October 28, 2005

Happy Days

I'm almost afraid to write this for fear of jinxing myself but lately, Kevin and I have been in an idyllic stage with the girls. You see, they both have figured out how to go to sleep at night. A little thing, I know, but oh so important.

We have an established bedtime routine. Bath at 6:30 for both girls. Kulia is nursed and put to sleep around 7pm. She's such a trooper now that I can lay her down awake or asleep and know she will settle herself in her own crib. Halleluya!

Leina, meanwhile, heads downstairs with Kevin where she is allowed one TV show while Kevin tackles the kitchen. This keeps her quiet during Kulia's nursing which works very well. After her show, Kevin plays quietly or reads to her until 8pm. At 8pm, I come downstairs to read the last two books then it's upstairs for tucking in no later than 8:15pm. Leina may talk quietly for a while but she always settles quickly into a nice long slumber.

And so, by 8:30, Kevin and I both are done for the day. With the kids anyway. We still have household duties and the dog to take care of but no longer do we hold our breath and watch the baby monitor. We don't tiptoe around the house or watch the TV on mute for fear of waking a child. No, our girls are night time sleep champs and it's so heavenly to be able to unwind knowing that our sweet babies are slumbering happily upstairs.

Of course, tonight they will probably wail for hours just to make me eat my words! But man, I sure love my great night sleepers.

Posted by Chrissie at 02:28 PM | Comments (0)

October 25, 2005

Slow Down!

Kulia is trying to crawl.

I watched her in her crib today as she pulled her legs up under her and then tried pushing up on her arms. I was flabbergasted and kept telling her "you're only four months old! You don't need to crawl yet!" But she doesn't listen to me and insists on practicing this new trick.

While we were in San Diego she mastered sitting, Yes, that's right. In four days she went from floppy baby to able to sit on her own. I thought that was amazing until she busted out with this whole crawling bit. I mean, come on kid. Give me a break! Can't you stay a baby for a little longer?!?!

I guess not. I'm sure that by this afternoon she's be fully mobile. With my luck I'll probably find her standing in her crib after her afternoon nap. Trying to crawl at four months. That's crazy I tell you! Crazy!

Posted by Chrissie at 02:14 PM | Comments (0)

Funny things Leina said on the airplane

As the plane was taking off and it was ‘rumbling’-
“Daddy, I think the airplane is hungry. Can we give it a lollypop?”

Later on in the flight:
“Daddy, if you are here [sitting next to me], who’s driving the airplane?”

As the plane was descending to San Diego:
KM: “Look Leina, the plane’s getting closer to the ground and we’re going to land soon.”

LM: “Ohhh, is the plane getting tired Daddy?”

While she was getting tired on the flight home:
LM: “Daddy, I want to go home.”

KM: “We are going home, first the plane has to land on the ground, then we get the car, then we drive home.”

LM: “No Daddy, I want to go home now. Put the plane on the ground now.”

Posted by Kevin at 12:09 PM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2005

We Made It!

Yes, we have survived our first ever family plane trip. Oddly enough, the hardest part of the trip was the drive to the airport. Fighting rush hour traffic at 8am was awful. Of course there was a fender bender and everyone just had to slow down to look. Poor Kulia just lost it after about 20 min and screamed bloody murder the whole way up. By the time we arrived, she was choking mad with red swollen eyes. And we hadn't ever boarded the plane yet! Thankfully, she was tired so she sacked out on the plane.

The only odd part was during the landing. I popped her on the boob to nurse her on the way down to help with her ears. We were nursing happily when the man across the aisle leaned over to talk. He started telling me about his kids and recommending books on behavior and tricks for soothing infants. All the while, Kulia keeps popping off the boob to try and figure out where this strange voice is coming from. I'm trying to politely listen to him while keeping my breast as covered as possible and wrestle Kulia back on. I finally gave up and just sat Kulia on my lap and let her gnaw on my fingers. She did great and happily drooled away during landing.

So far, all the cousins are sharing well and getting along. And can I just say how wonderful it is to have all these adults around? We have four kids and six adults so it's pretty easy to keep the bases covered. I actually sat down and ate a leisurely lunch today instead of scarfing my meal at a truely insane rate. Heavenly. Truely heavenly.

