Saturday, December 31, 2011

That's What Solana Said - December

Solana came into the room while Dave was watching Sports Center or something. As she sat down she saw Tim Tebow sitting on the bench with his elbows on his knees and facing the ground. When I saw him I thought, "Huh. He kind of looks like Dave from that angle." When Solana saw him she said, "Oh, he's handsome!" Then she quickly looked over to Dave and said, "But not as handsome as you, Daddy." Good catch :-)

I took Solana out to run some errands after dark this weekend. The moon was out and we were wondering whether or not it was full. Solana said, "You know, Mommy, the sun is way hotter than the moon. Because the sun is like a big ball of gassy fire and the moon's not exactly cheese....but it's sort of like cheese. Well, I don't know exactly why they say it's cheese...."

That's What Chloe Said - December

Chloe has taken to answering her own questions.
"More hnack? Ok! More snack."
"Up pease. Ok! Up pease."
"Boots on? Ok! Boots on."
I think maybe we don't tell her "no" enough...

CoeWe = Chloe (Whew!)

Current Favorite Book = The Going To Bed Book by Sandra Boynton

First Ever Favorite TV Show = Dora The Explorer
"More Dora? Ok! More Dora." We can't even walk through the living room without her asking for it...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Leg Warmers

Regarding the leg warmers Chloe is wearing in the previous post, those things are AWESOME!!! I loved them when Chloe was crawling because they protected her knees and stayed in place. I loved them in the Fall when it was just a little too cool for shorts. Now I love them in the Winter! I put them on under her pants and they make a cozy extra layer of warmth when we head out into the freezing cold. Then when we come home we strip off the pants and they're perfect for hanging out in our 68degree house. And Solana's even taken a liking to them. She wears them to school with short sleeved T-Shirts as arm warmers. LOVE THOSE THINGS!

Chloe's Shoes

Her new thing. She's totally obsessed with wearing our shoes. None of these pictures are staged. I just kept the camera handy for a couple of days...

Solana's rain boot. The other one still seems to be missing...

Solana's glitter shoes.

Mommy's black boots.

Solana's tennis shoes.

Mommy's running shoes.

Daddy's boots. She just made her way through the gate, stepping over the rail at the bottom, when I took this picture.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Frosty The Snowman

Solana and I went on a date to see Frosty at the local Towne Hall Theatre. This is our third trip to the theater and we really like it. Our date started with dinner at Panera Bread. We both had tomato soup and a sandwich. Solana was so excited. If it's possible to walk with your pinky toes up she was doing it. I suggested she pick a table. She picked one close to the fire so we could be warm. She was acting proper but it seemed shy. Her demure smile, tucked chin, and quiet politeness made me feel like I was dining with someone else's child. I'm not used to leading the conversation with Solana. It usually flows (from her) so effortlessly. But it was adorable.

After dinner we walked to the theater for an interesting rendition of Frosty. These productions have primarily kid casts and are usually fairly cheesy. The little ones go crazy over them, though, so we parents endure and enjoy our kid's happiness more than anything. This one was actually pretty good, though. I found myself chuckling on more than a few occasions. After the show we went downstairs for the required autograph session.
She made sure to get autographs from every single cast member. One of them even autographed her program twice! We almost closed the place but I finally coerced her out of there.

On the way back upstairs she ran into the theater and wanted a picture in front of the stage. Just a couple of crew members were in there breaking down. I clicked the picture and immediately heard "poof" and the stage lights went off. Whew! Good timing.

We headed out and Solana skipped to the van. Right as we got there she ran up a ramp (away from the van) and then leapt off the ramp and into my arms - giggling the whole time. It was one of those moments that could have been choreographed for a movie. I was pretty happy.

Solana said, "Mommy, do you wish you were a kid right now?"
"Nope. I'm actually really enjoying being a Mommy right now."


I left Chloe in the living room for a few minutes while I got dressed. She was supposed to be watching her new favorite show, Dora. I guess it got boring.

