back to 122 and oxygen up to 97%. So we think we're going to be able to avoid the hospital. We'll check back in quickly in the morning for another couple of measurements, and then hopefully hit the road to Hickory for Thanksgiving.

So we've got even more for which to be thankful this Thanksgiving. Medicine helped our baby stay out of the hospital today. Really makes you think about those families that aren't so lucky. Prayers out to all of them tonight...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Coloring with Daddy

Not sure why, but I had to do a post on this. Just thought it was really cute for Ivie and Daddy to sit and color together. So I wanted to make sure it was documented.

Coloring intently...

Inspecting Daddy's work...

Christmas Snowflakes

I'm not a very crafty person, so I envy those that are... But I love to see other people's ideas and try to emulate them. Particularly if they don't seem too challenging.

So I was thrilled to see the idea of Christmas snowflakes on the crafty "flipflops and applesauce" blog that I follow (www.flipflopsandapplesauce.blogspot.com). All I needed were Q-tips, glue, glitter, and wax paper. Simple!!!


Had the Q-tips and wax paper, but picked up the glue and the glitter at Target yesterday. Unfortunately, I couldn't find normal glitter, so I went with "glitter glue" instead. But went ahead and purchased some tried-and-true Elmer's Glue, too, just to be safe.


Ivie had a blast working on these with me. She helped me squeeze the glitter glue on the various joints. I got smart after the green one (on which I used ONLY the glitter glue on the joints) and use Elmer's Glue first on the red and blue ones, followed by just a dab of the glitter glue for decorative purposes.

We let them dry overnight and, miraculously, they're holding together well today! Ivie proudly carried each of them into the kitchen to "show Daddy" before I tied them together with floss (didn't have clear fishing line). But here are some pictures of the finished project. Still trying to decide where to hang them...




Saturday, November 22, 2008

Getting Smarter...

The verdict is in. Ivie's got strep throat. Her fever wasn't gone when she woke up this morning, so Dale headed to the doctor with her at 11:00am (gotta love Saturday hours for urgent care appointments at the pediatrician). The good news is that Dr. Hall said her ears look really good (hopefully that bodes well for her ear appointment on Monday morning!) and that after a day or so of amoxicillin (which has been our absolute best friend throughout Ivie's lifetime), Ivie should be feeling back to normal. And she'll be able to go back to school on Monday. She'll be happy about this, as it will be a very short week of school. We'll be driving to Dale's parents' in Hickory on Tuesday afternoon to celebrate Thanksgiving with Grandma and "Dat" (Ivie's pronunciation of "Dad", which is what the Herman kids call Dale's dad).

Ivie's starting to use more complete sentences that actually make sense and show some thought and insight. She's "sounding smarter", as Dale says. Today, as she and I were coloring Dora pictures, she started back in on her usual trick of putting the crayons out of my reach. Only she could reach them, which meant that I had to ask her permission to get another crayon when I finished with the one I had. Typically, if she's feeling generous, she'll hand it to me. I don't mind this game, since it gives me a chance to practice her colors with her (she still gets orange and green mixed up...).

Anyway, today, each time I would ask her for a color, she would pluck it out of the bowl, look at me, and say, "You have to wait 'til I'M finished". And then start coloring on her page with it. Clearly, her coloring took precedent over mine! So I would sit patiently, though not for long, because she never really wanted the color I requested. She just wanted it to appear as though she did. She would just draw a couple lines on her paper with the crayon before handing it over to me. Definitely trying to make a point as to who rules the roost in the Herman house! We'll let her keep thinking she does. At least until the strep throat is gone...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sick...

Ivie was home sick today, so no Show-and-Tell. She woke up lethargic and with a fever, so we kept her at home (the ladies at day care will be thankful). She watched several hours of television this morning while lying on her big monkey floor pillow in the living room. Even though she loves watching television, it's not like her to lie still for that long, so it's clear that she doesn't feel good. I'm thinking it might be an ear infection. If it is, it's pretty good timing, as we have an appointment for her with her ear doctor on Monday morning. Chances are that we're going to have to get tubes put back in. They came out earlier this spring, but we didn't replace them immediately, choosing instead to give her ears several months over the summer to see if whatever is supposed to happen would (I clearly don't know the correct verbiage!). But the likelihood is very low. So we'll see...