Even better, Leina and Sammy took a nap in the same room together. It took them about an hour to fall asleep but they did! We listened in via the baby moniter to them chattering away to eachother. We think at one point they started playing hide and seek together. I just wish we could get a video camera in there to see them in action. They are such buds.

So we are loving being here. I just hope time slows down 'cause it seems to be flying by!

Posted by Chrissie at 12:57 PM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2005

Ready Or Not

We are packing our bags and getting ready for a trip to San Diego to help cousin Sammy celebrate his 2nd birthday. Yes, we are taking both girls on our first ever family vacation.

So last night, after a truely gruelling day, Kevin and I looked at eachother and wondered if Auntie Suzy and Uncle Dan know what they are in for. It's been two years since they had an infant in the house and I'm thinking baby amnesia may have set in. I hope they are ready for Kulia and all the chaos she brings with her. But hey, ready or not, here we come!

Of course, no matter what, it's going to be crazy. We are going to overflow their poor little house. Sammy and Leina are going to have to share a room. We'll see how that works. And poor little Kulia gets to sleep in a closet! But no matter how cramped and crazy the weekend will be, I know it's going to be incredibly fun because we are family. We are blessed with having spouses who like and respect eachother, in-laws that are kind, and cousins that are sweet. So bring on the chaos! I've got my camera at the ready and all I need are some sweet little nephews to make my day!

Look out Walls clan 'cause the McLaughlins are coming to town!

Posted by Chrissie at 01:52 PM | Comments (1)

October 17, 2005

Everyday I'm Getting Bigger

Baby Jaguar sings this song on one Go Diego Go episode and everytime I hear it I think of Kulia. She's just growing by leaps and bounds.

Right now she's sitting behind me in her little swing, cooing. If I turn around and look at her, she'll catch my eye and burst out in this huge smile and laugh while kicking her hands and feet as if to say, "Look how cute I am! You want to come pick me up and kiss my fat little toes!" And oh, how I do!

I find myself just marveling over Kulia. I guess I was in too much of a baby shock with Leina to truely appreciate her because I'm blown away by baby sister. Her sweetness, her little personality, her unending rolls of sweet baby fat, and her changes! Today, she's practicing rolling her tongue so it sounds as if a Spanish senorita has invaded her. She loves to try new sounds with her tongue in and out of her mouth and oh my goodness it's too wonderful for words. I thought I would be jaded with Kulia and have a "been there done that" attitude but I think I actually appreciate her babiness more than I did with her older sister. I know how quickly this passes and how to truely savor every sweet slobbery moment. Because every day I lose a little more of my baby as she grows into herself. I can't wait to see who she will be but I'm also aware that this, right now, is something special too.

Posted by Chrissie at 03:26 PM | Comments (0)

October 11, 2005


Leina does not stop talking.

Yesterday, Kevin looked at me and said, "let's keep track of the amount of time during the day when she is silent." Ha. That would be a whole two minutes. Maybe. This kid just talks and talks and talks and talks. I put her to bed talking and she wakes up talking. Most of her chatter involves her imaginary adventures with various animal friends. She has a serious Diego complex and I have often found her singing "Leiiiiiina, go Leina go" while pretending to swing from a vine. (For those of you who are uninitiated with Go Diego Go, count yourselves lucky.)

Kulia appears to be following in her sisters footsteps. Her chatter is also continuos from happy cooing to tired yelping and everything in-between. Her silences are longer, however, as she is often chowing down on her poor thumbs. However, between my two girls, our house is never silent. I actually tried turning on a CD the other day and the clashing noise of Leina calling to a baby chinchilla that needed rescuing, Kulia's joyful cooing, and the poor Indigo Girls trying to compete gave me a pounding headache. So the only music in our house is child-made and it is sweet.

I've been feeling under the weather lately with a nagging cold. Kevin decided to give me a break and take the girls for a walk. As they headed out the door, I curled up on the sofa for a quick snooze. Leina saw me lying and immediately yelled "wait Daddy! I have to tuck in mommy with green!" Then she proceeded to tuck me in with her blanket, rub my back, and sing me Twinkle Twinkle as my lullaby to help me sleep.

