Sunday, April 26, 2009


Lola took her first parent-given bath this week. I realized that she was 8 weeks old and she'd gotten a little smelly since it's gotten warmer. So I found the baby bathtub in the basement, cleaned it, filled it, and dumped Lola in it. She was rather disturbed by the bouyancy of her lower half, but other than that she was unfazed. I stripped her, washed her, dried her, and dressed her again, and Lola never frowned or cried. I call that a resounding success!


Mini graciously took Raina and Revathi to "A Fairy Tale Tea" starring Cinderella, Prince Charming, and Fairy Godmother. Raina got all dollied up in her Cinderella dress, made a jeweled crown, watched a play, and did everything Mini told her to do. She got a cookie reward, and she was quite proud of it. The best part: Raina assured me that she would follow Mini's directions without my having to prompt her. She's a great kid.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lola sleeps!

Yes, the first question all new parents get is "Is the baby sleeping?" which elicits groans from everyone around because, of course, the baby is NOT sleeping and it's just heartless to point it out. Or the new parent lies and exaggerates about how long the baby sleeps, like it's a measure of how good a parent s/he is.

So here's the truth with Lola:
Eric can now successfully place her in her crib, drowsy but awake, and walk away. She fusses a little and then goes to sleep. That's 8 p.m. She wakes up somewhere between 2:30 - 4 a.m., feeds, and is placed back in her crib. She fusses a little and goes back to sleep. She wakes up somewhere between 7 - 7:30 a.m. and is a happy, happy baby, ready to start her day. We do not rock her to sleep or anything. She just now associates the crib with sleeping.

I reported this to Vicky, our Parents as Teachers mentor, today and she was stunned. I'm sure she thought I was exaggerating. I'm not; Eric and I are just extremely lucky. Raina easily got on a sleep schedule like this when she was a baby; I cannot believe we struck gold with Lola too. Lola has a laidback, sweet temperament, just like Raina. If Lola grows up to be anywhere as easy a child to parent as Raina was/is, then it will be clear we were blessed by the parenting gods and we should pay homage to them daily.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Raina at the park

Laverne took Raina on an egg hunt and to a playground. This picture just radiates with joy.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Infinite Sadness

Ages ago, in 2002, Eric and Krystal moved into our lovely Sparrowwood Drive abode and marveled at our luck AND at our professionally landscaped lawn. (The previous owners had done a lot of work!) We moved in during late March and didn't yet have a lawn-mower, so the grass got quite tall very quickly. The Kearneys visited us that Easter and surprised us with a lawn mower. It was a fantastic gift, but it never got used that summer. You see, each time the grass got tall enough to mow, we'd come home from work and discover that someone had mown it for us. We thought maybe it was the neighbor, but, then again, who just randomly mows someone else's yard? But the process continued, and we never mowed the lawn nor figured out who was responsible, until we discovered the lawn service. Apparently a mowing service was just mowing our yard when it came to take care of two neighbors' lawns. Clearly the previous owners had used the lawn service, and the service just continued mowing ... even though we had never paid them and they had no idea who we were. We finally caught them in the act, told them to stop mowing the lawn, and then we started using our own Kearney mower. That was 2002.

Well, I'll be frank, mowing lawns is not much fun. We mowed the rest of the 2002 season, and continued through 2004. Then came 2005, the spring when Krystal was pregnant with Raina, and Krystal had NO desire to mow the lawn. Low and behold, the lawn service just randomly started mowing the lawn again. We should have been honest and told them to stop, but we chose the path of evil and did not. Instead, we celebrated our ill-gotten gains and we retreated to the basement each time the mowers came, lest we were caught. Each spring, Krystal and Eric crossed their fingers, hoping that the free service would return, and then they chuckled mightily when the sound of mowers descended upon our yard.

