Last Year's Costume

 Papillon tested out her Halloween costume a little early this year in order to get some cute pictures for the bakery. She was not interested in wearing the hat, so we had to act fast to get a photo with the hat in it.

 This was supposed to be her costume last year - it's a 6-9 month size. She wasn't quite 6 months last year, but we kind of thought it would work.  Needless to say, our pipsqueak didn't even get close to filling it out last year. This year it is a tiny bit snug, but it works!

 She very much enjoyed playing the "pull the hat off" game.
 It made for crazy static-hair!

Festive Bridal Shower

 Last week, Papillon and I went to a bridal shower for a friend of mine from high school. It was a delightful little surprise shower that I was excited to be a part of!  

Papillon got all decked out in party attire for the occasion. She seemed to enjoy all the people and excitement, and definitely enjoyed the cheese and crackers!

 As with any good bridal shower, there were fun games and some present opening.

And some cheery toasts! 

Despite the party running straight into bedtime, Papillon did a great job. She got a bit punchy at the end (note the slightly deranged gleam in her eye?)

And was completely tuckered out by the time we left. 

A delightful time all around. Good work and mission accomplished to the secret party planning masterminds! Glad I could be a part of the fun!
Congrats to the bride to be; I am sorry we will be missing out on the big day!

Just Playing

 Asking for books.
 Looking for crayons.

 Putting crayons in the box.
 Reading a magazine.
 Oops. There went half a page.
 Oh well.
 Still fun times.
All in a mornings play time!

Tickling the Baby

Lately we have been seizing every opportunity to let Papillon play with babies younger than she.  Got to get some good practice in before her little sibling arrives.  She has developed a bit of a jealous streak when it comes to me holding other babies, but as long as they are not sitting on my lap, she generally finds little ones to be lots of fun. 

We recently had a little friend over, and I showed Papillon how she could tickle him (Papillon is a big fan of tickling herself and others).  She thought it was hilarious. She tickled him once, but then couldn't manage to do it again cause she would reach out to tickle and burst into fits of laughter that would interupt the actual tickling process.

I managed to get one good photo of the interaction.

Nursing the 2nd Time Around - The Plan

If you recall, nursing Papillon was quite an adventure for us.  That is not an adventure that I would like to repeat. For that reason, ever since that fateful day that drove me to the most ridiculous nursing routine in the world  (you recall how I was literally attached to the baby or the pump for 12+ hours a day?), we have been making plans for our 2nd go-round with nursing. 

Am I nervous about it? Yes and no.  I feel worlds more confident that I will know what I am doing and will able to tell if it is not going right. Though it is also possible that I will be paranoid at all points that it just isn't working, when maybe it is going quite well indeed.  Mainly, my nervousness, though, comes from being nervous that my body is just plain not cut out for nursing a big baby.  Papillon didn't really start growing at a "normal" rate until after she turned 1 when we started introducing whole milk. If she hadn't started out at a whopping 9+lbs, she would have fallen off the growth chart all together. Perhaps my body produces skim milk....or maybe just plain not enough. Cause I nursed on demand, nursed round the clock, pumped like crazy on top of that, and Papillon only managed to squeak on a few ounces a week if that.  Therein lies my nervousness. 

Generally though, I am more focused and driven than nervous. We have a plan, and there is no way it could go as badly as it did the first time around. (I think) What is the plan?

Well, for starters, I am going to nurse that baby the moment he/she is born. Ok, maybe not that exact moment. But I do believe with Papillon we missed that window of alertness that newborns have right after birth, and she fell sound asleep without having learned the joys of eating, so she just kept sleeping and sleeping. Barring another crazy-emergency delivery, this little baby will be handed to me immediately and won't leave my arms until we have at least offered some nursing. 

Also, we are going to meet with the lactation consultant multiple times before we leave the hospital. This hospital has a lactation consultant on duty 24/7.  Not every other day, during business hours, not including weekends, like our previous hospital did.  I am going to capitalize on this resource even if I feel like I am doing it all right from day one. 

Also, we are walking out of the hospital with our new born baby in one hand and a hospital grade pump in the other. The two weeks I had my hospital pump last time were up there with the worst in my life, but it was my nursing salvation.  It is quite possible I will have a baby this time that had no problem communicating to my body that he/she is ravenous and needs me to produce tons of milk. But in the chance that he/she is not that convincing, the pump should do the trick. 

