Tuesday, November 30, 2010

walking in the rain

Last week was not very cold, but it rained a lot. We decided to get out of the house and take a little walk. Here is Molly on our street.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

rolled over

Penny just rolled over from her back to her belly! She has rolled from her belly to her back twice, but this was the first time she's done it from back to belly--usually her arms stop her. Still no teeth.

She and Molly are absolutely best friends. Here is the cutest picture you will see all year.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

4 month checkup

17 lb 9 oz (95-100 percentile)
25.75" (95%)

penny's 4 month checkup, age 4.5 months

Thursday, August 19, 2010

2 month checkup

I took Penelope to the doctor last week for her two month checkup. She was about 2 and a half months old. She weighed 13 pounds, 11 ounces (95-100%), and she was 23 inches long (95%). Her birth weight was 7 pounds, 6 ounces, and her length was 21 inches. Bill, Penny, and I are going out of town today for a wedding, and we are leaving Molly with my mom and Fred. I will write about my birth soon, but today I am in a hurry. I just wanted to make sure I recorded her stats for posterity. :)

Oh, and we have been potty training Molly. She has pooped three times, and she pees a lot. Yesterday she peed five times on the pot!

I will post pictures soon, too.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

32 weeks pregnant!

I cannot believe it has been two months since I last posted. And after I vowed to post more often! Well, I will probably have a little more time now because as of Thursday, I am officially on bed rest for (I suppose) the duration of this pregnancy. I guess if I make it to 37 weeks, I can probably start doing whatever I want to again, though. Starting on Monday, my contractions, which I have been having since I was about four months pregnant, started getting more frequent. They got much worse by Tuesday night. I work on Wednesdays, and Bill tried to talk me out of driving all the way down to San Jose, but I insisted. I don't know if it was a mistake or not, but, regardless, I started having LOTS of contractions during my classes. I called the doctor, and I was told I should come on in to Labor and Delivery at the hospital. I still had to drive about 50 or 60 miles back to Oakland to pick up Bill, who dropped me off at the hospital and took Molly to a friend's house. It was a little bit of an anxious drive, but I made it safely. I got to the hospital, and they checked my cervix (no dilation) and put me on two monitors for a couple of hours. One monitor was to watch the baby's heart rate, and the other was to monitor my contractions. The contractions were few enough while I was lying down that they discharged me. (They do really slow down while I am off my feet, which is certainly a good argument in favor of bed rest.) We had a doctor's appointment the next day, and she told me it would be best if I were on bed rest. She put me on bed rest when I was pregnant with Molly, but I absolutely did not listen to her; this time, I'm listening. And Bill is being very strict and making me lie back down when I get up. It's not the easiest thing to lie on the couch with an active toddler, but I'm doing my best, and Bill is doing a great job taking care of everything. Luckily, he got his dissertation approved last week by his committee so he is free most of the time, excepting a few last minute things he is doing while Molly naps and after she goes to bed at night. I, on the other hand, am reading a lot and just in general trying to rest.

MZ is doing really well lately, eating well, sleeping pretty well, and just growing up. She is losing a lot of baby fat so she is looking thinner and more like a little girl than like a baby. I am really curious to see how she'll be as a big sister. She is very sweet with little kids, but she also really likes to have Bill and me to herself. I think (i.e., really, really hope) that the adjustment will not be too bad for her. I know it will be difficult for Bill and me with losing sleep, but we'll manage. :)

We have had visitors two straight weekends, and Bill's mom was here just a few weeks ago. My mom was here for about a week last week, and Molly's godparents were here this weekend. My sister comes on Friday. All the visits have been great and very, very helpful (thanks, everyone!!). In four weeks (when I will be 36 weeks along) Bill graduates, and we will have lots of family in town then, too. I'm not sure how it will be with the bed rest situation, but I'm sure we can, all together, manage to get me to see my beloved husband cross that stage and get hooded as a DOCTOR!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Berkeley kids