Solana was so easy. She NEVER climbed on furniture. I'm still amazed at how much Chloe loves to climb. Go figure. The one born with bones so brittle that she had three rib fractures from being gently handled in the NICU. The one with chronic lung disease.
The one who can't figure out how to scoop a bite of food into her mouth. The one with two cataracts, strabismus, and nystagmus. THAT'S the one who races through the house squealing and playing soccer and THAT'S the one who scales furniture. Ay ay ay! (I secretly love it!)


I always check on the girls before I go to bed. Over the past year I've found Solana in many interesting positions. There was a good two months where Dave had to pick her up and put her back in bed at least twice a week. She'd either rolled off of created a pallet to sleep on the floor.

I call this one "Legs."

I call this one "Ears"

Last night might be her most interesting yet. I call this one "Cocoon." She was literally hanging from her own little cocoon. Thank goodness the wooden rails under the top bunk were strong enough to hold her weight. Can you see her weight on the right side of the cocoon? Her feet are pressed into the comforter and facing the camera.

Here's a side view. That dark spot inside the comforter is her hair.

A better shot of her inside her cocoon. It wasn't easy getting her out and I wasn't thrilled about the added chore when I was ready to go to bed. But I was impressed with her ingenuity and persistence. She'd been wanting to create a cocoon for quite a while...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My New Job!

I haven't been blogging much lately. That's because I've been working! That's right. Working. Fortunately, I started my new career from home and can choose exactly when and how much I work. What am I doing? I'm selling Pampered Chef. I've been in love with/obsessed with Pampered Chef for years. Anyway, we were thinking it would be nice to have a little bit of extra money around but we didn't want for me to go back to work, send Chloe to daycare, or have another person responsible for her contacts. I was inspired by my good friend, Kim, who just started selling Thirty-One and I thought, "I could do this with Pampered Chef and it would be so cool!" I love it!

Anyway, I signed up some time around November 14th and had my grand opening on the 18th. I've been a whirlwind of activity since then. The company gives incredible incentives for new consultants to start quickly so I did a lot right away. I'm doing my 7th cooking show tomorrow and my January calendar's already booked. Plus, I have one show in February!

Starting in January I'm only doing one show per week. A show requires that I leave the house around 5:45 and get home around 9pm. We'll all have dinner together and then I leave. Dave can handle one evening of bedtime responsibilities but I can't ask any more of him. He's been really great in the past month. I did three shows last week and two this week. Yikes!

In the spirit of sharing (not trying to push my business on my blog readers) here's my new website that I just set up. I'm pretty excited about it. I even posted some of the recipes that I demonstrated at my shows. The Santa Hat Brownies are just about the cutest things ever and the brie recipes are easy and divine! Click on "news, recipes and more" and then "Cooking Show Recipes."

Wish me luck!


I make our calendar every year on Snapfish. Every month is full of pictures from that month the year before. It's a bit of an undertaking because I have to basically go through a year's worth of pictures, pick out the best ones, and then load them onto Snapfish. But it's sooo worth it. We love looking back and seeing how the girls have changed or remembering all the cool stuff we did every time we flip the month.

When going through our pictures for our 2012 calendar I realized that I never did a hiking entry for this year. We LOVE hiking! Well, at least I do. And the others either like it or pretend really well to make me happy.

This particular park is called Sugar Creek Metro park and is a 4 minute drive from our house. I also love bringing the dogs out here to jog but it's easier to just go around the neighborhood so I don't make it out here too often.

The first time we came out this year was mid-August. It's so beautiful in Ohio in the Summer. Everything is green green green! I told Dave that the jogging stroller wouldn't work on the trails so we packed Chloe in the hiking backpack. I began to whistle and look around when we passed a family pushing a mall-walking stroller down the trail. Oops.

Dave is threatening to climb the tree with Chloe on his back.
Solana proudly exclaims, "I did it all by myself! I really did Mommy! Daddy hardly touched me at all!" Sometimes I wonder if she really believes the stuff she tells me or if she just thinks I'm stupid. ;-)

The next trip was early November. It was a little cooler.

Chloe climbed this rock all by herself. She was proud. I'll write about her climbing feats in another entry. This rock currently pales in comparison...
We packed a little snack of fresh-from-the-oven warm and buttered Provencal Fisherman's Bread (herbes de Provence, saffron water, garlic, and fennel bulb) and apple slices. And this was shortly after Halloween so we had some chocolate for dessert. Yum.