One quick story. When Ivie woke up from her 2.5 hour nap this afternoon, Dale and I both went into her room. She refuses to ever cover up with bed sheets - she only uses a blanket. After her nap, her blanket had crept up to her neck and her feet were uncovered. She looked at me and said, "My blankie's not working, Mommy!". Pretty cute.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Necklace

At first, Macie liked the necklace that Ivie put on her...



But then she decided she hated it...

Fresco Tile

I'm pretty sure Dale would say that I'm not an easy person for whom to buy gifts... I like to say that it's because I'm happy and satisfied with what I have and don't have a desire for more material things. That's my positive spin on it, at least! Dale's figured out, though, that usually a safe bet is to get me something associated with pictures. I know it's going to come as a surprise to you all, but I LOVE PICTURES.

For Mother's Day, 2007 (not a typo, LAST Mother's Day), Dale gave me a "Fresco Tile Kit". Essentially , it's a project in which you take a plain tile and turn it into an antique-looking memento with a personalized picture. Sounds like something I'd LOVE, doesn't it?

Well, 18 months after receiving the gift, I created my first tile. My reasoning for not doing it sooner was that I wanted to wait until Ivie was old enough that her "look" wasn't changing each and every day. I wanted it to be something that still sort of looked like her when she was older!

So yesterday I made my first tile. It was an all-day activity, as it involved completing a step and letting it dry for an hour or two before moving on to the next step.

After finishing, I'm happy to say that the project was a success. And now I can't wait to do the other tile! Will probably do a "baby" one of Macie, since I'm eager to work on it!

Here are the before and after pictures of my project. If you're interested in getting a similar kit for yourself or as a Christmas gift for someone else (they have other types of kits, too), you can check out the website at: www.tilanofresco.com.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Typical Day at Parkwood

As I drove home from "school" today, I asked Ivie about her day (a typical conversation for us on the short 7-minute drive home).

In response to my question of "What did you play with today, Ivie?", she responded:

"Puzzles, colors, and lollipops.... And bubbles, too."

Apparently no day can be complete without a lollipop! Remember that next time you need a pick-me-up!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Respecting Books

Dale and I have definitely been blessed with 2 very sweet little girls that are the primary reason for a lot of "ups" in our family. But we have our share of "downs" here, too. Things that the kids (mostly Ivie, since Macie can't intentionally do much yet!) do that make Dale and me shake our heads and wonder what got into them. Last night was one of those nights...

We'd had a fairly normal Saturday. Both the football and basketball Heels had games, so we spent the afternoon and early evening in front of the television. And, as is typical on "away" game days, we had Papa John's for dinner (their thin crust pizza, by the way, rivals, but does not quite surpass, Domino's version).

Around 7:00p, I headed upstairs to put Macie to bed. Dale followed shortly thereafter with Ivie for her bath. After bath, TWO successful episodes on the big-girl potty (go Ivie!), and a quick read through her book-of-choice for the night, Dale and I both told Ivie goodnight and headed downstairs. She was happy when we left; she had her book in bed with her, which is very common, and she continued to "read" after we left her room.

About halfway through this week's DVR'd version of Grey's Anatomy, Ivie started calling for Mommy. I gave it a few minutes, hoping she was calling out just before falling asleep and would forget that she wanted me for something. No such luck, as the calling continued.

So I headed up to her room. When I opened the door, what I saw turned my stomach. Ivie had, in the last 30 minutes, ripped EVERY page out of her book. The pages were lying scattered all over the bed. I was so upset! I've always adored books and loved reading. So to see her tear one of her favorite books to shreds was very unsettling. What was going through her mind? Did she think we could fix it? Had she been mad about something?

Trying to get an explanation for absurd acts out of a 2-year-old is next to impossible, I discovered. After repeatedly asking her why she had "broken" her book, I finally gave up searching for a reason. I tried to explain to her that she would never again be able to read that book at night before bed, but I worried that I wasn't really getting through to her.

