Friday, September 24, 2010

Seeing the Outside World

This past week, Dani has become very skilled at sitting up unsupported and crawling quite quickly. Lillie has started soldier crawling and sitting up for seconds at a time unsupported. Yesterday, though, they both did something very interesting.

Dani crawled towards the window. I think she may have seen a bird or leaves blowing in the trees, but she was so fascinated that she did this. She sat there for a good five minutes.

Then Lillie, not wanting to be left out of the fun, pulled her self over to the window to join her sister. (I had to help get her stabilized, but she pulled up mostly on her own.)

Then, when I was about to snap a second picture of the cuteness, Lillie surprised (and scared the crap out of) me, and did this!

I think it might be time to give that window a good cleaning!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Design Dilemma...Again

A while back, I wrote about the girls' playroom. I wanted to put some storage in there for toys and whatnot, but now I've decided that a bookcase probably isn't the best way to go. I'm thinking about soft-sided storage ottomans that can serve multiple purposes--seating for adults, storage for toys, and a soft item for the girls to pull up on when they get to that point (which will probably be very soon the way Dani is crawling up on pillows). I'd either go with a couple of cube ones or a larger trunk-like one.

Here's the room! Fun times, right?
So what do I need in this room to make it truly baby friendly? A gate is priority one. We have one, and it will hopefully be going up this week, as soon as a replacement part is delivered. Number two priority is something to cover the bottom of the piano. Dani has already attempted to lick the pedals, and I just can't have that. It has to be movable since I actually do play it. I'm leaning towards a decorative skirt. If I do the skirt on the piano, I'm thinking the floor pillows over there by the window will be in the same fabric.

Then there are the walls. This room is across from our dining room. Definitely not a formal setting, but it is a nice room, so I don't want the playroom to be so overtly childish that it looks weird across from our dining room. What would you do to decorate this room so that it's fun yet still nice enough to be the first room people see when they come over to your house? Do the soft ottomans sound like a good idea or would you just invest in more floor pillows for seating and just put the toys in a basket? Would you hang artwork on the walls? Or do some sort of removable vinyl sticker mural?


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Planning to Plan

Two of my favorite parent-oriented sites, Ohdeedoh and Project Nursery, constantly have beautiful birthday parties featured. It may be 141 days until the girls' first birthday, and I know that at one year old, they aren't going to remember the party at all, but I find myself always thinking about what kind of party I want them to have.

I know for sure that I don't want it to be too themed. I want something simple yet cute. I keep thinking about borrowing this idea and going for a color theme (maybe red or turquoise or purple). It would be very easy to go to the dollar store or Target and buy solid color plates and napkins and tablecloths. I would also be the birthday nazi and ask everyone to show up in the color theme. I could serve foods in the theme color. Granted, I may have to skip that idea if I choose turquoise.

I also know for sure that I want them both to have their own cake. They share so many things, and will be sharing so many things throughout their lives. I think having their own cakes is a good idea. I've thrown around the idea of each getting a cupcake, but then I think that a mini-cake would be better. And when you think cakes, you start thinking flavors. I started out with the idea of giving them carrot cake because I love carrot cake, and it just seems healthier than regular cake. Then I realized that it's a birthday party, not a health food ad, so forget the carrot cake!

I love, love, love this rainbow cake. It's so playful and fun, but I think that might be reserved for their second or third birthday when they can appreciate the silliness more. Right now, I'm leaning towards a white cake with a fruit filling--strawberries or raspberries if I go with a red theme and blueberries or blackberries if I go purple. It's yummy and simple and pretty when you cut into it...or take pictures of it slathered all over Lillie and Dani's faces.

Then there's outfits. Oh yeah, I've even thought about what they might wear. (This is why I'm thinking about planning this far in advance!) I want them to look like the little princesses I know they're going to think they are, so I'd like them to wear dresses or skirts or something like that, but I also have to think about the fact that they will have cake and icing all over them at some point, so I must also think about washable things (or big huge bibs, whichever).

I'm a huge fan of the pettiskirt. What little girl doesn't want a really ruffly skirt they can twirl around in? Plus, after their birthday, they can use it to play dress up. You're picturing my girls in these skirts right now, aren't you? If you're not, I surely am! (I must say the little flower headband is cute too.)

It might be the one day they're dressed nearly alike. It will be like the day they came home--wearing the same outfit with different accessories.

