Our awesome weather continued into early October in 2013. You can see that Willow has bare legs in some of these photos of fall leaf fun. I got so many great photos I decided to make a post with only leaf photos.
Here is a quick snapshot of what we did in the month of September. We had beautiful weather all month!
We gave Seda food for the first time. I think the first thing we tried was avocados. As I write this in September, she's tried avocados, sweet potatoes, rice cereal, applesauce, pears, and a few commercial baby foods. She doesn't eat a whole lot, but does like to play with her spoon while we eat dinner. She sits at the table with us in the high chair.
We did our last camping trip of the summer in early September. It was for my work picnic. We had the picnic at the Lake Linden campground pavillion, and then afterwards, a bunch of people, including us, stayed the night. It wasn't exactly a wilderness experience - we were the only tenters in what is basically an RV park - but it was fun anyway. Willow had a great time going around and around the little paved road on her bike with my coworker Dave's three boys. Here's Josh and Seda sitting around the campfire.
Teeth! Seda got her first two (the bottom front) teeth in September. The teething hasn't bothered her much, but she does drool a lot. Here she is with one of her favorite teething toys. I haven't had much luck trying to get a photo of the teeth, but they're darn cute.
One Sunday, we took a hike to our secret apple tree with my coworker Mariah and her husband Jerod and baby daughter Mayona. Here are me and Willow up in the tree knocking down apples. The tree caused some strife because Willow wanted to climb it the entire time, but we didn't really trust her to do it by herself quite yet, and we also wanted to chill on the grass and eat our picnic and drink beer rather than be constantly up the tree with her. The girl loves to climb...next year we have got to get her a monkeybar or something for our yard.
Here is Seda with her new friend, Mayona. Mayona was born August 22, so I guess in this photo she is about a month old or maybe even less - I can't remember the exact date we did this hike.
One night, Willow and I had a girls night out and went to the Calumet Theatre for "Seussical the Musical". It was a good show and Willow stayed entertained for the most part. I didn't get any pictures of us at the show, but here we are on the way out the door. We both wore our black tights and red ponchos. :)
One more thing, for the record: Seda had her 6-month appointment in September. She was 14 pounds, 4 ounces, which is the 11th percentile, and 25 inches long, which is the 9th percentile. Looking back at Willow's stats, it seems like Willow was about the same! So maybe Willow's small size wasn't so much related to her prematurity but more that we just have small children. :)
August was a fun month. I think. It's November now and I don't remember a whole lot. Hey, just trying to be honest. At least I am making an effort, however lame it may be, to document this year!
We didn't do a ton of hikes this summer. But this one that we did - it was up in Keweenaw County and ended up at the mouth of the Gratiot River, on the other side of the river from where you can get to by driving and where we have camped before - was a new one we hadn't done before. It wasn't one from the book so we couldn't check any off that new-decade resolution we made, but it was a good one anyway. I read about it in a letter to the editor someone had written to the paper. I think it was because they were trying to get people to donate to a fund to buy this land to preserve it or something. I am not sure if they succeeded or not; we hiked a ways down a sandy trail only to find it was blocked off and had "no trespassing" signs up. We hiked back a ways and took the other fork, and that one was OK too. The trail was longer than we expected. Willow got whiny and we had to carry her too. It ended, as I said, at the mouth of the Gratiot River, where it meets the Lake. We hung out on the beach awhile and Willow went swimming. We had to sort of rush to get back though, because we wanted to go to the Co-op member picnic at McLain's. All in all, it was a trail we would do again. We'll just be more prepared next time with a lunch, swimming stuff, and more time! Here we are on the trail.
Here's a random shot I thought turned out nice. Seda in the Vinka. We took similar ones of Willow when she was a baby.
A big event of every August is the county fair. This year, by chance we met up with Scott, Sharon, Aspen, Garrison and Jari there, which was fun. Willow did all the rides as enthusiastically as usual, and a bonus was that this year, she was tall enough to ride the dragon "roller coaster". But the highlight was riding a real pony. She is still very into horses, ponies, unicorns, pegasuses (pegasi?)...anything equine. We bought her a cowgirl hat at the fair too. This isn't the best photo, but it was the best one we got of her on the pony.
We made a quick weekend trip to Duluth in August too. Josh's cousin had a wedding reception there. Mark, Amy and Ava happened to be camping in Bayfield that same weekend, at the same campground we went to in June. So we met up with them and camped there Friday night on the way to the reception, which was Saturday. It was a blast, and went too quickly. I wish we could've camped with them for a week. Willow and Ava had a great time playing on the beach, and even went out on Mark and Amy's boat with Josh and Mark. Here is an especially cute picture of the two of them. Ava is exactly 2 years younger than Willow.
