Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Our favorite toys: Weebles wobble but they don't fall down!

As we approach Asher's first birthday, I'm looking back at the toys that have grown along with us over here. Toys that have not only captured - but held - his attention. I know some people, including myself, don't want a ton of plastic, less-than-attractive, noisy toys taking over the house. But, these are worth it. So, all that said, these are our top faves. 

Playskool Weebles*
When I was little, our front bathroom always had drainage issues. We tried and tried to fix it. Multiple plumbers tried to fix it. Then, years later when I was in college, a miracle plumber found the problem. One of my Weebles had been lodged in our pipes for all that time. Mom kept it on the windowsill above her kitchen sink. It was still pretty much intact.

So, one of my must have toys for Asher was Weebles. He has several sets. And he loves them. They come with us to restaurants. They go in and out of containers and baskets. Join him in the tub. When he was smaller, he would lie on the floor and watch it wobble back and forth, back and forth.

Weebles wobble but they don't fall down! I say, grab a few sets for the little one in your life. (Just keep them away from your pipes.) Asher got the Weeble Treehouse for Christmas, but I'm currently hiding it upstairs as part of the toy rotation. Can't wait to bring it down!

*Does it bother anyone else that Playskool spells school with a 'k'? The editor in me isn't a huge fan.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Our favorite toys: Stack them. Roll them. Match them. Get them!

As we approach Asher's first birthday, I'm looking back at the toys that have grown along with us over here. Toys that have not only captured - but held - his attention. I know some people, including myself, don't want a ton of plastic, less-than-attractive, noisy toys taking over the house. But, these are worth it. So, all that said, these are our top faves. 

Fisher Price Stack & Roll Cups
We got these at the recommendation of a friend. She said, they don't look like much but they are the greatest toy ever. After a demonstration, I went on a hunt for them. And they were not as easy to find as I thought. (You can likely find them at Babies R Us or just order online. They are hard to catch at Target.)

These plastic cups can stack all the way up. Or, each color clicks into its corresponding color in a different shade, forming balls. Balls with little holes on the end, which make it easy for Asher to pull them apart. And put them back together. Repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat. You can also hide the smaller cups under larger cups. And there is a little jingly ball that can also go inside of them and jingle around. Good mommy feature? They all fit into each other (as balls) until all you are left with is one ball. Hooray for space saving.

We've had these for months. And they by far are the toy Asher spends the most time with. He plays with them for 30 or 45 minutes at a time. He will come up with new ways to play with them every few days. His latest is matching up the colors and making balls. (Smart kid, right?) He also loves placing his Weebles in and out of them. Repeat and repeat and repeat. See? Awesome toy that holds attention.

If you only want to buy one toy. Buy this one. Enjoy!

Our favorite toys: Classic stacker

As we approach Asher's first birthday, I'm looking back at the toys that have grown along with us over here. Toys that have not only captured - but held - his attention. I know some people, including myself, don't want a ton of plastic, less-than-attractive, noisy toys taking over the house. But, these are worth it. So, all that said, these are our top faves.

The Fisher Price Rock-A-Stack
You remember this toy, don't you? Seems that it's been around forever. Asher always goes straight to it when presented with a cabinet of toys. Don't know what it is, but something about has kept this toy around. When he was tiny, he just held the rings and gnawed on them. Now, he removes and replaces the rings. Over and over. Score!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Free grown up mac & cheeeeeeeese.

You know I love myself some mac & cheese. So does Asher.

A little birdie told me about a cool promotion at Noodles & Company this Sunday and Monday (3/27, 3/28) in the Raleigh area. You just bring in three boxes of the cheapo mac & cheese. And, they will give you a free bowl of one of their new grown up mac & cheese dishes. Personally, I do believe I should try the bacon cheeseburger one. Yep, that's what I think. Go! Enjoy! Maybe I'll see you there.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Remember our date night? In jeep. Top down.

Here is the photo I took to document the evening. Because I do that all the time now. What did we do before cell phone cameras?

-- Posted via iPhone

Monday, March 21, 2011

What a grand weekend.

We had a fabulous weekend. I feel like it's been forever since I've said that and truly meant it. I think the weather just adds to the happiness factor.

Speaking of happiness; would you look at that teethy grin?

Friday, we spent the day outdoors. Got a little sun on my face. Amazing how that makes you feel all springlike and alive. Friday night, we took Asher to Dos Taquitos for the first time. We chose to sit inside so our wait wouldn't be too long (we were already off schedule). I laughed when we could hardly see our way to the table. There was one candle on the table top and a black light about two table tops down. That was it. It was hilarious. Asher was wide eyed and took a little extra time to hunt down his food. But, he adjusted. I had a few margaritas, because we all know Dos Taq makes them the best. Then, we headed home.

Saturday morning, rise and shine. Asher and I headed off to Glen Eden Pilot Park for some Hailey play time. Asher had a great time crawling all over the sand playground. I should have put pants or babylegs on him. His knees were a little raw from all that sand. Oops. But hey, I remembered the sunscreen, so that's good.