Originally uploaded by billstron
When Bill and I first moved to the Bay Area, my younger sister, Kelly, came to visit. We went to the Berkeley marina and saw all the kids and adults doing the sword fighting with the cardboard fighting equipment, including body armor, etc. She told me that I definitely should not have kids while we were living here because my kids would turn out weird. This picture is Kelly's prediction come true. Just look at Molly here: at Picante, our favorite taqueria, holding two cups up to her ears as though they were seashells. (That Bill and I showed her this is beside the point.) The picture is all the better, though, because not only is there one crazy kid in this picture (mine), but there are actually TWO! See the kid in the background? He was wearing his muscle-y Batman Halloween costume. His older brother, who is across the table and not in the picture, was wearing a crown. It was his older brother! It's totally fine with me, actually. Now that I have a kid I can see why people let them wear whatever they want out in public. I would without exaggeration say that we see a kid in a Halloween costume at least once a month. Just last week, for instance, we saw a kid in an all-out astronaut costume, complete with the space helmet. Seriously! He was walking down the street holding his mom's hand. Yes, he had to stand a little further from her than I would imagine he normally would because of the bulbous helmet. Bill was so taken aback, and got such a thorough kick out of it, that he got locked up. We were in the car, leaving my OB appointment, and we saw the kid while we were at a stop sign. Bill just locked up; he couldn't remember which way to turn or if we should just go straight.

We've had wonderful weather this week, and today we went to the Little Farm in Berkeley. Check out the pictures on flickr if you get a chance.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Molly is starting to learn the names of many of her body parts. Last night, I was asking her where her nose, cheek, knees, feet, arms, hands, ears, etc. were. I was impressed that she knew everything that I asked her. She can't say many parts (with one notable exception of "eb-bow!" for elbow, and it is always said with an exclamation point at the end). She also knows butt--guess who taught her that one.

Today she was getting in her stroller, and she hit her funny bone. She said, "eb-bow...EB-BOW!" and grabbed her little elbow. It was really hilarious, and I laughed a lot even as she was obviously in pain. We all know it just hurts a second when you do that, though, so I don't feel too bad about laughing. It was funny, too, that it was a bit of a delayed reaction for the pain to really occur to her. It's very impressive to me that she was able to identify what hurt, without even thinking about it. This seems like a turning point to me--maybe she will really begin being able to express what hurts when she injures herself or is ill. It will hopefully decrease her frustration with communication.

Monday, February 8, 2010

at the beach

Originally uploaded by billstron
Last weekend we visited our good friends in Santa Barbara. We got to go to the beach at sunset. It was a bit chilly, but the cold did not seem to bother Molly. She had a great time gathering rocks (and giving them to me and her auntie Abacus) and playing in the sand.

This week Molly has been cutting molars. It has not been fun for any of us. It really must hurt when those things cut through. I remember when I was having trouble with my wisdom teeth, which I eventually got removed, and I would imagine that she is experiencing similar pain. She has been waking at 4:30 or 5:00 most of this week, and she has not really wanted to go back to sleep, although she will dose somewhat on Bill's or my chest if we get up with her and sit in the nursing chair or lie on the couch. Today she actually slept until after 8, which she has never in the history of Molly Zelda ever done. This was not unassisted, however. Bill got up with her and they fell back asleep together on the couch.

Today I noticed she felt really warm, and she had a fever of almost 101. I think it must be a common misconception that teething can produce a fever, but our pediatrician says this is not true. So, if Molly has a fever, I know it is something else. I called the doctor and took her in. She has been really snotty (which I believe does have to do with teething), but in general in her usual pleasant mood, with the exception of being a little more fussy with the new molars. Our wonderful doctor (WE LOVE HER!!) told me she is definitely coming down with something, but she did not think it needed to be treated with anything more than baby Tylenol and her two inhalers. The worry is that she might have RSV. Recall from posts from a year or so ago that this is the scary, nasty respiratory virus that Molly was getting preventative shots for last winter because she was a preemie. RSV can develop into pneumonia so we need to regularly give her the albuterol inhaler, which we have here, but we only give her when she needs it. The doc told us to give it to her every four hours as long as her cough persists, even a little bit.