This is Seda's first time on a playground swing. I love this photo. Needless to say, she loved it!
Looking back at the photos from July, it doesn't seem like we did a lot. It was a very cold July. Here is a photo of the four of us from the 4th of July. Seda and I walked in the Aspirus float in the Lake Linden parade while Willow and Josh watched. Then we went out to lunch at the DT and out to the Gay parade, then to my parents' camp. We didn't see any fireworks this year.
July and August were very busy months for me at work, unfortunately. Trying to get caught up after being gone for 3 months is not fun. Seda was still little enough that I could bring her to the office with me on the weekends and she'd stay entertained and also contained! She'd sleep a lot too. Here she is in her bumbo chair at work.
Seda is a thumb-sucker. It started in July. She is still doing it, usually when she is tired. It's pretty darn cute. It's nice she can do that to help herself fall asleep after nursing. We have not used a paci at all with her. We tried a couple times when she was newborn, but she wasn't too into it so we didn't push it.
Here's Seda taking an outdoor bath on one of the few hot days in July.
And here's one of the sisters in their summer clothes.
Oh, one more shot...of Daddy reading his girls the funnies.
Okay, for awhile there I was thinking I was done blogging. I went back to work on June 3, and found that having two kids and us both working full time leaves precious little time for...well, much of anything, and blogging kept getting pushed off. It's amazing how busy we are. But then the other day I was looking back at some blog posts from when Willow was the same age Seda is now - comparing them, and seeing all the things Willow did at 6 months old. It reinforced how important this blog is to us. It is our family history. We don't keep scrapbooks or anything - this is it. So if we wanted to have any recollection of Seda's babyhood, I better find the time. So here goes.
I picked 5 photos from each month and was going to make one big post, but to keep it realistic I'm going to do a couple months at a time.
In May, I was still on maternity leave. I got into sort of a groove; it was nice in a way. But in another way I was glad to go back to work. I think most moms can relate to that. I think if I was a SAHM I could get into a routine and learn to love it.
Willow had a lot of play dates, with my friends wanting to come over and meet Seda. Here she is being silly with Maisa.
One warm spring day, Willow and I walked around our neighborhood and picked up trash. Willow really got into it. We have a large amount of trash in our 'hood every spring; probably more than the average neighborhood. Yes, we live in the student ghetto.
Here is one of Seda's first smiles that was captured on camera. She still had a bit of baby acne here - she really had it bad for awhile!
We went to Hastings for Josh's cousin Katie's wedding. Willow was the flower girl, along with her second cousin Natalie. Pretty cute. They did a great job.
Here's an especially nice photo I got of Seda with Great-Grandma Lois, also known as GG.
June's big event was our first camping trip as a foursome. We met up with Sharon, Andy and Fritz and some of Andy's college friends in Bayfield, WI. We camped two nights, and went to a Trampled by Turtles concert at the Big Top Chautauqua. Going to a concert there had been on my to-do list for a long time, so we were really excited, if not a little nervous about attending with two small children. Luckily, both the camping and the concert went better than expected. The girls did great camping, despite the fact that the weather was chilly and a little wet - it got into the low 40s at night. Here's Seda, all bundled up in our tent (we had to use two tents - ours and a borrowed one, since we no longer fit into our 3-man Eureka). I was a little worried, and when I got up at night to nurse her, her little hands were pretty cold. But she didn't seem to mind, and was happy the whole trip.
Here's all of us at the campsite. We shared a big one with all the other families, all of which had little kids.
Here we are in front of the Big Top. We really enjoyed the concert. Seda was indifferent, and Willow did good for a couple hours. She started to get squirrelly towards the end so we left a little early, but the concert was almost over. We made it longer than any of the other kid-families we went with. I think we felt pretty accomplished!
Seda and Fritz.
And one more picture, from the home front. Willow biking down on the bike path, with
one of our area's landmarks in the background.
Yeah - I made it through a blog post! This post was made possible by my parents, who watched the girls for a couple hours on rainy Saturday so I could do it. Thank you!!
When we brought Willow home from the hospital, we were basically house-bound for awhile, afraid to take her anywhere for fear of germs. It's been very different with Seda! Now that those first hazy, sleep-deprived and sore (me) weeks are over (mostly), we've actually been getting out and about! I feel like if we didn't, I might go insane, what with the eternal winter and all. Josh is still off work (did I even mention that he was off work?); he got a few days in working for my dad doing some plumbing in their new house, and worked for Chad a few days too. Those days, I was on my own with the girls, and it was hard, I won't lie. But mostly, we've all been home (Willow has Little Huskies on Mondays and Tuesdays).