Hailey was loving the slides. Asher went down a few times, but then he bopped his head pretty good and was no longer a big fan. He couldn't quite figure out how to sit up while sliding down. Of course, both little ones loved the swings and were giddy as Chris and I pushed and twirled them. Rusty even jogged over to say hello before we packed up.

Side note: My child must be a freak of sleepless nature. After all of this fun in the sun and climbing adventuring, Hailey went home and slept for three hours. Asher, on the other hand, fussed with me about napping and slept maybe 45 minutes. Really?!

Then, Saturday evening my parents came up to babysit Asher so we could have a proper date night. And we cruised in the Jeep with the top off; always good fun. Rusty and I had dinner and drinks before going to see Hall Pass at Raleigh Grande.  I had no idea that cinema served alcohol. Love it. We enjoyed several Red Oaks while cracking up at the movie. We get home and Asher is waiting up for us, of course. But he then went right to bed and slept until almost 8:30 this morning. Holler! Take that supermoon!

To top it all off, my mom was a miracle worker while we were out. She managed to empty trashcans, make the bed, clean up from our lunch I am pretty sure we left out (oops), do multiple loads of laundry, fold and put things away, fed and bathed Asher and changed out all my Scentsy smelly goods around the house. I don't think I could have managed all of that in the same amount of time and it's my house and my kid. It was so nice to come home and have those items to cross off my to-do list. What a pleasant surprise. Thanks mother and father dearests! lybttu!

Let's see. Today is Sunday. Just a lazy around the house day. Celebrated Jax's 11th birthday and enjoyed some yummy grilled ribs. Good way to wrap up the weekend. Now, time for bed. Night night, weekend.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy birthday, Jax!

I think Asher keeps Jax young these days.

Jax turned 11 today, and we celebrated with singing and a doggie sundae.

I'm constantly in shock by how well Jax has adjusted to life with Asher. He gets chased by a walker, his paws run over a time or two each day. He gently takes Cheerios and whatever else Asher offers him from Asher's little fingers. When Asher surprises him by grabbing his behind, he just turns and shrugs it off.

I think these two really enjoy each other's company. And for that, I'm so thankful.

(For those that heard the story of the disaster that was Jax when Asher first joined us, you can appreciate this improvement. I literally thought we were going to have to deposit him at the animal shelter in the after-hours dog drawers. And yes, those exist. We're in a good place now. Yay!)

Happy 11th Birthday Jaxon! Playtime with Asher. from Kira Ann on Vimeo.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Look at him, would you? Growing right on up. Sippy and all.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Warning: This is about to be photo overload because I am incapable of further narrowing down my photo selection.

Here's our Asher in his St. Patty's green.

Ah, those hands.

Thank you, dear neighbors, for the use of your fabulous landscaping.

Bless him. He was over it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Weaning: the good, the bad and the sad.

At Asher's nine month appointment, I talked to his doctor about weaning. I was gung-ho ready to get this weaning show on the road. She said first things first, drop down to only nursing for the three main meals of the day. She warned me that the night feeding would likely be the hardest to drop and to do so when we were prepared for some rough nights. I walked out thinking, I got this. We are going to be weaning champions by our first year well baby visit.

Then came reality. Asher had a bit of a cold at the time, so I didn't try right away to drop feedings. My plan of action, once he was well, was to drop the mid-morning and mid-afternoon feedings first. One a week, or so.

For the most part that went smoothly after his marathon sinus infection. I usually nursed him to sleep, so it took some screaming sleep training to have a successful naptime. Which was ok, we need him to learn to put himself to sleep.

So, here we are. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and bedtime breastfeeding. It's been a hard adjustment so far. I can't quite escape the feeling of, Oh crap he didn't nurse at such and such time; my supply is going to go down. Just yesterday I had the panic of dropping supply at least ten times. I can't quite get it into my head that this is what is supposed to happen. We are weaning, Kira. Get with the program.

But, I'm sad about it. It's not as convenient to force water or watered-down-juice in a sippy to my child. It's not as easy to figure out what in my pantry will make an acceptable nutritious snack. And, no more nursing feels like my baby isn't a baby anymore. I didn't realize how much I love, love, love that time with him. It being easy was just a nice bonus. (And I do realize how very blessed I am to have had a pretty smooth breastfeeding experience. I know many friends who had many bumps along the road. And they rocked it like rockstars, challenges and all!)

I feel pressure to wean him. I feel like I'm getting vibes like, Um are you going to be doing this until he's learning multiplication? Of course, this could all be in my head. I'm just getting asked a lot about when he will be completely weaned. And my answer is, I don't know. At first that stressed me out. But now I see that it's ok. It's up to me and Asher when we will be completely finished nursing. Breastfeeding is definitely the best thing for him and I'm very proud to have been able to keep it up this long. It's one of the most awesome things I've ever done.