My focus at the beginning is simply going to be on feeding the baby. Obviously Papillon will need my attention as well. But when it comes to the new baby, I am not going to stress (or at least try not to stress) about anything else. I think with Papillon I was worried about whether or not I was doing enough with her - was she wearing cute enough outfits? Was she sleeping properly? Was she being held enough? Photographed enough? Had we put her in the sling yet? There will be time for all of that later. The first couple weeks, all I will be worried about is - is this baby eating?  I mean, really, they are a newborn, what else do they need to do?  I feel like I understand much better now the difference between a newborn and a baby, and I think that perspective is going to be very helpful this time around. 

So there you have it. That is the plan. Lord willing nursing will be a pleasant experience from day one this time around.

Sweet Video

Papillon has taken to doing this squinty-eye thing fairly regularly. We thought it was totally random (I thought maybe it was because she had hair in her eyes...) but it seems that while babysitting Papillon recently, her Aunt was teaching her to blink firmly and I suspect that is what she has been showing us. 

Mon Amour tried to get a video of the cuteness the other day and succeeded in getting a video of the squinty eyes, kiss-y face, "Hi" and some walking.   Pretty much all of Papillon's cutest tricks. So, enjoy

Not as Warm

We have a very fun weather gadget hanging on our fridge.  It continuously updates the forecast throughout the day with current temp, highs, lows, 5 day forecast, etc.    It also provides a little on sentence description of the day.   Some times they are generic, like "Partly cloudy".  Or "Chance of thunderstorm in the afternoon".   
But some times they are more creative.  We have seen things like "Showers in the vicinity".  "Chance of a passing shower". "Sunny and seasonable".  That kind of thing. 

This was possibly my favorite forecast description:

"What's the weather supposed to be like today, dear?"
"'Not as warm.' End of story"

How informative.


 Papillon loves books. When she gets it in her head she wants you to read her one, there is no refusing her.  For is a series of photos Mon Amour took instead of reading Papillon the book of choice:

"Please, dad, just read me this one little book." 

"Oh, dad, stop taking photos and read me the book. "

"I guess I will pull out the sweet face and the sign language." 

Papillon knows a number of signs and sometimes uses them properly. More often than not though, she just plows through all the signs she knows until you finally cave into doing what you want her to do. In this instance, I believe she tried, "more" and "please" and possibly "book" followed by lots of "pleases" again. 

Eventually, after a few more photos, Mon Amour caved and read her the book.

17 Weeks

I am 17 weeks along today, and feeling great!
I forgot amidst all the unpleasantness of switching doctors how much I love being pregnant. I have been spoiled with easy pregnancies, so that helps. And my baby-belly is hard to hide these days; not huge, but hard to hide which is fine by me. Voila, the 17 week baby belly.

Officially, less poundage than last time, but some how a rounder belly? At least that is how it seems to me.

Symptoms: Not much. Tired sometimes. Hungry all the time. And most nights are filled with crazy and generally frightening dreams. Other than that, no "symptoms" to report. Oh, except that my finger nails are growing at a ridiculous pace again - yay for an influx of growth hormones!

Again with this pregnancy I wouldn't say that I am having cravings, but I definitely have strong feelings about food. I either love it or I hate it. Foods I love: Mac and Cheese, Panera's Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Cereal with Milk, Ice Cream. The common thread...dairy. Yes. I love dairy. Between Papillon and myself (Mon Amour doesn't like milk) we are buying milk 2 gallons at a time these days.

Still no convincing movement so far from this baby. I was really hoping for a crazy wiggly baby this time. But perhaps we have another laid back kid on our hands. From time to time I think I feel something, but nothing repetitive or convincing.

I have found a doctor that I am pretty sure I like. I have only had one visit with them, so i am hesitant to go all out and say they are the best ever. But it was definitely a positive experience and I am looking forward to going back at the end of the month.

We also toured the hospital of choice this past week and over all that was also encouraging. Our tour guide was of the drill-sergeant variety, but if you could get beyond that, the hospital itself seems like a great place to deliver. The have labor tubs, wireless monitors, spacious yet cozy delivery rooms and they are only 15 minutes from our house. I still need to look in to their volunteer doula program which I am very excited about!

I am very excited about this 2nd little child. Papillon is at a very fun age, but I have a weakness for tiny babies. I love them to pieces and can't wait to have my own again. Overall I am not anxious (yet) about juggling two kids. I know it will be an adjustment, but on the whole, I am just really excited about it. I feel like I can plan a little better with this baby than with Papillon, cause I know what to plan for (or at least I think I do!).