So, to make it "hit home", I decided that we would go without any TV in the house today (Sunday). I'm not really sure if the punishment fit the crime, but I figured that a day without Noggin would at least make her think about "why". Each time she asked to turn on her TV (which didn't happen as many times as I feared it would), I asked her why it was that we weren't watching television today. She responded each time with "I ripped my book." So I think she's starting to understand that this is NOT okay.

I must say that there are times when TV is convenient. Like when I'm trying to feed Macie and Ivie is climbing all over me, shaking both me and the bottle, resulting in Macie not wanting to eat. If I could have turned on Max and Ruby or Oswald, she would have left Mac to eat in peace! But I'm convinced that we are all better for the time without the TV today. We found fun ways to pass time (like dancing to the iPod in the kitchen and playing in the garage, with the door shut, since it's cold outside!). And Ivie now knows there are consequences for making bad decisions. I'm hopeful that she'll ultimately grow to respect books as much as her mommy does...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Show-and-Tell, Round 6: Xylophone

A few weeks ago, we went to a neighborhood nearby that was having a community yard sale. Used it as an opportunity to get in a walk with different surroundings. Going in, I had hopes of finding some jeans for Ivie. For some reason, 2T's and 3T's fluctuate in size so much by brand that it's been next to impossible for me to find pants that fit her this year. UGH!

Anyway, we came OUT of the sale with no jeans, but with several stuffed animals and this xylophone. So it's making an appearance at Show-and-Tell today. Running a close 2nd and 3rd were Wrinkles (a stuffed dog with a pocket and his own bone) and a model of a set of teeth that Dale has for selling braces. Dale was really pushing for the teeth, asking Ivie over and over if she wanted to take the teeth to school. She wasn't going for it. Now that would have been interesting for her to talk about. I can see it now. "Daddy has these for WORK," as a bunch of 2-year-olds look at her like she's flipped her lid.

So, back to the xylophone. Ivie likes to pound on the keys and sing her "A-B-C-D's", over and over. On the way to school today (I went along, as we took Macie in, too), she handed it to Dale and said, "Daddy, your turn!". And when he finished, she told him to "do it again!". So I got the enjoyment of watching a grown man play a toy xylophone while singing his ABC's. Not every day gets to start out like that!


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Batting at Toys

During my treadmill run this morning, Macie was happily lying on my exercise mat with her toy cow hanging above her right shoulder so that I could see her face as I ran (to make sure she stayed awake and didn't spit up all over herself!).

As I ran, singing loudly to 80's love songs on my iPod to assist with the daunting task of keeping Macie awake for 30 minutes (it was bath day today, so we had to get it in before her nap), I noticed that the cow toy was rattling more often than normal. So I started watching more closely (yes, while still running - thank goodness I was only running at a 10-minute mile pace!), and I think it's safe to say that Macie has gained a bit of control of her arms and hands, as she can, to an extent, swing them in meaningful directions to hit toys hanging above her. Big milestone!

Each time she hit the cow with her right arm, I exclaimed, "Yea, Macie! Great job!" And each time, without fail, when she heard my outburst, she broke out into a huge grin. Already enjoys pleasing Mommy, it seems!

Before signing off, I'm going to make a note to myself to move the cow to the LEFT side next time to try to promote left-handedness! Dale and I are slightly disappointed that Ivie is CLEARLY a righty. We thought we'd have a fighting chance of her being left-handed, since both Dale and I are. Though I've read that having 2 left-handed parents only ups the chances for the child to 50%. Still not great odds. But we have 2 kids now. 50% means that Macie should be a lefty, right?!? So we'll start working toward that NOW!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Experience?

Macie had her 2-month doctor's appointment this morning. So, before I tell the story, let me first give her stats: 12 pounds, 11 ounces (90th percentile) and 22 1/4 inches (50th percentile). I didn't get the actual measurement for the head circumference, but Dale will be happy to read (he's got a training day for work so he couldn't join us at the doctor) that Macie is in the 50th percentile for head size, too. Phew!

So the measurements were the only boring part of this visit to the doctor. And not even entirely so...

