Thursday, July 31, 2008


Rachel had a cold at the beginning of the week, but it didn't phase her for long. By Tuesday night, she was bouncing off the walls because she felt so much better. Four nights with the humidifier, and she is almost a well baby--except that she's been playing with her left ear a lot too. When she got up from her nap this afternoon, she started complaining about it, and I started to worry. I said to her, "Should I take you to the doctor, Rachel?" "UH HUH! Go to the doctor!!" She was very excited at the suggestion. So I called for a sick appointment (I sure wish I had one of those look-down-your-ear contraptions at home), and we were in the office within 30 minutes. I talked to her all the way there, and while we were waiting in the tiny room. She kept mentioning getting a poke (as if she was excited about the possibility), but I corrected her and said there would be no poke this time. "The doctor will probably listen to your heart, look in your mouth and your nose, and in your ears." I tugged on each body part and got close to "see," for practice. We went through the scenario several times before the doctor arrived. Sure enough, as promised, the doctor started with her stethoscope and listened to Rachel's heart. Rachel sat perfectly still. Then, the doctor peeked in Rachel's ears, and declared them perfect. She put the tongue depressor in Rachel's mouth and confirmed that she is cutting her two-year molars, and that is the source of her discomfort.

I was relieved, and I thanked the doctor for the good news, and she left the room. Rachel froze, looked at me, and said, "NOOOOOOSE!!" She was poking at the tip of her nose with her finger and running for the door. "Oh, Rachel, the doctor didn't look in your nose, huh? Can I look in your nose?" "Noooo," she replied, "doctor do it!!" I distracted her so we didn't have to call the doctor to return for a nose examination.

Two-year-olds forget NOTHING and hear EVERYTHING!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

daddy highlight

Jarrad is a most wonderful husband and daddy. He takes care of all our budgeting and bill-paying (among many other hubby/daddy responsibilities). In the last two years (since starting our family, i.e. adding more mouths to feed), he's taken on what is almost a second job: couponing. It's not a hobby for him--although he does enjoy saving money--it is serious business. He collects multiple copies of coupon fliers from the Sunday paper, and he has devised quite a system of organization to optimize our savings. I've recently become his lackey, of sorts; he tells me what to clip, and I clip and clip and clip. The most intense time is, of course, when one of the grocery stores does triple coupon weekend. It is three days of coupon-mania around here, and it usually overtakes our kitchen and dining room. Jarrad likes to keep all his receipts, and he tries to zero out almost every order, surveying his success at the end of the three days. His other habit is to stack up all his spoils and take inventory at the end, usually gathering up the [free] items we won't use and giving them away to people who share their coupons with us. It's a big rush for him, and it is so fun for me for two reasons: 1-I don't do much grocery shopping any more! many mommies can say that?? and 2-Jarrad always brings home some fun, unexpected treats (my most recent fav is the M&M ice cream bars...yum).

I can't remember the ratio of grocery value to money spent, but for these items in the picture, I can guarantee it was a heck of a lot to not much! I'm so proud of my hard-working hubby!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Last week, I took Rachel for a long-anticipated visit with my Grandma Mae (Rachel Mae is named after my two grandmothers). It is a long drive to get there--2.5 hours--and spending the night isn't really an option, because we don't want to wear Grandma out too much, so Rachel was looking at a solid 5 hours strapped in the car seat. I was dreading the drive, but I talked to Rachel a lot about it the day before, and she was really excited about going to Grandma's house. She seemed to actually get the being-in-a-car-a-really-long-time thing for the first time, because she was an angel the whole day, in the car and at Grandma's house. She even took a good nap in "Grandma's biiiig bed." When I got home, a good friend told me she was praying for us and our trip all day, and I really felt it! Here are some pics from our trip... BubbleShare: Share photos - Powered by BubbleShare

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

superintendent rachel

We were driving around town today, and Rachel, noticing a construction site, had the following to say:

"LOOK-at-that-mess. On the corner. Boys makin' the mess. Boys cleeeean up. Yucky yucky yucky. Yucky shirt. Yucky pants too. Boys cleeeean up. Silly boys."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

love this girl

Rachel has been doing so well in her new room and her new bed, and she still is so excited about the whole deal. When people come over, she jumps up and down and begs them to come upstairs to see her biiiig room and her biiiig bed. We've started calling her old room "the baby's room," so I think we should be good and ready for this new little girl to take over in there. And the icing on the cake is that she's been sleeping a little longer, a little happier and waking up in a better mood than she was in her crib. What a blessing!