Today she was in a surprisingly good mood for having a fever. She just seemed a little more lethargic and needed more cuddles than usual. I know we are really spoiled here with the weather, but when it rains it is hard! Molly likes to be active and to interact with other kids. When she is sick we can't go to the park or to mommas group, and when it rains we can't even really take walks. Okay, I'm finished complaining about the weather because yesterday, while our families where in freezing wet weather, we spent hours outside without jackets, drinking milkshakes.

The past few weeks have also been a bit challenging. I know that it is Molly's age and development and sore gums, and she will soon outgrow this phase. She has just been really fussy lately. Well, she has been more fussy than usual, which honestly is not so terribly fussy, really. Bill and I have had a lot of discussions about this, though, and how to deal with our frustrations. We have come to the conclusion that she is a tiny little person who needs our love and compassion because this is not such an easy time for her, either. She cannot speak very well so she does not know exactly how to express herself. The main conclusion we reached was that, yes, she will be clingy and fussy, but she will outgrow this. We just need to be patient. Molly is a very spirited child. You hear this expression a lot, but to us, it means that Molly is very emotional. She is extremely outgoing, friendly, and affectionate, but she is also clingy and can throw fits if she does not get her way. We think a lot about how to distract her and re-direct her when she is doing something we do not want her to do, and we also try to encourage her independence. It will be really interesting to see how things go in four months when her little sister arrives (oh--we had our ultrasound last week, and we're having another girl!). There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that she will be sweet, affectionate, protective, and loving, but I am a little concerned about how she will do with sharing her parents. One of my very good friends who just had her second child, who was born when her older child was about 20 months old, told me that when her son turned two "something magical happened." He just seemed to suddenly be more independent. I am holding on to that, but I am also dreading that. I love that Molly is so reliant on me, but it can also be stifling. I often become very anxious about how I will handle Molly and a newborn, but I know that I am a good mom, and I will be fine. People deal with much more challenging situations than this--poverty, sickly children, having to juggle a heavy workload and family, etc.--and they do it. I know how lucky I am to only have to work part-time and have a wonderful, loving, devoted husband who adores his daughter(s), and I have a wonderful extended family. Sometimes I just need to remind myself that LIFE IS GREAT!!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Yin and Yang of MZ

Happy, laughing MZ.

MZ looking tough, with her hoodie and don't-mess-with-me face.

Molly recently discovered that she could put her hands in her pockets, so I thought I'd share a couple of pictures. She's really quite the fashionista, huh?

Friday, January 22, 2010

ready for anything

Originally uploaded by billstron
Here is MZ with her safety goggles and the mask from her nebulizer. She looks ready for some sort of attack, doesn't she? She really likes to put on both things, then take them off, then put them back on, then take them off. Get the picture?

She woke up today, for about the fourth or fifth straight day, between 5:00 and 5:30. I'm not sure what is going on. She was sleeping fine, and now she isn't. It could be the weather (which has been terrible and loud and a bit scary), which leads to no playing outside. I guess it could also be that her finger was hurting, but that seems unlikely to me. Her appetite has also decreased a bit over the past few days. This happens periodically--maybe it's the opposite of a growth spurt, maybe a growth plateau or something. Anyway, I hope she gets to sleeping more very soon.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

cut finger

Originally uploaded by billstron
Molly reached into the recycling bin and pulled out a can that I had just thrown in there. She was playing with it and cut her finger, all while I was turned around from her for about 20 seconds. There was blood everywhere! It bled for over an HOUR!!! She looks terrible. There are blood stains all over her shirt and on her hands. She fell asleep while I was putting pressure on it--it was about 45 minutes after her usual nap time--so, because I could not change her shirt, she now looks like she had a rough night at the bar, sleeping it off. Here is a picture of her passed out on the couch. Sweet little girl. See the blood all over her shirt?

She is a tough girl, though. Bill and I say she is way tougher than nails, even tougher than a hammer that pounds nails. What is there, then? An ax! She's tough as an ax. She did not cry, only whimpered twice. She whimpered again in her sleep when I painted on the liquid bandage, which I suppose stings a bit.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Originally uploaded by billstron
Here is Molly looking at my Statistics for Social Workers book! She went right to the shelf, pulled it off, sat on the floor, and started flipping through it.