I've also considered birthday hats or tiaras. They've worn hats before and don't seem to mind them, but I don't know how they'll be in a few months. I guess I'll find out this winter after they've gone through some hat wearing.

No matter what I decide about how I decorate, what they eat, or how they dress, I do know that I want the day to be special. I know that they will not remember it, but I'll remember it, and I want it to be something they can look at later on in pictures and think, "Hey, we had a pretty darn cool first birthday."

Friday, September 17, 2010

Seven Month Report

Dani began scooting forward quite quickly. Lillie started to reach out and pull herself forward. Dani got her first two teeth (the same bottom two as her sister). They both experienced their first colds. That's how the past month went.

They both went into some weird sleeping habits--waking far too early (4 am) and not sleeping much during the day. I'd like to say it was due to being sick, and I'm sticking to that!

The piano room has officially become their playroom (with the piano still in there), and we will soon be installing a gate so they won't escape when Mommy has to run to the bathroom or get something to drink.

I can't believe they're seven months old!! Just four and a half months or so until they (and we) have survived their first year!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pointless but Cool

There are a lot of products on the market that are supposed to make a parent's life easier. Some of them definitely accomplish this, but some of them seem to be accomplishing this until you realize the real hassle they can become. I've been perusing Amazon lately, and I've come across a few items that seem really cool, but I can either find a cheaper or just-as-easy way to do the same thing with what I already have.

Wipes Warmers
No one wants to make their child uncomfortable; therefore, I completely understand the reasoning behind a wipes warmer, but are you going to lug that around when you take your kiddos out in public? Probably not. So when they're getting their diapers changed in your local mall restroom or at grandma's house, aren't they going to wonder why all of a sudden mommy or daddy is wiping their bums with that icky cold wipe? Why not just use that cold wipe all the time so they don't actually know the difference? Or they could be like my girls, who seem to relish in the feeling of cold air and cold wipes hitting their little behinds.

The Single Bottle Formula Mixer
This mixer is cool because, as any mamma who's made formula knows, formula gets a little foamy when you mix it. This handy dandy hand mixer will get out the lumps without all that pesky foaming. But really, do I need spend $5 on something I can do just by picking up the bottle and rolling it in my hands for a few seconds? Nope.

Special Diaper Pails
The Diaper Genie, the Diaper Champ, the Diaper Dekor...all those fancy diaper pails that lock away the stench of diapers is a wonderful idea, but I've found that a nice sturdy trashcan with a good lid and some biodegradable bags for the stinky diapers works very well. And when the girls get big enough to no longer need diapers, I still have a pretty darn nice trashcan.

The Steam Sterilizer
These things are pretty nifty. You just put all your bottles, pacifiers and whatever else will go in your children's mouths on a regular basis, pop it in the microwave for a few minutes, and everything is nice and sanitary.  I even have one in the cabinet above my microwave. Thankfully, I didn't buy it because I've used it once. A microwavable safe bowl, water, microwave until it's boiling. Plop in your nipples and pacifiers for five minutes. Fill your kitchen sink with hot water; add soap; wash bottles, toys, teethers, and whatnot. There. I just saved you about twenty bucks.

Designer Maternity Wear
Only if you make six figures a year should you even think about paying $150 for a pair of maternity jeans. And take your hands away from that $80 silk top. You will wear them for maybe a year. I do not care how comfortable they are or how into designer clothes you are. You are pregnant. Heidi Klum makes a great line of maternity wear for Motherhood Maternity at reasonable prices. Plus Target, Kohls, and Old Navy carry some great stuff. I know I looked just as cute in my $35 jeans from Old Navy as some hoity toity mom in her way-too-expensive Lucky Jeans.

Designer Baby Wear
This is actually worse than maternity wear. Your children will grow so fast, it's insane to even think about buying them clothes that cost more than yours. They're not going to wear them more than a couple of times. In those couple of times, they could easily spit up, throw up, pee or poop on them as well. I do not care how cute that $130 coat is from Ralph Lauren, your baby does not need it. Heck, I'm having trouble justifying this absolutely adorable $20 coat I saw at Old Navy because I would need to buy two. How long are they actually going to wear those? Don't warm blankets, cute hats, and layers work just as well? I think so.

But that coat is still friggin' adorable.

Got any more? I know there are just tons of things that are cute, useful, and way over-priced that we can add to the list!