Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tranlsation Tuesday: Leapster Til

This is not a foreshadowing of how excited Matilda will be that tomorrow is Leap Year.

No, Leapster Til is a special 'limited edition' of Matilda that comes every so often.
(Insert cute baby photo that in no way shape or form communicates what Leapster Til actually looks like because that is a photo no one wants to see)

Let me explain. When Matilda was a newborn, I admittedly went on an information expedition and ultimately overload. I'm not sure why as it quite literally drove me crazy and I was so good about not doing this while pregnant.

Anway, through the information hunt, I came across the book called the "Wonder Weeks'. Okay fine, I actually came aross the iPhone app and then learned it was a book, but whatever. I like my information digitally...sue me.

The theory of this book is that all babys go through 10 age-linked and predictable 'developmental leaps' that cause them to cry more, cling more and sleep less. Each leap has its own 'signs' beyond those three, and each leap produces different skills/abilities.

Tillie is currently in the "categories" leap, which means she is learning the world of categories and apparently that a dog is not a horse. This translates to abilities like: showing us that she know what some words mean (which she definitely knows a few like eat).. recognizes herSELF in the mirror, imitates human being (she loves to wiggle, and copy anything that daddy does), plays peekaboo by herself, tries to get us to do something again that she likes by clapping (like when we sing the bang bang song from How I Met Your Mother--don't judge us).

All I can say is that this is my new MUST HAVE item for all Moms. It could not be MORE accurate for Matilda. It is like clockwork. 33.5 weeks comes by and boom--night waking galore...crying...fussing...refusing to eat....not wanting to be set down. All of it.

Thus, Leapster Til was born. When she is going through a leap, and acting the part (see above) Nate and I say things like: "Oh yeah, this is classic Leapster Til."

I am still working on how to tell daycare about this side of Matilda. I haven't said anythign to them yet because I am pretty sure they will all think I am crazy. But it is no coincidence that when Tillie is leaping..she has some rougher days at daycare--and so do her caregivers.

And the beautiful thing about it is that it takes the guesswork out, or for me the anxiety.
If she is night-waking during a leap it doesn't bother me. I don't immediately assume she is never going to sleep again (which is what I would think prior to learning about this). And I know it is for a defined period of time. And as a bonus, even though the 'leap' lasts for 4 weeks it's not a 4 weeks leapster shit show. It's 'bursts' of leaping.

And just as quickly as it comes on, the leap ends.
And our smiley, happy, good sleeper of a daughter returns.

(insert cute photo of content, chubby baby parts)

And perhaps my favorite part of "the wonder weeks" is seeing what new skills she is working on that are causing her all of this 'stress'. And from leap to leap you can see these specific skills that they are working on emergine (also amazingly like clockwork).

Ever since this discovery, I have banished all parental reading materials. I get my BabyCenter update once a week, and I check in on The Wonder Weeks every so often so I can prepare myself for the baby that is "Leapster Til". And that is all I need.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Rock The Cradle

Sunday was our FIRST EVER (!) Hanson Family Secret Date.
Nate and I have been anxiously awaiting this moment since the time that Matilda was still Baby H.

We have really been missing our own Secret Dates, and getting out of the house to do cool stuff.
Enter Rock The Cradle. An event put on by the local hipster radio station (Nate's favorite of course).
Completely free. Spanning pretty much all day.

It's a parents dream event.
If the kids hate it...no problem. You just leave.
If the kids sleep way longer than expected...no problem you just get there later.

Tillie didn't know what to focus on first. She was very intrigued by all of the kids and adults to look at.

She had her first offical concert at this event: "Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapels". Thought it was a good homage to our dear friend Lucy the Cat.

I have to admit that about 5% of my brain was always occupied with the mother's guilt of bringing her out to an event like this with all the winter germs flying around. But at some point she will probably get whatever she would have gotten there at daycare, so we may as well have fun doing it right?

We learned some good 'event-with-baby' lessons along the way.
Like if you are only going to be there for an hour, don't schelp the jam packed diaper bag.

Best part of the day was how AMAZING Matilda thought it was the everyone knew how to clap--not just her and her parents.

I personally like this photo..mostly because of the little kid photo-bombing it. :)

So, the first Family SDN is done. Nate told me Matilda has to plan the next one, so I'm guessing that means we won't have another one until about 5 years from now...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Translation Tuesday: Downtown

Downtown: The place where most people go to enjoy fine-dining, theatre, shows, and general merriment in public.

Downtown in the Hanson Household: Where the adults retreat to after a long hard days work, or once the baby is in bed. Not to be confused with the above definition, as downtown refers to the cozy comforts of the basement.