Our little model. She composed and requested many pictures of herself during this hike.

It's gotten cold and nasty out. I don't think we'll make it to Sugarcreek again until Spring. I'll just have to look longingly at these in the meantime.

Music Enrichment Concert

Solana's special music class had their holiday concert last night. I was surprised at how small the group was but it was also nice that it was such an intimate setting. I could actually single out Solana's voice during some parts. They sang about 7 songs - almost none of them were familiar to me. But Ms. Johnson said that's the idea of the special enrichment group - to give them the opportunity to try new and different things that they don't get to do during their regular music class.

They did great. First graders are soooo cute! They were really into it. Bopping to the music. Concentrating really hard. Smiling enthusiastically at the end of every piece. And every time the teacher introduced one of the funny songs (Reindeer Shouldn't Waltz, Don't Eat A Poinsettia, etc.) They would giggle and and look at each other knowingly and with excitement.

I'm very proud of Solana for being selected into this group. There are 11 first grade classes and only 15 children participated in the concert. There may have been some children absent but I can't imagine many missed it. This concert was a big deal to them.
We were all dressed up and that doesn't happen too often...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Potty Training? Are we Ready?

For the past few weeks I've been sitting a naked Chloe on Solana's old Dora potty before her bath. No expectations or hopes. I just wanted her to get used to sitting on a chair with a hole in it. Actually, we had to work on the whole sitting thing because she likes to sit in chairs by first stepping into them and then turning around and sitting. That doesn't work so well on the potty. (Her VS says it's a vision thing.) Eventually, she got it. Watching her turn around and sit down was pretty cool! After the excitement of sitting wore off we started to sing a potty song to keep her on there longer.

To the tune of Mary Had A Little Lamb:
Chloe is a potty girl. Potty girl. Potty girl.
Chloe is a potty girl. She goes potty, too! Wooo!

She pats her hands on her legs during the song and then throws her hands up in the air for the "Woo!" She loves it and it makes sitting on the potty fun. I had no plan for how long we'd do this. In fact, I couldn't find the little pot that goes inside her Dora Potty so she was sitting on a potty with no pot! If she ever did pee it would go straight through to the floor. But I wasn't really worried. Surely we'd find the pot before anything happened.

Today Dave and I were having lunch and Chloe, having already eaten, was running around the room playing and coming over every once in a while for a bite of my sandwich. All the sudden, she came over to Dave, said "poopoo", put her hands down onto the step of her high chair (at hip level), and made the face. We all know the face (face turns slightly red, eyes get glossy, lips tense) and what it means. "Did she just tell you 'poopoo' before doing that?" I was shocked and thought, "maybe we need to start thinking about potty training. Oh well. Missed opportunity. Maybe another time." When she came over to me I was surprised to discover an empty diaper. She acted like she was about to try again and I asked her if she wanted to go poopoo on the potty. She raced over to the bathroom with me. I took down her pants, removed her diaper, and she sat. About 10 seconds later she stood up and I saw a little present sitting on the floor under her potty!!! Are you kidding me? Her FIRST success in the potty was #2?

Dave immediately ran to Target (I think he just didn't want me to drag him into the bathroom to look) and came home with a new potty. As he assembled the potty Chloe was already trying to sit on it. I left with Monty for a jog. An hour or so later I returned and Dave told me to go check out where he put her potty in the bathroom. I looked and saw a little puddle of pee in it. No. Way. "Did she do that?" Dave: "Well, I didn't!"

I'm not sure how to proceed with this. I guess we'll start to put her on the potty more often during the day. She kept me prisoner for about 10 minutes tonight, insisting that I sit on my potty while she sat on hers. But nothing happened. I don't think I'm ready to actually start potty training her but I don't want to miss a good opportunity. I guess we'll just sit her on it more often and see what happens.... Or maybe I'll just put it off until I get through this JUMBO box of size 3 diapers I just opened. Pull ups would probably make this easier...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Disability Cessation

We received a Notice Of Disability Cessation. Apparently, the Social Security Administration no longer considers Chloe to be disabled. We're not surprised after the way she showed off for their Speech Therapist.