Mac was sleeping when we arrived (isn't it amazing how only 5 minutes in the car can put a wide-awake baby to sleep, even when she has the hiccups?!?), and the nurse called us immediately back for measurements. Which meant stripping her down and, obviously, waking her up. We were able to leave the diaper on for the head size and length measurements, but then had to take it off for weight. As I pulled the diaper off, I saw that Macie was taking this exact opportunity to go potty. So I quickly put the diaper back over her to protect the table from a mess.

The nurse, Kim, witnessed all of this occurring, and said to me, "This isn't your first child, is it?". I laughed and said that I have a 2 1/2 year old girl, as well. She said, "Yeah, I didn't think this was your first. That was WAY too fast of a reaction for this to be your first baby." At that point, neither of us knew that I would have yet another chance later in the visit to "show off" my mothering skills...

After Dr. Dunk examined Macie, she explained the various immunizations that she would be getting today. Three shots and an oral vaccine (a new one for Rotavirus). "Poor thing," I thought to myself as I watched Macie kicking happily on the table, not having a clue that her world was about to be rocked with pain.

Kim came back in to give Macie her shots. We started with the oral one, as it's a bit easier to get a baby to swallow when she's not screaming her head off after shots. It started off well, with Kim commenting that Mac was doing a great job swallowing. Only tiny bubbles of liquid were escaping from her mouth. Apparently 2 ml of fluid is a lot for a baby to swallow, according to Kim, particularly when it doesn't taste like breast milk! As she reached the end of the syringe, Macie started coughing. Must have gone down the wrong pipe. So Kim sat her up for a bit to hopefully help the rest of the vaccine go down.

Then it happened. The phenomenon that I described in my October 16th post, entitled "My Hero". I could tell that we were seconds away from Macie throwing up, so I stepped in, grabbed the rag, and cupped it quickly under her chin. Just in time to catch MOST of the milk that flew out of her mouth. Probably a good two ounces worth. Macie had apparently decided that she was not cool with receiving the vaccine for the Rotavirus! She'd rather take her chances than suffer through the potential diarrhea (what's THAT in a baby who already poops 6 times a day?!?) and the vomiting (she doesn't need any more practice with that!) that are side effects of the live virus. So she handed it back to us on my burp cloth. I wonder if we still have to pay for it? I should have asked...

Anyway, after the dust settled, Kim said, "Now I KNOW this is not your first child! You handled that much too calmly to have not been through this before." I wanted to say, "Yeah, pretty much once a day for the past 8 weeks, Kim," but I didn't. I'll just let her go on thinking that I'm an experienced mother. What she doesn't know won't hurt her, right?

The shots that followed got the "status quo" response from a 2-month-old. She screamed, made big tears, and calmed fairly quickly when I was finally able to pick her up and cuddle her. She was sound asleep by the time I bent over to put her in her car seat. The "experience" in me thinks that she might have a bit of a sleepy day today...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Show-and-Tell, Round 5: Elmo's Jet Ski

It just occurred to me this evening that I've failed to post about Show-and-Tell from last Friday. I know you all have been waiting with bated breath, as evidenced by the hundreds of emails I've received from Herman Nation readers across the country asking when they could expect to see what Ivie chose for last week...

Just kidding. I haven't gotten a single email. I'm certain that this is even more evidence that I pretty much write this blog solely for myself and, hopefully someday, my kids. Kind of like Meredith (Grey's Anatomy) likes reading her mom's journals. Anyway, I digress...

So Show-and-Tell last week was Elmo on a jet ski. I'm trying to remember when Ivie got this toy. I know it was from Grandma. And I THINK it was a "big sister" gift when Macie was born. Correct me if I'm wrong, Emma Jean...

So this jet ski is one of those toys that you wind up with the wheel in order to make it "go". But it's not an ordinary jet ski, because it works on water AND land. Fancy, huh?!? For Ivie, so far, it's been a land-only toy. Not sure why, other than for the fact that if she were to take it into the bath with her, it would have too many obstacles to work around (you should SEE all of the toys in her bathtub!). So we keep it on land and watch it fly across the foyer/dining room/kitchen. The open floor plan in our house lends itself well to these types of toys.

Guess we'll wait until next summer to see how well it works in water (once we head back to the swimming pool).

A note about the picture. Ivie insisted on holding the Elmo blow-up doll along with the jet ski. I think she's starting to understand "themes"...