Yes, I immediately grabbed her and took a big bite out of her sweet sweet cheek. She's quite simply too delicious for words.

Posted by Chrissie at 03:21 PM | Comments (1)

October 07, 2005


I went to a movie last night and it was wonderful. After little sister went down, I left Kevin to put Leina to bed and headed for the theatre. I've always liked seeing movies alone. During high school, I worked in the local theatre and one perk was that I could see all the movies I wanted for free. So that summer, I pretty much saw everthing that hit the cinema. I found I enjoyed sitting alone, just me, my popcorn and some Hollywood entertainment. When I was pregnant with Leina, that last month was unbearable hot. Since the little cottage didn't have air conditioning, I found myself once again watching movies solo. I think I saw everything possible during July just to say cool. And now, with the kids, I am once again a solo movie watcher. I suppose someday we'll hire a sitter and see movies together again but I don't mind a little alone time. It's actually quite wonderful.

So I went to see Serenity and it was great! A lot darker and scarier than I imagined but an all around good movie. Kev saw it earlier in the week so we have been discussing our reactions and thoughts. It's definately on Kev's DVD wishlist. That's for sure!

But today, I'm back home with the girls. Leina is asleep and Kulia is propped up here on my lap drooling onto the keyboard. I'm surprised the thing hasn't shorted out yet. This kid is a drool machine of unheard of proportions. I pretty much have to change her shirt and diaper at the same time 'cause they each get soaked at the same rate. How she manages this without becoming severly dehydrated is a mystery to me.

And have you ever seen a small, bald, fat kid trying to gum a keyboard? It's hilarious. Trust me. Sop [ease forgive any typos you see. It's very hard to type while being slowly gummed to death but the world's cutest infant. Who has just decided to blow out a diaper on my lap.


Looks like I'm going to need a new outfit too!

Posted by Chrissie at 02:22 PM | Comments (2)

October 05, 2005

Ah Ha!

For the last week or so my lower back has been killing me. By the end of the day, I can barely bend over from the ache. I thought it was from lifting all 30 lbs of Leina so I started cutting back. I'd have Leina walk up the stairs herself or have Kevin carry her if he was home. But even these changes did little to relieve my back pain.

So it was an eye opener when I took Kulia in for her 4 month appointment. I knew my kid was a chunker but she clocked in at 17 lbs 3 oz. That's more than half a Leina! She's in the 97th percentile for weight and length. I'm thinking the source of my strain may just be this chubba chubba and not her sister. Of course, this makes life a bit more difficult because I cannot expect Kulia to get herself upstair.... yet. At the rate this kid is going I expect her be crawling by Christmas. She's simply amazing.

And sweet. Oh so wonderfully sweet. Before Leina, I wondered what it would be like to be a stay at home mom. Would I be happy? Fullfilled? Would I feel cut off from the "real" world? Would I feel like I was losing out on precious professional advancement? I've been so relieved to find that I love staying here with my girls. That I feel rewarded and challenged. That I feel like I'm doing something important with my time. Sure, I'll probably never get my career totally back on track but somehow, all that sort of melts away when I look at Kulia's sweet grin or play hide and seek with Leina. (Who, by the way is hilarious. When you ask "where's Leina?" she'll call out from where ever she's hiding "I'm over here mommmy!")

I am surprised at how grateful I am for this time. I realize how lucky I am that we can afford for me to stay home. The fact that we have the option is a luxury in and of itself. I know Kevin works hard to bring home the bucks but I also know that he appreciates how hard I work to keep these girls happy and healthy and thriving. And I don't believe there is any other "job" that I could do right now that would be as important to me. So when people ask me "when are you going back to work?", I just smile and respond that I'm currently working at the best job ever and I have to plans to quit any time soon.

Of course, having a live-in poopy diaper changer would be a nice perk but hey, that's what my union is for, right?

Posted by Chrissie at 02:20 PM | Comments (0)