The funniest thing to me is how she's dealt with sleeptimes. At first, she didn't want to sleep under the covers, so I didn't try to "tuck her in" when it was time to sleep. I knew she'd get up and roam around probably anyway, and she seemed so swallowed up in that big bed, so what's the point? But after only a few nights, Rachel started tucking herself in. Now when I leave the room, she usually follows me to the door with an obligatory/courtesy whine/fuss, but quickly retreats into her room to play, read, and chit chat with her little friends. Fairly quickly, she climbs on her bed (if she's not there already), pulls back her covers, tucks herself in, and rests her little head on her pillow, falling asleep quickly. She also usually stays in her bed when she wakes up, and she just plays happily with whatever toys are left there from the night before. She'll eventually call "Mooooommy, MOOOOOmmy!" and I'll go upstairs to be greeted with a big silly smile, sweet hugs, and even sweeter kisses.

cute moment

Rachel gets more and more fun to watch as she plays. Lately, she's been doing a lot of "shopping," pushing her cart around and around and around, collecting various items to "take it to the store." She usually has her little green beany baby bear in the child seat, and he usually takes a potty break or two along the way, and he also occasionally gets a spank spank. She also loves to bathe her little animals, and pretend to lotion them after.

But her favorite thing right now is that I've begun letting her help me wash dishes. She sits on the counter by the sink, and I direct her to turn the water on and off for rinsing. I let the dishes drain and air dry, so we always come back later and she sits there again, pulling each dish out of the drain rack for me to put away. She loves these little chores!

Here's a picture of Rachel having a snack at the huge kiddie pool we went to last week. She had such a great time!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

big move--that's a wrap

As of this morning, I am fairly confident in saying that Rachel has successfully moved to sleeping full-time in her big bed! Last night and tonight, I made a point to go straight downstairs after our bedtime routine, so that she had to put herself to bed, which she did! It occurred to us that the previous night or two, she seemed most upset to find I had left after she'd fallen asleep. So, when she woke up in the middle of the night, the first thing she did was go check where I had "fallen" asleep, only to find a vacant spot, which was difficult to see I guess. Last night, though, she woke up and cried some, called for us, but then went back to sleep fairly easily. She stirred another time, but I don't think she even bothered to get out of bed that time. She's doing great at naptime as well, and her nap has become exactly what it was in the crib (just over 1 hour, waking up fairly content, but a little whiny).

And now, looking back, this really was not a difficult transition for Rachel after all. It was a little difficult for me, and my back is paying for all the naps and nights spent lying on the floor waiting for her to fall asleep, but, overall, it was about as easy as I guess we could expect it to be.

I am super proud of my baby girl, and she seems super proud of herself. I hope our next little girl is as agreeable! I really can't wait to see what her personality will be.

So here's the rundown of the strategy I used to get Rachel in the big bed/new room (mostly for my own future reference):

  • Talked it up for several days before the move.
  • Helped her move her toys to her new room after her last nap in the crib.
  • Let her play on her new bed before the move.
  • Stayed with her and lay my head on the bed until she fell asleep for two sleeptimes. Put her in her crib to go back to sleep upon waking in the night.
  • "Slept" on her big bear on the floor just beneath her bed until she fell asleep for two sleeptimes. Put her in her crib to go back to sleep upon waking in the night.
  • "Slept" on her big bear, moving farther from her bed and closer to the door each time for ~five sleeptimes. Put her in her crib to go back to sleep upon waking in the night.
  • "Slept" on her big bear outside her door (there's a gate on her door) until she fell asleep for two sleeptimes. Put her in her crib to go back to sleep upon waking in the night.
  • Left the bear in her room, and read a book in the hallway outside her room with my back to her until she fell asleep for 2 sleeptimes. Put her in her crib to go back to sleep upon waking in the night.
  • Went away immediately after bedtime routine, and did not return until morning, even upon waking in the night.
  • Rewarded with a popsicle when she slept all night in her bed for 3 nights.
  • Promised to reward with a sticker chart now that she seems confident.

All of this, of course, came with lots of conversation. I let her know exactly what my plan was, step-by-step, to try to avoid any surprises on her end. I try not to "trick" Rachel when I can avoid it, so I told her each night that I stayed, that I would only be staying until she fell asleep. She still seemed sad to find me gone, but at least she wasn't betrayed, I guess. We also talked a lot about the big bear, and the popsicles. Another thought I had was that I wanted her to get used to being in charge of her own bedtime, so, even when I stayed with her, I truly pretended to be sound asleep, allowing her to get up and play and do whatever until she was ready to go to sleep. Otherwise, I could see the future of me running up and down the stairs and policing her every move, which is not what I want to be doing. I don't mind sneaking in and clearing toys from her bed after she's asleep--that seems much less stressful to me--and I just write it off as her winding down process.

Anyway, these last few posts have been pretty boring, probably, but this was a fun problem-solving exercise for me, and I wanted to document it for future reference (how many kids will I be transitioning??...who knows?).

Since you've made it this far, here are three recent pics of Rachel. Serious Rachel Rachel with her birthday present from Aunt blows bubbles!

Rachel's piggy tails! I love it!!