Tar Heel Town Videos

Three videos for you today.

This first video is going to show up on 2 blogs - mine, and the Dever's (our neighbors whose daughter, Emerson, is also featured). Many thanks to Brooke for catching this on her camera... My Flip Video was, of course, safely tucked away in the diaper bag, which was in the stroller, under the car seat in which Macie was sleeping. Pretty sure I wasn't getting to it before the song was over!

Ivie loves to dance. But it's been a while since she has. And, as you'll see, the quality of her dancing has gone a bit, well, downhill. Or maybe it's improved. I guess it depends on whom you ask. All I know is that this will be great blackmail material someday...


video


This second video is of Ivie throwing the football. She's a righty, for sure, and we've got some work to do on her accuracy. But she had a blast - went through the line 3 times so she could throw again!


video


Finally, so that Macie doesn't feel left out, here's a video of her at Tar Heel Town, too... She's not doing much, I couldn't even get a good smile out of her, but this is proof that she was there!


video

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Poopy in the Poooootty, Poopy in the Poooootty...

BREAKING NEWS FROM THE HERMAN FAMILY...

Before her bath tonight, Ivie pooped in the potty for the FIRST TIME EVER. Woo-Hooooo! She always sits on the toilet while her bath water is running and Dale is getting her bed and PJ's ready. It's usually hard to tell if she potties or not, so we just take her word for it (since she doesn't use the potty all day). But after she finished tonight, she got off the toilet and went running to find Dale to show him. Dale then yelled down at me to come upstairs immediately. So I've officially seen her POOP in the potty before I've seen her POTTY in it. Bet that doesn't happen very often...

I invented a "Poopy in the Potty" Dance and made a complete fool of myself. Thankfully, it was only Dale and Ivie that witnessed it (Macie's sleeping in her bouncy seat in the kitchen). I think Ivie thought it was kind of cool. Maybe it will encourage continued success with potty-training (which we really haven't started yet, but probably should, at this point...).

The Loud Band

We went to Tar Heel Town (THT) again today before our football game against Georgia Tech (side note - we won! We're now 7-2 and bowl eligible for the first time in, well..., a long time!). As THT was closing (an hour before kick-off), the band played one last round of songs to get the crown hyped up before heading to the stadium. Ivie was on Dale's shoulders standing next to the stroller, in which Macie was snoozing.

To set the stage a bit, since Macie's arrival, we've had to hammer it into Ivie's head that she cannot make sudden loud noises. Especially when Macie is nursing or drinking a bottle, as she gets in a "zone" and is easily startled by sudden loud noises, resulting in her breaking out into a sobbing cry.

When the band started playing, I, standing behind the stroller, peered quickly in to see if it would disrupt Macie's slumber. At the same time, I couldn't help but notice that I was not the only one concerned. Ivie, too, had realized that the band was playing very loudly. She immediately looked over her daddy's head with a concerned look on her face and tried to see down into Macie's stroller. Her view was blocked by the shade on the stroller, though, so she made eye contact with me and said, "I want to see Macie!". When I moved the shade back, she was able to see that Macie was sleeping through the music. But she wasn't satisfied, as she "checked" on Macie 3 or 4 more times while listening to the band. After one of these times, she looked at me and, sounding shocked, said, "Mommy, Macie's still sleeping!?!".

Seems as though she's beginning to understand that loud noises and babies don't generally mix. Now if it would just translate to our home, Macie would be thrilled...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Halloween Books

Last blog for today, I promise...!

It's become tradition for me to do a Halloween Photo Book each year since Ivie was born. I just finished this year's book, so I thought I would post links to them all here so that you could check out the history of Halloween with the Hermans. Some of the writing on the pages is small as you go through, so it might help for you to click on the magnifying glass in the top right corner of the screen. This lets you go through page-by-page.

2006: http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8AcN2zFs4bMmli
2007: http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8AcN2zFs4bMmlz
2008: http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8AcN2zFs4bMmlR

Monkey See, Monkey Do...

This morning, Macie finished eating around 7:00a, so I decided I would get in a quick (and short, since I'm not in great shape yet!) run on the treadmill. So we headed to the bonus room, where Macie assumed her position on my rolled up (for a pillow) exercise mat with the hanging cow toy above her head to hopefully amuse her for 30 minutes...