Long gone are our days of going 'downtown' unless of course it is for a special occasion, or has been planned oodles and oodles of days in advance. No, now we go 'downtown' which involves grabbing every device you may possibly want for entertainment, your dinner plate, bottle of water and walk down one flight of stairs to the relaxation station.

This could be why nothing ever seems to get done in my house. Too much time spent 'downtown.' But once that baby is sleeping there is only so much a person can do. So we retreat. Watch TV. Cruise the internet. Blog (your welcome). Craft when I'm feeling inspired. Read Magazines. Chat. Etc.

You know 'downtown' sort of stuff.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Saint Valentine

This year, Saint Valentine came in the form of my cousin, Emily.

Her boyfriend was in town visiting her and she graciously offered to watch Til-Meister so that Nate and I could go out for Valentines.

We hemmed and hawed for weeks on what we would do. The first rule was: We are NOT going to go to dinner. Why? Restaurants are crappy on Valentine's night. Pre-fixe menues. Crowded. Crappy service. And its generic. We wanted to do something 'different'.

BUT, at the same time we wanted to make sure whatever we did there was no way that Matilda could do it with us. Another good reason to not go out to eat. Technically, we could do this with Matilda--it just has to happen at like 4:30PM.

We talked about going to Spin and Yoga at The Firm.
Talked about going to the Ivy to work out and then sit in their hot tub.
We even explored going to Rollergarden. Seriously.

All in the quest to do something different.

The minutes ticked closer and closer to the big night. And still no plan.

We were putting all of this pressure on the night. That it had to be so mind-blowingly awesome that it was paralyzing to plan.

So what did we end doing?

We went out to eat.

Yup. Classic, right? AND, I couldn't help myself but to run and get a bunch of things picked up at Target.

But it was great. We got time out, together and we managed to not just talked about Matilda the whole night.

And we knew she was in good hands.

Although Matilda was not so sure about Emily's boyfriend, Joe. And she was afraid to show her...errr...discomfort...at the strange man in her bedroom.

"Hmmmm....maybe if I just peek around Emily this guy will be gone"

"Nope. He is still there. I shall give him the Matilda stare-down to see if I can scare him away"

"That didn't work either. Umm...Mama, can you do something about this?

It was so great to have a night away, but we were very happy to see our little Valentine the next day.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Rip Van Winkle


Something you never realize is SO important, until you can't just do it whenever you want, for however long you want.

We did some hard time early on as it relates to extreme sleep deprivation but have since had a nice change of events (for now) where Matilda is a good little sleeper at night.

Here is where I am very confused...I am going to bed earlier than I used to and getting up later than I used to, but am still WAY MORE TIRED. How is this possible.

Pre-Matilda, I would stay up until 11/11:30 and get my butt out of bed to work out at about 5:45. Why is it that I am getting more zzz's, but feel like I could fall asleep in the middle of the day every day?

Nate's theory is that our subconscious is not letting us sleep as deeply because we are always just a little bit...listening for Matilda. My theory is that we are still just building back up from the first 4 months..

In the meantime, Nate and I continue to try to go to bed earlier and earlier. Eventually, we may just be going to bed with Matilda at 6:15....

Thursday, February 16, 2012

34 Weeks

The 8 Month birthday is quickly approaching, but I couldn't help myself to indulge in some memory-catching .

The nicknames continue to pile up for Matilda.

Til Til
Chunka-Chunka Burning Love 
(Okay, I just made that one up but seriously this girls cheeks and thighs are so darn pinchable)


While we may not call her Munchie quite as often, the reason for the name in the first place is still dominant.
One of my favorite Matilda faces right now is when she is sucking her two little fingers, but find something you are doing or saying amusing and gives you a big smile--with her fingers still firmly planted in that mouth.

It's so fun to watch her explore new toys. And to play with new people. 
Banging. Stacking. And....putting things in the mouth.
All favorite past-times.

And the poor thing has inherited her Mama's digestive system. We have pretty much ceased feeding all rice, apples, and bananas and are pushing prunes. Yum. I think this photo sums it up...

Nate is still in class 2 nights a week so he treasures all of the time he can get snuggling with Til. She has a special smile that seems to come out just for him. Not sure if this is her way of trying to make him feel guilty or because she knows she is going to own him some day.... :)

Matilda did roll from back to tummy (once!) this past week. She just has no interest in moving around. She is content to sit and play with toys that are around her and hasn't found a need to explore yet.

And Nate and I are just fine with that. Less baby-proofing that needs to be done!

Nate and I know we need to get going on introducing her to new foods. She is NOT a fan of most fruit, except for pears. She will eat an entire pear if you let her...Clearly from the rolls behind her knee consumption of food is not a concern!