The one thing (or at least the main thing) that I am worried about with Baby #2 is that I really really fail at asking for help. And I know that I will need help. I know that I am not super-woman, and that I can't do it all. But gosh, darn it, if I don't try...and sometimes run myself into the ground because I won't swallow my pride and accept that I can't be all things to all people.
I hate needing help. I loathe asking for help. And I am uncomfortable receiving help. This is going to need to change. I am pretty confident God is going to be working on my idol of self-sufficiency in the coming year, and I just hope he's willing to teach me gently.

Waking Up

Papillon loves her sleep, but she also loves playing with her stuffed animals when she awakes. The following are three videos of our wake-up routine.  I used to just go in, she would be excited and reach for me to pick her up right away.  Now she does NOT want me to pick her up right away, she wants me to hand her more stuffed animals so she can kiss them all, give a few of them hugs, and generally just have crazy fun times in her crib before she will let me get her out of bed.  All three of these videos are from the same wake-up sequence.  We generally play like this for 10-15 minutes in the morning and after a nap.  It's a nice excuse for me to just sit and relax! 

There is a lot of footage in the following three videos, so I understand if you don't watch them all. But they are super sweet, and you should look out for her sweet puckered-lip kissing face and her adorable hugging and crazy enthusiasm. It's super cute.

15 Months

Yesterday my little Papillon turned 15 months old.
It was very tricky to get a picture of her with Snoopy this time - she would not sit still for one moment unless she was sitting on my lap, which is not conducive to taking pictures.

This one is what was like to call Classic Papillon:
A funny little serious face that just totally captures her personality. If only she hadn't knocked Snoopy over. Oh well.

Despite a more accurate size comparison, it's clear (I think) that she has grown a lot since last month. We haven't had her official 15 month appt yet, but a recently appointment put her at significantly over 21 lbs! That is progress!
And just for fun...look at one year ago when she was just three months!

At 15 months, Papillon...

...loves her sleep. For a solid 2 weeks she was getting up after 9am everyday, sometimes as late as 10am. Growth spurt perhaps? It was lovely. Now she is back to getting up a little earlier, but she is perfectly content to play in her crib by herself for a long time. Somtimes as much as an hour. This is very indicative of her personality - very laid back, go with the flow, come get me whenever, kind of baby. officially down to one nap. It starts at 1 or 2pm and ends at 3:30 or 4pm. It's been an adjustment not having two nap time sin which it get stuff done, but it's also been nice to have the whole morning to be out and about without worrying about Papillon being crabby and in need of a nap.

...has stalled at just 8 teeth. No signs of anything new. No molars. No nothing. Just 4 on the top, 4 on the bottom.

....eats most anything if you are persistent. Anything she does not recognize gets refused right off the bat, but if you hide it initially (in yogurt, or on bread or something) she will eventually eat it without the disguise. Favorite foods are still bananas, grapes, any bread products, peanut butter, and ice cream. Certain vegetables and all chicken, requires more disguising than most other foods.

....still mostly just says "Hi" and "this" and "that" (used to add emphasis when pointing to something). She makes tons of sounds though. When reading her Dr Seuss alphabet book, she often pulls out an awesome "Zzzz" sound. Her favorite page in that book is the "Zizzer Zazzer Zuzz" page!

....loves to give kisses. She will give kisses to most anyone that she recognizes. And also to all her stuffed animals and some other random objects as well. (reportedly she kissed an Xbox controller the other day. haha). She puckers up by sucking in her top lip and makes a great kissing noise. Generally if she gives you one kiss she will give you 3 or 4. And while she is very generous with her kisses, she does refuse you sometimes. Mostly she refuses Mon Amour, I think she thinks its a game. Cause she will lean in for a kiss, then when he gets close, she pulls her head away and shakes her head vigorously while smiling ridiculously. Getting a picture of the kissing face is tough, this is the best we could do. walking! We have known for a long time that she could walk, she just didn't want to let go of our hand. But finally yesterday, she found her confidence! She still crawls and holds on to the wall when possible. But if the shortest distance between her and the thing she wants is across the middle of the room, she just takes off! I am a happy momma. Will this make life busier? Probably. But really, Papillon has been dying to walk for a long time now and when she wasn't confident about it she would stand holding on to something and just fuss until I came over and gave her my hand. So, life will be more fast paced from now on, but I will totally take it! Sorry for the sideways-ness of the day I will learn to hold the camera the right way for videos...

....loves books, Marge, taking walks, and hanging out with friends of any age.