Dale was in the room, too, as our bonus room now doubles as his office, since his original office became Macie's nursery (confused yet?). Since Ivie was still asleep, Dale brought her monitor into the room so he would hear her when she woke up.

About 7:15a, Ivie woke up and began calling for Daddy. So Dale headed to her room to get her ready for school, a task of which he has taken sole responsibility since Macie's arrival (and he does a great job picking out her outfits, since he's a "clothes guy" himself!).

Macie and I remained in the bonus room, as I still had 15 minutes left to my run. The monitor was still on, so Macie and I were able to hear the goings-on in Ivie's room. Now, Ivie is NOT a morning person. She hates getting out of bed and getting dressed, especially when it's not a weekend and she can't take 20 minutes to do so. Therefore, her ensuing discussion with Dale resulted in Ivie getting frustrated and starting to cry about not wanting to get up.

As all of this is going on, I'm watching Macie's reaction. Prior to the outburst, she was kicking around happily on the mat, batting (inadvertently, still) at the toy. When Ivie started to get frustrated, Macie's kicking stopped, and she laid very still, as if listening to see what was wrong with her sister. When Ivie's frustration turned to an all-out cry, Macie erupted in a cry of her own that lasted until I was able to talk her out of it from the treadmill.

Isn't it funny how kids react to the feelings of other kids? They weren't even in the same room, and Macie could tell that Ivie was upset. She already wants to be just like her big sister. Boy, are we in trouble...

Macie Goes to School

In order to "lock in" our spot at Parkwood Baptist Church Day Care for Macie, we had to start paying on Monday. We had asked to get in for December, but Miss Gail couldn't guarantee that we'd get a spot unless we snagged the one that became available for November. To ease our minds of the stress of uncertainty, we did. So, during November, I'm going to take Macie in to school a couple of days a week, for a few hours each time, to ease BOTH of us into the transition to school (for her) and back to work (for me).

Yesterday was Election Day, so Dale and I took both of the girls to school at 8:30a so that we could go vote. Anticipating lines (since the lines for "early voting" were ridiculously long), we didn't want to have Macie with us. As luck would have it, of course, when we arrived at our designated polling location, we walked right up to the table, got our ballots, and were in and out within 10 minutes. Note to self - don't worry so much about voting early in the future. Let everyone else in the state do that, and then have the polls to yourself on Election Day!

After a quick trip to the EWAC (the building next to the Smith Center where my new office is), I came home briefly and then headed to pick up Macie. She was at school for a grand total of 3 hours. When I arrived, she had just fallen asleep. The sweet ladies in the nursery (Miss Linda and Miss Joan) went on and on about how beautiful she is (As I've said before, I know that people say this even when they don't mean it - but I also think they really meant it!) and how sweet she was for them (aside from the fact that she "baptized" Miss Joan when she burped her over the shoulder - can't say I didn't warn her about Macie's propensity to spit when burping!).

I got Mac into her car seat as gently as possible, and she stayed asleep. Apparently she was very tired, since her first nap at school was a whopping 25 minutes. Ivie was the same way. It's hard to get used to napping in a room with 9 other babies when your naps are generally in your crib with your sound machine being the only noise you hear!

So I figured Mac would be a bit tired the rest of the day. Boy, was I right! She slept in her car seat until I woke her up at 1:00p for her bottle (it'd been 3 hours since her last one). After chugging down the 4 ounces, it was all I could do to keep her awake for 10 minutes. Then she was back to sleep, once again requiring me to wake her up to eat again at 4p.

Then, though, she'd had enough sleep. Stayed awake as we drove to school to pick up Ivie and headed to Chik-fil-A for Kid's Night (though we drove through, because we saw the "Moo Cow" through the window and Ivie wanted nothing to do with him), and was fairly calm while the rest of us ate when we got home. But, by 6:00p, she was fit to be tied.

Quick break here to discuss this phrase. I looked it up, and found that the origin of "fit to be tied" was from the mid 19th century and means "so hysterically furious that they need to be tied down". Like with a straitjacket. Thus, the perfect phrase to describe Macie last night.