Oh, how we love this little girl.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Full House

Another weekend that went by way to fast.
They never seem to be long and lazy any more.
We headed back to Viroqua for a weekend of fun with the family, and it was SUCH a great time because the entire Keaty crew was there. Including Nick!

and Matilda sure did like Nick. Gave up smiles pretty quick for him!

And then there is this guy....

He is getting so old. And it makes ME feel old to say 'remember when Finn....'
He has such a sweet spirit, and boy does he sure love playing dream race on the Wii (my triceps were sore for two days after playing with him).....

Mom tried with all her might to convert Leo, but he still remains a HUGE Grandpa's boy.

Literally you cannot even mention the "G" word around Leo or he immediately starts asking for Grandpa and wants to see the boat. I can just picture 8 years from now...Leo and Gramps sitting in a tree stand.

Matilda loved watching her cousins.  It was the first weekend together that i felt like she really paid attention and interacted with them beyond just staring.

Finn continued to be Grandma's big helper in the kitchen and threw together some delicious pancakes for the whole family. :)

And the family grew larger this weekend as the Keaty's adopted a new french bulldog.

Meet Frankie. 

She is very cute.

We were so spoiled to have Grandma with us for almost a full week and then go to visit over teh weekend. The house feels very quiet now. But it's good she went back so she could take care of Dad....

.....since he got the flu that we all just had......


Monday, February 13, 2012

The Real Sufferer...

Nate pointed out to me that the real person that has suffered throughout the bout of flu in our house is the blog. In fact, it HAS been a while since we delivered a quality post that wasn't about what was going OUT of us instead of going ON with us.

This is something I hope to rectify soon with some great photos from our weekend at home, some recent amazing recipes we have tried, and just more general merriment than the moan and groan (literally) of the flu.

In the meantime, here is a pic of Tillie to tide you over:

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Flu Strikes Again

Yes. We are once again sick with the flu in the Hanson house. This time, I was the unfortunate one to be taken down. Matilda still seems to have been lucky enough to avoid it, and I hope it stays that way.

We had a FABULOUS weekend with Grandma visiting. We got to do all sorts of fun things like go to brunch, Nate and I got a spin class in, we did lots of shopping, lots of playing with Til. And then Tuesday came.

I went off to work. Mom stayed with Tillie.
I came home from work.
We left to go to a nice dinner and to the Lion King (which was such a great show).
Came home.

3AM the stomach rumbles start. You know how you know you are getting sick, but you are in denial. That was me. Until the throwing up started.

In parallel to this happening, Matilda had her worst night of sleep in a LONG time. So when she woke up and was super cranky, I could just envision a day of miserable baby at daycare. I asked my Mom is she would consider staying an extra day so that we could keep Matilda at home. She said yes.

So I went back to bed, and Grandma and Matilda started playing.

Fast forward about an hour when my MOM starts getting sick. So here we are both sick with the flu.

Nate ended up coming home from work to take care of Matilda. Classic shit show. In many cases of the word.

It didn't end the way it should have, but it was still a great visit. We always love having visitors, especially Grandma!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The "Other" Ekern Girls

This past weekend was a fabulous weekend (minus the whole Nate being deathly ill part).

BOTH of the 'other' Ekern girls were in town. We have so enjoyed having Emily in Minneapolis and getting to see her a few times each week. Matilda definitely enjoys her too!

Meghan came up to visit, so we had lots of fun things planned.

The girls did dinner with Tillie at our house one night. Emily is getting quite skilled at feeding the little gremlin.

We also headed to east to St. Paul to try to partake in some of teh Winter Carnival festivities. There was a 'beer dabbler' that was going on but apparently it was so cool it sold out.

So we just walked around, looked at the ice sculptures, and took in the cold January air.
The ice sculptures were a little intense (think man shackled to the ground trying to break free), and I happend to say that I thought they were a little serious, and was expecting more like unicorns and penguins.

We turned the corner and here is what we saw:

Yup, Unicorns.

Matilda was happy about that.

We headed to Punch for dinner, WITH Matilda, and thus fulfilling a 7 months dream that Nate has had.
Where the whole fam goes and enjoys dinner together.

Sure, we at at 4:45. Like senior citizens.
But we did it.

We dominated the pizza. Tillie dominated some squash.

And we capped off the evening o' fun with a massive game of Killer Bunnies.
Emily and I formed a stellar alliance, but to no avail.

Meghan still killed it, and walked away the victor.

The next morning, while Nate was perishing in the basement, we got to go to a favorite brunch spot, get a Target run in and have some more general merriment with Tillie.

Come back soon, Meghan! I need you to pick out paint colors for my kitchen!!