...and just for fun, here is a video of her with a toy she rediscovered yesterday. For the first time she figured out how to stack the circle on the post, and she loved it. Over the course of the day she stacked and dumped and stacked again for probably well over an hour.

Happy 15 Months Papillon!
You are more and more fun every day and I love love love being your mom and watching you learn and play and grow every day! I never get tired of it.

Fine Arts Festival

Last weekend we went on a mini road trip to visit these friends and their adorable new little baby! It was the Little Baby's First Big Outing! And also his first time in the sling - yay for babywearing!

We went to a nearby Fall Fine Arts Festival. The weather was absolutely perfect for it! And there were lots of fun vendors and music and tasty treats.  There were also Papillon-sized chairs!

 And the highlight of the show was this glass pumpkin patch! Each pumpkin is a little different and there were tons to chose from!  Big ones, little ones, orange ones, uniquely colored ones, etc.  It was pretty nifty.

Papillon totally embraced her almost-walking skills a lot. She walked (holding our hands) for a really really long ways. She doesn't make very good time, but when you are browsing different art booths, toddler-speed is just about right.  See how hard she concentrates when walking (note the tongue sticking out)

We got to see how they make the pumpkins - its a pretty elaborate process!


It had been a while since Papillon and I had ventured out to Storyville, so one Friday afternoon when the to-do list was under control, off we went for a little fun. 

 She is getting sooo close to walking. She really wanted to walk over to me with this book, but she couldn't quite do it (the book was throwing off her balance). 


We tried on the bear costume, but it was a bit big, so instead we played with some musical instruments.

Bear costume falling off...

The stuffed frog was lots of fun!

As was the doll house.

Possibly the most fun was just walking around staring curiously at the other kids.

She is signing more....I am not sure what she wanted more of...perhaps just more fun times?

Using a Spoon

Papillon is getting better and better at using her spoon (and even her fork), see:

And yes, her hair is currently smeared with applesauce....but trust me, her spoon skills are improving.


The other day, Mon Amour was in the mood for a baking adventure. He offered to make dinner, an offer which should make any busy homemaker very happy.  But, I must confess I am the type that often finds it easier to do things myself, my own way, than to let others help in their own way.  I tried my best to support his enthusiasm, but when he settled on making bagels so we could have bagel sandwiches I was truly super excited.   

This was not our first bagel making adventure, but it had been a while, and we opted for a new recipe. We made a double batch - which made a small mountain of dough.

Which we then shaped into bagel-shapes and let rise.

Next, you boil for about 60 seconds, and let cool.  Note the awesome looking steam!

Top with deliciousness like garlic and oregano and bake for a bit. And Voila! Bagels!

They were a little flatter than we thought they would be...perhaps something went awry with our yeast, but all in all they were deeeelicious!

Here is the recipe (I am a minimalist when it comes to directions so forgive me if it doesn't make sense) adapted from the "Heirloom Cooking with the Brass Sisters" cookbook:

2 packages dry yeast
1/2 warm water
1 t sugar

5 c flour
2 T salt
1 and 1/2 c water
1 T sugar
2 T vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add sugar and allow to proof in warm spot for 10 mins. 
All all remaining ingredients EXCEPT the egg. And beat in stand mixer (or with much effort, by hand) for 1-2 minutes, then knead for 3-5 minutes. 
Let rise about 1 hour.
Divide dough into 12 equal parts, and shape like bagels (either by rolling and making circles, or flattening and punching a whole in the middle)
Let bagels rest for 15 minutes
Bring large pot of water to boil. 
Drop bagels (a couple at a time, only as many as will fit floating on the surface of your water) into boiling water. Boil for 60 seconds, flipping halfway through. 
Remove and let rest for 15 minutes. 
Repeat with remaining bagels. 
Brush tops of bagels with the beaten egg. Top with desired toppings (can do plain, cinnamon, garlic, whatever). 
Bake for 15-18 minutes at 450 degrees.

Laid Back

 We have become a bit more laid back in our photo-taking of late. I find that I don't pull out the camera unless it is a "special occasion".   (I fear there will be a lot less pictures of our second child...but, such is life).   But some times there are some every day moments that need capturing, at which point I am thankful for my phone-camera. 
Here are some random everyday-type pictures.

Here she is just chillaxin on the kitchen floor reading a blank notebook. She was intrigued by the totally blank pages for full minutes! Silly kid.

Sleeping!  So cute. Have I mentioned that she consistently sleeps past 9am every day? Yes, she is that awesome.

Taken a walk with Grandpa on a pretty day.