She settled down briefly when I relented and gave her 2 ounces of a bottle (I was trying to get her to hold off eating until the bedtime nursing session). But apparently that wasn't enough, and she started back up again. Since it was now 10 minutes 'til 7p, we just listened to her cry for a while before heading upstairs for bed. It's funny how you'll let your second child cry and not worry too much about it. Ivie would have had another bottle in her mouth so fast that her head would have spun!

I was eager to see how this exhaustion would translate into sleep overnight. She didn't let me down. Slept 7.5 hours, and then 4 hours, resulting in me waking up at 6:30a for the day, after only getting up once at 2:30a. Not too bad, Mac - I'll take it!

So that is the story of Macie's first day at school. She'll get more practice on Friday, as I have a meeting at work to attend. Here's hoping for a longer nap that morning!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

CHCC Fall Festival

We attended our 2nd Chapel Hill Country Club Fall Festival this afternoon. Back for another run this year were the pony rides, the bounce houses, a slide (though a different version), and a mini-Ferris Wheel. They also upped the ante and brought in a couple of new rides, including swings and two other twist-and-turn rides that seemed a bit too treacherous for Ivie to experience at age 2 1/2...

I thought it'd be fun to reminisce on last year's experience while also sharing some of the fun from this year. So below are a few comparison pictures with the slide and the pony ride. You'll see that some things (like Ivie's facial expression coming down the slide) don't change. I've also included a couple from the swings and the Ferris Wheel, which Ivie didn't experience last year, but, as you'll see, LOVED this year!

It's now 7:22p on Sunday night, and both of the Herman girls are in bed. Only one of them is sleeping. The other is singing. Apparently Daylight Savings Time ending hasn't affected her as much as it has the baby. We'll see what time she wakes up in the morning...





Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Fun

I picked up Ivie early from school yesterday to get her dressed and ready for a photo session before heading to the Beale's house for pizza and trick-or-treating. I made it to school in time to catch the tail end of their class party - Ivie still had a muffin and some cookies on her plate. Her chips, no surprise, were already gone...

Ivie's at the age where she's still not quite sure about dressing up. The 2 times that we've put her in her costume, we pretty much had to beg her to let us put it on her. I don't know what it is, other than she doesn't want to relinquish control of her clothes to us. Finally, though, after much talk of only dressing MACIE in her costume and leaving Ivie behind as the rest of us go trick-or-treating, Ivie relented and helped us get her dressed. Of course, once the costume was on, she loved it and couldn't stop looking at herself in the mirror.

After managing to get Macie in the cat costume (another challenge, given her floppiness), we were able to snag a few pictures of the 2 of them together. Until Macie grew weary of the headband, and the cat costume was stripped off and replaced by a more comfy Halloween jumper. "Ahhhhhhh," Macie said!

We then headed outside to take some pictures with our neighbor, Emerson. Some of you (one in particular) will recognize Emerson's costume. It was Ivie's last year! We were so happy that the clown costume that Nina made was able to make a re-appearance THIS Halloween. And Emerson was a very cute clown. That costume is sure spoiled by having 2 cute girls wear it during its lifetime. I'm already planning on Macie wearing it next year!

We finally headed to the Beale's around 5:30p to join them and the Grimsleys for pizza and trick-or-treating. Macie was a bit grumpy when we first started going door-to-door around 6:30p. Perhaps she wanted to be getting candy, too, instead of riding in her stroller? She finally gave up and fell asleep in the Baby Bjorn around 7:00p, giving Mommy the chance to watch Ivie trick-or-treat up close. We all had a blast, and it didn't take Ivie long to remember what Halloween was all about... C-A-N-D-Y. (And hopefully being polite and saying "thank you" as she received it!)

We finally headed home to visit a few houses in our neighborhood before going to bed. Macie was about as tired as I've ever seen her! There was no crying herself to sleep this time. She was asleep even before her head hit the mattress. After Ivie perused her loot on the kitchen floor and looked at some pictures with me, she headed to bed, as well. Another successful and fun Halloween was had by all!

That's a brief overview of our evening, but pictures are better than words. So here are a few shots of our night.