Sure she is and will always be vision impaired. She still can't/won't eat most solid fruits or vegetables. She still can't jump or do many things a typical kid her age can do. But we're proud of her for all the things she can do. She's amazing and we celebrate everything around here.

No longer "disabled?" I guess we can kiss that $30 a month goodbye. Yippee!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Decorating the Christmas Tree

The girls and I started decorating the Christmas tree on Friday before Dave got home from work. I flipped on the TV to the Christmas music station and we began.

Chloe ran to the TV, stood in front of it, and started her toddler dance. You know the one. The one where they sort of bend their knees and stick their bottom out over and over to the beat. She was thrilled. She squealed, grinned, giggled, spun around in circles, and danced.

Meanwhile, I was untangling those little paperclip-ey hooks and Solana began digging through the box of ornaments. Every time she pulled one out she'd say something like, "Oh I remember this one!" "Mommy, do you remember this one I made for you and Daddy? Wasn't it your favorite?" "Oooooh. I loooove this one. It was from when..." She just went on and on and had something to reminisce or say about every one she pulled out. It was so sweet.

When Dave got home he joined in on the action. And of course he lifted Solana to the top to put the star on. It was such a happy tree decorating moment. I loved it so much and I'm glad the girls, did, too.

Chloe vs. Cola

Ok. I've been putting off this entry for a long time because I thought it might be crude to some people but it's too funny of a story for me to not document.

Chloe recently learned our word for girl private parts. This is the word that all the Hispanic people I know in Texas use. I have no idea if all Spanish-speaking cultures use this word of if it's just Texans. It's "cola." Cola is also the Spanish word for "tail" and is pronounced using Spanish pronunciation. It rhymes with "ROLL-Ah."

We used it around our house a lot during potty training: "First wipe your cola. Then your bottom." "Mommy, my cola hurts. I think I have a diaper rash." We used it during the the talk about sexual abuse: "Remember, there are certain parts of your body that nobody is ever allowed to touch. Like your cola and your butt." We use it during diaper changes: "Chloe, move your hands. Don't touch your cola while I'm trying to change your diaper." It was during this last instance that Chloe learned this most interesting word. I didn't mean to teach it to her but I shouldn't be surprised because this is where I tend to teach her names for her body parts. (Plus, quizzing her on body parts is a great distraction during diaper changes so that she's not flopping around like a fish. "Chloe, touch your nose. Good. Touch your elbow. Yes! That's right. Now touch your chin." She loves it and it works like a charm!) Anyway, all the sudden she would happily and proudly point and announce, "COLA!" with a big smile on her face, every time I removed her diaper. Of course I'd giggle so she continued.

When Chloe first started saying her name she pronounced it "Kholey." It was cute. But some time after she learned her new word her name changed from "Kholey" to "Cola." It was like someone flipped a switch and she was literally unable to say her name any other way.

"Chloe, say 'Chlo-e' ."

"No. Say Chloooowww-eeeey."

"Say Chlo"

"Say EEE"

"Say Chloe"


When walking into a room to find Chloe I often sing this song. It's to the same tune that we use for "Where is Thumpkin."
Where is Chloe? Where is Chloe?
There she is! There she is!
I-I see-ee Chloe. I-I see-ee Chloe.
Yes I do. Yes I do.
Chloe loved to sing that song, too, but her version sounded a little different.
Where id Cola? Where id Cola?
Yeah do do! Yeah do do!
I-I dee-dee Cola. I-I dee-dee Cola.
Yeah do do. Yeah do do.
It is possible to be exasperated and giggling at the same time.

This went on for a good month and a half. I complained/laughed about it with my sister and she said, "Well, at least there aren't many Hispanic people in Ohio." Ha! I think she's just about back to "Kholey." I must admit that I'm relieved. But I definitely don't want to forget her little stint as Cola. It's just too hilarious.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

That's What Solana Said - November

Solana hurt her hand during recess. She hurt her fingernail and pulled it back a little or something. She told the tale pretty dramatically. "It was like totally horrifying!"