Tonight at dinner Molly was so eager for her "bah" (bath) that she started pulling off her shirt and socks at the table, saying "bah! bah! bah! bah!" When she was finally in her favorite state (i.e., sans any clothes or diaper) she ran into the bathroom yelling "bah! bah! bah! bah!"

We have decided to start the potty training process. This weekend we bought a toddler toilet at Target (for some reason a used one from Craigslist just wasn't appealing to us), and we have begun letting her explore it with her clothes and diaper on, per Dr. Spock's instructions. She seems to be quite fond of her new piece of furniture. So far, her favorite position has been to pull the lid up and put both feet in the bucket part and try to stand up, thinking herself quite hilarious. Yesterday her chubby legs got wedged in there, which she also thought was hilarious.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Originally uploaded by billstron
Today and yesterday we have had pretty rainy weather so some nice comforting, warm Indian food sounded good. Molly and I picked Bill up from campus and went to House of Curries for lunch. Here are Bill and Molly outside the restaurant, which looks very Indian indeed, doesn't it? With that white front porch reminiscent of pre-Civil War Georgia? Anyway, the food was really good. Molly ate some naan and chicken tikka masala, and she drank almost my whole mango lassi.

Friday, January 15, 2010

new words, growth, etc.

Holy cow! It's been August since I posted. Needless to say, Molly has been keeping me extremely busy. We just got back from Louisville on Saturday. Molly was there since the Monday before Thanksgiving. Bill and I went at that time, too, but I came back to CA for three days, to teach my last class of the semester, and Bill needed to come back to work. We left her in Louisville with all the grandparents and Aunt Kelly for three days. It was hard, but we figured overall it would be easier than having her fly back across the country twice and adjust to the time change so much. It went pretty smoothly, but Molly was a bit confused about the whole thing. She was extremely clingy to me when I returned.That lasted about three weeks before she got back to her old self. It coincided with the time Bill returned to Louisville, three weeks after I returned.

It was a great, long visit, and we got to see lots of family and friends. Molly got completely spoiled, of course. While she was there, her vocabulary increased tremendously. Here are a sampling of her new words. If I left any out, please feel free to remind me.
"booda," which evolved to "maNANa" and eventually to "baNANa" = banana
"I luh luh" = I love you (just about the sweetest thing I've ever heard, by the way)
"ma-MA" = momma, of course
"pa-PA" = poppa, of course
"orsch" = orange
"muh" = milk or more
"appa" = apple
"puh" = pear
"uh" = up, as in pick me up
"duh" = down, as in get me down
"cat" = cat
"potato" = potato
"ebbo" = elbow

She also learned some new dance moves and how to play the harmonica, a gift from Bill for Christmas.

Molly's growth is fantastic. We went to the pediatrician when we got back from Louisville, and she is now a whopping 2'9" (or 33") and weighs 27 pounds, 10 ounces. She is in about the 75th percentile for height and weight, but her head, measuring in at 50 cm, is in about the 98th percentile. The pediatrician said she's not worried because maybe big heads run in our family???? I don't know. Bill CLAIMS his head is normal size. Maybe I have a big head. I don't know. Regardless, she is not concerned about the bulge atop Molly's shoulders.

In other big news, come June (fingers crossed on that one) Molly is going to be a big sister! As of today, I am 19 weeks pregnant. We go for our ultrasound in three weeks, and we will hopefully find out the sex of the baby. Bill thinks he is destined to have only girls. I have been pretty sure this whole pregnancy I am carrying a boy this time, but in the last few weeks I am not sure. Hopefully the mystery will be solved in a few weeks. Only one heartbeat has been detected so all the "joking" we have been hearing from our moms can be put to rest. Whew--that would be REALLY hard. I'm a little anxious about how I will juggle two of them, but I'm sure it will be fine. Also, Molly and I have been essentially attached at the hip for the last year and a half so it will be hard for both of us to create more space for another little person. I know that parents always say that your heart somehow creates room for more love. I feel already as though my heart is about to burst with love. I'm getting a little too sentimental now.

We have a bunch of pictures on Bill's flickr page (http://www.flickr.com/photos/billstron/) so you can see how big Molly is getting (2'9", remember).