Then came 2009, the year that Krystal and Eric received a new neighbor and the lawn service actually checked its contract listings. Our house was not on the list, and so did not get mown. Alas, our free lawn service is officially at an end. They did give us a flyer, though, and encouraged us to join up with "Roger's Lawn Care." I feel somewhat guilty that we were cheating what was, clearly, a mom and pop operation, but maybe it will pay off for them. We are never pulling out our lawn mower again, and we plan on using Roger's Lawn Care indefinitely. I called today to set it up, but I'm sad that our free service is over. It always made for an excellent story.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Raina talks about momma cow, easter egg hunting, and her new bike

In the words of Raina: Momma cow is silly. She laughs at me. She always says silly things. She always moos at me. I am telling a silly story, its about how momma cow is silly.

The bunnies always wake me up. I got the bunnies from the easter egg hunt. Not from my school. From the park. I got the grand prize. I found it under one of my eggs.

When I came back from the easter egg hunt, I rode a bike. Then when it was time to go home, we brought the bike home. The bike came from the next house. We saw girls playing, they were throwing a ball.

Lola grows up

Lola has turned the corner. At 6 and a half weeks she mostly sleeps through the night, she smiles, she plays, and only gets fussy when she's sleepy, hungry or gassy. Even though she has baby acne, she is cute. Raina's been feeling left out because mommy spends a lot of time with Lola. So Krystal decided that reading books is a good thing to do while feeding the baby. She started out reading books that Raina chose, and then Raina chose "Ramona Forever" by Beverly Cleary. Raina was excited to have her very own chapter book.She knows adults read chapter books. Miss Stevie reads one every day. Right now we are page 76 and going strong.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dancing Babies

Eric enjoys making the baby dance. Here are Lola (one month old) and Raina (three months old) dancing. Enjoy the completely vacant expressions in their eyes!

More photos

Lola frequently smiles and laughs and plays and responds. Each day is better than the previous one. Additionally, she's migrating to a Whompton schedule: early to bed, and sleep a lot!
She also gives us this look fairly often. I interpret this one as "okay, I'm bored with this, but I'm putting up with it because I'm a good baby." She's developing passive aggressive expressions!
The Whomptons made their first official outing as a family. Lola was good, Raina was good, and it was nice to hang out with other adults. Of course, all we discussed was our kids ...
And we attempted a full fledged Whompton photo. This one is perfect, except for Revathi's hair in the corner. Oh well.
This one is cute too. Everyone is smiling except for Lola, she has an upside-down smile.

March visits

In March, both sets of grandparents came to visit, and the Whomptons traveled to Nashville and then on to Mentone to see Stephanie.

Mama Jo and Papa Bill brought Raina a really cool white board activity book and a handmade yellow gingham dress with special cows. Lola received a handmade white dress, which would be a perfect christening gown (if we did that sort of thing). It's lovely.
Here are some shots of Nature's Classroom. We don't have many; the camera's battery died. Papa Bill has some fantastic pictures, though; maybe he'll add them to the blog.

Notice that Raina has her arms playfully outstretched. She frequently does that when she walks, or stops, or talks ...

Krystal has been saying for weeks that Raina's head was bigger, and Eric mocked her, claiming that staring at tiny Lola was making her expectations different. This picture proves Krystal right: look, Raina just looks different here, like her bone structure is changing. (Eric finally agreed this week.)

And Lola ... I just love the ridiculous dinosaur hat and her coy expressions.
And we finally have something close to a Whompton photo. Unfortunately we're missing Samantha in the shot, but you can imagine her looking just as tired as the rest of us. And wearing a MBA sweatshirt too!

Friday, April 3, 2009


At some point in her development, Raina learned to negotiate. It is completely a consequence of how we interact with her. For instance, she may want cheese but we'll counter with a banana and, if she eats that, then she can have cheese. We used this process to get her to do what we wanted her to do: eat her green beans, pick up her toys, poop in the potty, etc. Unfortunately, she has learned that every interaction is a possible negotiation, and she is a willing initiator of proceedings. We may say "go put on your shoes," and she'll immediately counter with "I'm playing with these toys and THEN I'll put on my shoes." Our demands of "NOW, Raina!" don't speed up the process at all, unless she gets something as well. Okay, so it's not as disastrous as I make it out to be. It could be worse:

A friend of mine has a daughter who informed her preschool classmates, "if you don't get what you want, then you just need to scream louder!" My friend was quite mortified when her daughter's teacher shared the story. Thankfully, Raina's negotiations rarely involve screaming.