That's What Chloe Said - November

Current Favorite Book: Horns to Toes and In Between
Previous Favorites Include: Pat The Bunny, Moo Baa La La La

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Working on Eating

We've been working with Chloe on using a spoon and fork for months now. She's very interested in the idea of feeding herself but she just can't seem to get the dip-and-scoop motion to work for her. She'll take her spoon and tap it furiously into her food but just can't scoop any food onto it. Months. Every single day I put a spoon into her hand and we work on it. For three meals a day. It's becoming tiresome. But on the bright side, she can put the spoon in her mouth. She gets angry if I try to take the spoon away from her and sometimes she won't let me guide her hand to do the scoop so we sometimes use two spoons (or forks). I'll get the food onto one utensil and hand it to her. As she puts it into her mouth I'll sneak the other utensil from her other hand.

Chloe's Occupational Therapist made these nifty bent spoons and forks. They're supposed to help her get the food into her mouth easier by requiring less of a wrist bend to point it toward her mouth. Getting it into her mouth isn't the problem, though...
The bent spoons can only be used with one hand, and we're not sure whether Chloe is a righty or a lefty, so we have some of each. (Solana's a strong lefty so we're suspicious that Chloe will be, too. Well, I'm suspicious...Dave's pleased.) The bent spoons seem to make feeding time even more difficult and frustrating for Chloe, though, because she likes switching back and forth. They were briefly interesting but didn't help so we've given up on them.

All of this self-feeding business has really put a cramp in Chloe's food consumption. We spend so much time and energy trying to eat that it creates a bit of tension for her and she's acting out a bit. She'll refuse to eat unless certain conditions are met. And with her limited communication skills it takes a bit of work to figure out her conditions. The other day I couldn't figure out what she wanted. Do you want to hold this fork? Do you want to try and scoop? Can I just feed you? How about another spoon? Do you want a drink? She refused all my suggestions and began wailing and flailing at the table. I was at a loss. Then Solana offered to feed Chloe. I resigned to another seat and Solana moved over to the Mommy chair.

Chloe opened wide and happily took a bite. And another. And another. Little sister ate it up...literally.

In the meantime, Solana was taking bites to demonstrate proper eating technique for Chloe and finished her own food in record time.

Big sister asked me if I was jealous. "A little," I admitted. But I was also thrilled.

"Teeeez" (Cheese)

Today was the third time Solana took over the reigns. She wasn't quite as successful as the first couple of times but still did better than I.

It's nice to have a little helper around. I'm thankful for my Solana. I am hopeful for my Chloe.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Solana the First Grader

I met with Solana's first grade teacher last week for the Parent-Teacher conference. I don't have a sitter so I brought the girls. The teacher said it would be fine. She showed me some of Solana's work and asked Solana to get a book, bring it over, and read it to me. It was kind of funny. I didn't know what to say. She looked at me like I was supposed to be amazed and thrilled. But Solana regularly reads books from the library that are more difficult than that. "That was great, mija. Thank you." Then she explained to me that Solana can easily read books that the students should be able to read at the end of first grade. I wasn't terribly surprised. As much reading as we do together at home she definitely has lots of experience with books. Not to mention the fact that she's pretty brilliant, in general. The teacher really didn't have much to say. She didn't "gush" about Solana like I expected but I get the feeling she's just not the gushing type. She did say that Solana's doing great.

-I asked if she pays attention, follows instructions, gets along with the other students.
-Yes. Yes. Yes.

-Is there anything in particular we need to be working on at home?
-Just do what you're doing.

-I noticed that Solana doesn't form some of her letters correctly (pencil strokes aren't perfectly sequential or she starts the letter at the bottom, etc.) and sometimes writes numbers backwards...
-Yes, but that's normal. She'll get there. Working on that at home is fine.

It was weird to leave a meeting without an IFSP, recommendations for exercises or skill building, diagrams, special areas of concern, etc. Solana's so easy. Sometimes I forget how lucky we are to have her. And just look at that face! Don't you just want to pinch her cheeks and give her a big kiss right on her forehead?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Headband Hairstyle

This is how you keep a headband in place! Instructions here.