I really want to let Asher take the lead from here. That's what feels most natural to me. He's already cutting his night feedings short and falling asleep cuddled up with me instead of nursing. (Ok so this has only happened the last few nights, but still.) I think it's his way of saying, It's ok, Momma. When we stop this breastfeeding thing, I'm still going to snuggle with you. I promise, see?

All of this to say, weaning will mean more freedom (good). It will mean sharing more of the bedtime and feeding responsiblity with Rusty (good). But, I really have no idea how to go about it the 'right' way. Like all things breastfeeding and motherhood, there are no real rules. You just gotta feel your way through it (good and bad). I am going to miss it (sad).

She who said she'd never breastfeed. She who then surprisingly found determination to get this breastfeeding thing to work after a rocky start. She who now loves every minute of nursing her son. She who is sad, so sad, to see this phase go. She who is going to follow her son's lead from here on out, and try not to worry or overthink it. And she's going to treasure every minute along the way.

p.s. For the curious minds. Yes, he has teeth. No, he doesn't bite me. (I get asked that a lot.)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ah, my baby boy is almost one.

Looking through old iPhone photos. Amazing to click through and watch time go by. This photo is one of many that makes me melt. (Well, and there are those that make me cringe. And laugh. And grin.)

My kind of play.

When I was little, I was all about a tent, a fort, a box world, a tunnel, a hideout. If it was a place I could move in and out of - invite my friends - organize and reorganize - build and take down - open and shut - I was all about it. So today, instead of going straight to the recycle bin with our diaper boxes, I cut a door in each of them and kept them in our den. Welcome little play huts!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Who is this little man hanging with me?

He has his two front teeth.
He drinks from his cup when he realizes he's thirsty.
And now, he's sitting there with his snack cup eating goldfish all on his own.
It's pretty amazing.

-- Posted via iPhone

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Couple of random things I just need to say.

1. Lent begins tomorrow. And I'm giving up sweet tea and brownies. Sounds like a ridiculous combination, perhaps, but they are my two favorite things these days. Being without them will not be an easy feat. But, I'm up to the challenge. And, since I've written it here, once I hit publish there is no backing out. How's that for accountability?

2. I just read this article: Super-gross: Supermarket carts are rolling fecal bacteria Petri dishes, new study finds and I'm even more grossed out by shopping carts than I already was. I'm one of those moms with the shopping cart cover. In my mind, people look at me and my cover and roll their eyes. Whether or not this is true, I don't know. But, after reading this we all need shopping cart covers. And we should all use those wipes at the entrance of the good stores. I mean, you could say that the basket of the shopping cart cover is dirtier than a public restroom. You wouldn't go sitting there would you? I think no. And I certainly wouldn't let my kid. And throw your groceries in the mix. Gross. Gross. Gross. I probably should not have read this. Now it won't go away. The gross truth is now in my OCD mind. Sigh. Ew. (And this is my official reminder to myself to wash my cloth shopping bags pronto and the shopping cart cover more often. And the high chair cover, too.)

3. My brownies are almost done. You guessed it; I'm eating a nice, warm pile of brownies tonight before Lent begins. Cheers and welcome to the Easter season.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Tarholes suck!

We watched some of the game at Rudinos tonight. Whenever everyone cheered, Asher would jump and his eyes would get wide. Then he'd twist and turn in his chair to check it all out. He was loving the activity.

His first night out to cheer against the Holes. And he loved it. Let's hope this somehow translates into sleeping well and late.

-- Posted via iPhone

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Baby steps. Krobe Interactive.

Funny how things happen. It's as I've always believed: Everything happens for a reason.

My decision to leave my full time job last year came easily at the time. I never doubted that it was the right thing to do. I just knew that there was something else that was a better fit for me. That would make me happier. But, it's still nerve wracking. To have one salary to support our family during this economy isn't the safest feeling.

So, thankfully, I quickly got a few freelance opportunities. Then, a few more. I've even had multiple job leads for full time positions. Any of which I would have loved to pursue before the arrival of Asher, but the shift in our family dynamic changed things.

I want to work. I want to be successful, smart, driven. I also want to be home with my kid. In a low stress environment. With flexibility.

So, I'm officially going into business for myself. Enter Krobe Interactive. I'm so happy to report that I'm staying busy. So busy, in fact, that I am having a hard time getting my own site up. But, I'm close.

While helping to provide for my family, I was home when Asher first crawled. I get to eat lunch with him most days. (Well, he smashes food around. I eat.) I have my wonderful sister nearby to help on those days that I just really need to get a lot done with little interruption. I've been able to continue nursing and put away the pump. I can see pretty weather and go out and enjoy it. Have lunch dates with friends. And make my own schedule.

For each of these things, I'm so incredibly thankful. I'm also thankful for the projects I've been given already to stretch my new 'Krobe' wings. My heart is so full and happy. My brain is getting lots of exercise. Once again, I'm so blessed and so grateful. God is good.

Yep. Everything happens for a reason.

If you are in need of anything web related, let me know. Maybe I can help. Or at least point you in a better direction, if needed. Here's to 2011, my friends!

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