After a gymnastics session failed miserably a few months ago (Willow didn't want to participate), I decided to try again with a dance class. This time, she loves it! It's pretty funny; I spend most of the class laughing. The little girls are so cute. This photo's not the greatest, but you get the idea. Willow's the one in red.
A little more about Willow, since we've been talking a lot about Seda...I also realized I didn't do a "Willow update" on her birthday post like I used to.
How to describe Willow at age 4...hm. Willow is definitely a little girl now, not a toddler by any means. She has just recently started to really test boundaries, putting us to the test, discipline-wise. I read 3 or 4 discipline books when she was about 2, but I don't think I really needed any of that info until now. A 4-year-old's naughtiness is much more sophisticated than a 2-year-old's. Josh and I confer a lot to try to make sure we are being consistent and back each other up, and also that we are not being too harsh. "Gentle discipline" is a term you hear a lot in attachment parenting circles, but I am not sure what it really means. I guess we're figuring out our own methods as we go. If one of us is getting too angry, we try to "tag team" and relieve that person. We've learned not to criticize the other's methods in front of Willow. It is a constant challenge but I think we are improving all the time.
That said, she is also the sweetest girl, and is really funny. She really does love her baby sister, and makes up lullabies to sing to Seda when she is crying.
Willow loves to draw and color, and is pretty darn good at it. She is learning letter sounds at the moment and can write many letters. She still loves to sing, and makes up her own songs. Often they are about rainbows, horses, mountains, clouds, things like that. She does like to dress up; her favorite outfit is this party dress my mom got for her. She's wear it every day if she could.
Some of Willow's favorite foods are spaghetti, cereal, yogurt, carrots...and chocolate. She is not so attached to Elmo, Da or any other specific animal anymore but she loves her little pillow. She loves being read to - we read many stories every day. That is my quick summary of Willow. :)
We've been taking advantage of the endless winter and still trying to get outside. We brought Willow skiing again the other day, and Seda came along too.
She made a snowman with Daddy.
Here is a snowman her class at school made (with a little help from the teacher of course). Willow actually has her back to the camera (she's the one in the light green jacket), but I love this picture. Can you believe it was taken on April 8? (Actually, today is April 23 and we have just as much snow as we did then, if not more).
Here's Josh, Willow and Scout hiking at Maasto Hiito. I was behind them with Seda.
My preemie mom club got together at Andi's house one day. It was the first time we got together with the kids, since Mary joined. So it was the first time we all met her son Grey. He's the one on the left. What a cutie. These kids were all 25 or 26-weekers. We had a ton of fun by the way. After a while, we put the kids in front of a movie and took a hot tub!
Willow and I (and Seda) have been frequenting story time at the library, which is just a short walk away.
Two weekends ago, we all got out for live music - twice! First we went and saw our friend Lucas play at a bar in Houghton. Yes, we brought two kids to the bar. It was cool though. It was really early, and very chill (the photo makes it seem like no one was there, but there were actually some people there).
The next day we went to the "dam jam", which was a fundraiser concert for the Keweenaw Land Trust. There were many different musicians playing. It was fun, although got pretty crowded at the end.
We went out to Scott and Sharon's house to meet Jari. He's the one who was not visible in the "baby in, baby out" photo from my last post, Now, he is here!
So that's what we've been up to, along with a lot of hanging out around the house. Seda is 6 weeks old now. She is doing a lot of smiling lately, and just in the past 2 days we've heard some cooing. Fun stuff. Nursing is going well. Too well, really. Every time I feed her, the boob that I'm not using leaks like crazy, which makes it a little harder to nurse in public, though I do it. At home, I use a bottle to collect the milk from the other boob. I'm accumulating a nice freezer stash this way (though I have no plans to end up with two chest freezers full this time!).
We've also been trying to get her started on bottles. Josh has been giving her one a day. We've had mixed results.
Well, I have to go and pick up Willow...gotta run! Here are a few more photos to leave you with.
This blog follows the adventures of Lindsay, Josh and Willow Jenson. It started in 2008 as my pregnancy blog, then when our daughter was born 14 weeks early in February 2009 it morphed into a medical blog as she spent her first 105 days in the NICU. Now, thankfully, it's basically a run-of-the-mill new parent blog.