Soft Lenses a Bust

We put the soft lenses in on Friday. I had to check Chloe's eyes at least every 15 minutes because they wouldn't stay in place. And, by "check her eyes," I mean pry her eyes open to get a really good look because the soft lenses are really hard to see on her eyeball. Then stick my finger in her eyes to move the lenses back up from underneath her bottom eyelid (where they seemed determined to be.) Chloe is usually pretty good about eye drops, insertion, and removal of lenses. I don't usually get resistance. By the end of day one she was kicking and screaming. And I can't blame her. After the first hour Dave was ready to give up. "You can't keep this up. It's ridiculous. We just need to go back to the hard lenses." But I was determined. I had already called the Vision Center to complain and they asked me to keep with these lenses for at least 2 days. Checking them now wouldn't do any good because her eyes need to adjust to them.

By the end of day 1 her left lens popped out 4 times.
1. Found after a hands/knees search of the bedroom, hallway, living room, dining room.
2. I saw it pop out on its own as Chloe ate breakfast.
3. I found it in the dishwasher. Don't ask.
4. We went out for Solana's end of the year pizza party. I checked her eyes and gave her drops about a million times during the party and 10 minutes before we left. One was missing when we got home.

That was it. Forget it. We're going back to hard lenses. We're waiting right now for the backup pair to come back from getting cleaned...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Soft Lenses Begin Tomorrow

Fingers crossed! I've been feeling waffley about switching Chloe to soft lenses. If you recall, we were having a horrible time with Chloe's hard lenses popping out and I'd spent about 5 hours on my hands and knees searching for contacts the week prior to October 6th. We found a few but completely lost three. We met with the doctor and vision center on Oct 6th and decided to switch her from gas permeable (hard) lenses back to soft.

The vision center went to work finding a company that would give us free lenses until we found the correct fit for Chloe. But I decided to keep Chloe in her hard lenses until they were lost. No reason to just throw them away. After all, the purpose in switching is to avoid wasting money. So an entire 5 weeks pass and Chloe pops out a lens a total of 4 times. That's it. Four times in 5 weeks! And we found the missing lens in about 2-4 minutes each time (Solana was so proud because she found it twice.) Isn't that the way it always goes, though? As soon as you decided to make a change from something completely awful that awful thing becomes not so bad. I began to second guess myself. Was I being overly dramatic? Was I crying in front of Chloe's therapists because I don't have enough patience? No. That's just the way it goes.

Well, Chloe finally lost a contact today. Whew! I thought that was NEVER gonna happen. Funny story. It happened at Old Navy: Solana and I are walking around looking at the floor because we're sure we can find it. (Delusuional?) The manager asks us if we're finding everything ok. I'm embarrassed and start nodding my head but Solana is anxious to tell everyone in the store that her baby sister lost a contact. The next thing I know, half the Old Navy team is walking around with their heads down. We finally give up and the Manager, very sympathetic to my plight because she has two middle school boys in contacts, takes my number just in case. We pay and leave. Half an hour later I get a call from the manager. The introduces herself on the phone and I think, "NO WAY!!! She found it!" But no. "Is this Cyndi? Hi. You left your wallet on the counter when you paid." Doh! So it was a blessing that Chloe lost her contact in the store because otherwise I wouldn't have left my phone number with the manager?

ANYWAY. We'll put the soft lenses in tomorrow. Wish us luck! The insertion and removal of soft lenses is a totally different process than we're used to. We were really good at the hard lenses. Let's hope this transition is an easy one. And that the lenses STAY PUT!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Aloo Gobi - A Vegetable Miracle

Chloe still eats almost all her fruits and vegetables in puree form. There are very few exceptions:

Raisins, prunes, small apple cubes (she'll only eat a few at a sitting), sweet potato fries, ummmmm.....I think that's it. She'd probably eat other dried fruit, probably banana chips, too. But those always seem to have added sugar and I'm not interested in that.

I puree everything else: peas, carrots, berries, bananas, mango, peach, pear, asparagus, broccoli, onion, fennel, cabbage, corn, you name it. Note: Most of these are part of recipes that I cook. I don't just steam plain cabbage and puree it for her. I can usually get away with mashing any type of squash or potato. But, for the most part, Chloe is not in the least interested in eating pieces of fruit or vegetable. As soon as the first piece hits her mouth her tongue sticks out to block further entrance past her lips. I usually give it a shot and then head back to the kitchen to mix it up for her.

Tonight I put a bowl of Arti Sequiera's Aloo Gobi in front of her. This is an Indian version of Cauliflower and Potatoes cooked in a simple wet masala. We love it and I've made it several times. The potatoes and cauliflower are pretty soft after cooking. I expected to mash them with my fork and maybe add some yogurt to make it creamier for her but I usually at least try it whole before mashing/pureeing. (Maybe a mustard bowl wasn't the best choice for a picture.)

I stabbed a little piece of potato for Chloe to try and was just a little bit surprised that she ate it. She does eat sweet potato fries so I wasn't floored. But then I stabbed a little piece of cauliflower for her. She gobbled it up and went in for more! Now that was a surprise. Ok. Maybe she'll eat a couple of bites before she says 'no.' I let her go and she ended up eating the whole plate! I was so excited - doing big eyes at Dave and wiggling around in my seat. It may seem weird but this is SUCH A BIG DEAL! It wasn't the fact that she was eating Indian spices - I make Indian food about once a week. It was the fact that she ate a non-mushed or pureed bite of vegetable! She stabbed it with a fork, put it in her mouth, chewed, and swallowed...repeatedly!

Seemingly little things are big things around here :-)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bedtime Lovies

When Solana was a toddler she had several comfort items that she insisted on having in order to go to bed:
1. Purple Blankie
2. Tigger (one of those tiny blankies with the doll stuck on the end)
3. Pooh (just like Tigger)
4. Pacifier (until she turned 2)
5. Puppy (a German Shepherd stuffed animal)

She spent the night at my sister, Leticia's, house one night when we went to Mexico and left her in in Texas. Leticia was laughing because every time she got Solana into bed Solana would remember another must-have and send Leticia away for it. She must have spent a good 15 minutes running around the house gathering Solana's lovies one at a time. :-)

Solana still requires "Purple." Her (purple is a 'she') nickname has shortened over the years but her importance has not. The other lovies have fallen by the wayside. Every once in a while she'll choose some random stuffed animal or doll that she absolutely must have in order to go to sleep. Last night it was a little otter. But then Chloe expressed interest in the otter today so Solana gave it to her. Tonight it was only Purple.

Chloe recently chose her lovies. They are:
1. Gumum (glow worm - his face lights up and he plays music when she pushes his belly)
2. Turtle (the shell is covered in star-shaped holes and, when turned on, it shoots star-shaped lights all over her bed and ceiling
3. Pacifier. I'm actually not sure if she needs this. I still give it to her but I kind of suspect I could take it away. She has three. Two are little blue horses and one is a duck. Each with an aqua-colored hospital style pacifier stuck to its mouth.

Every time I lay her down she says, "Gumum?" "Turtle?" I decided to take a picture of her with her lovies tonight. She said, "Teese" when I pulled the camera out.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Princess Braids 2 Ways

One of my old stand-by hairdos for Solana is something we call "Princess Braids." She's worn this hairdo for every school picture since she was 3, I think. It's pretty simple and I can do it quickly enough that we can do it before school. Part the hair down the center and start french braids on either side but only use the hair on the top of her head. Finish both sides with traditional braids to the back and secure together with a band.

For my variation I parted her hair first into a side-part. Then, on the side with more hair, I parted again from the original part down to the ear. This created a strip of hair about an inch wide along her hair line. I pulled all the rest of the hair back into a pony to keep it out of the way and proceeded to french braid from the part down to her ear. Once I got down to her ear I just braided the rest in a traditional braid and secured it with an elastic. Then I went to the other side and basically did the same thing. The main part is on this side of her head so I wouldn't have as much hair as the other side if I did it exactly the same. I "freestyled" without the additional part (to the ear) and pulled more hair into the braid so that it ended up being about the same thickness as the first braid. I tied both braids together in the back and voila! Side-part Princess Braid.

I looked at a lot of pictures from the "hairstyles for girls blog" but didn't see anything exactly like this. The link above is something like what I did but she ends it differently. I was definitely inspired by their blog and wouldn't have come up with this without having learned from them.