Friday, July 17, 2009

Happy Birthday, Happy Meal!

Apparently today is the Happy Meal's 30th birthday, and the morning news did a segment about how the Happy Meal has changed over the years. Raina watched the segment and ended it with this line: "That looks gross!" Eric and I grinned in pride. Success!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lola's First Movie

So Raina's first movie in the theatre was Kung Fu Panda, and she went last year (when she was three). It's clear that the older child has to pave the way for the younger, because Lola saw her first movie today (at 4.5 months). To be fair, Lola watched very little of Harry Potter 6, due to two feedings and a nap, but she did see approximately 5 minutes of movie and probably 15 minutes of trailers and teasers. She was great in the theatre, but I doubt she'll be a regular attendee :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Belly Blows

An Afternoon of Fun

On the move

Yesterday, I put Lola down on her baby gym playmat and went to brush my teeth. I returned and saw that Lola had rotated herself 180 degrees (which is quite common) and that she had traveled five-six feet away (which has not happened before). She was trying to roll herself BACK to her baby gym so she could play with her toys again, which makes me wonder if this was really her first time.

Let the baby-proofing begin!

Ceiling Fans

Raina asked for a fan in her room, and we agreed that it was a good idea. We acquired ceiling fans for both girls' rooms and Mr. Kearney was extraordinarily kind to install them for us. He's amazing. So the girls are cool when they sleep, which was the whole goal. But there's another benefit as well. Lola wakes up in the morning and spins herself around in her crib so she can watch the fan rotate. She happily occupies herself with the fan until someone finally realizes she's awake and retrieves her. Lola LOVES her ceiling fan entertainment!

Slow Starvation

It's official: I am the cause of Lola's stunted growth. Or, more accurately, my exercise routine coupled with my diet have created a situation in which I don't pass on many calories to Lola when she nurses. All the breastfeeding books I had read assured me that mothers always make the "perfect food for their babies" and that exercise is encouraged. According to Lola's doctor, though, my exercising for endurance means my breast milk doesn't provide enough sustenance for her. In hindsight, this -- not the temperature of our house -- must have been the cause of Raina's extreme drop in weight as well.

So we've made modifications and have a nice schedule of alternating breast and bottle that seems to work. I nurse Lola every four hours (instead of every two) so I can bulk up a caloric hit for her, and we give her 4-6 ounces of formula at the 2 hour mark after nursing.

Lola always has been a happy, smiley, and active baby, but she's been off the charts in exuberance since we've begun the new feeding routine. I'm so glad we figured out the problem, and that it was with me rather than with her. It's okay, I didn't plan a career as a wet nurse anyway.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Raina Entertains Lola

I heard Lola screams from upstairs. I investigated and discovered this ...

Summer Shots

Lola only has eyes for Raina and she LOVES when Raina plays with her. I believe Lola had started getting fussy and Raina came -- of her volition! -- to entertain the baby. Lola is teething AND she has a clear interest in real people food. She grabbed Eric's plate and shoved it in her mouth before we could stop her. Then it was too cute to stop :)

Raina has adopted grandparents: Gary and LaVerne. They welcomed the Whomptons for an Independence Day lunch, complete with Meteor Pilots background music.

Outdoor shots are so much better than indoor ones!
Lola and the playstation 2 -- hardly anything makes her happier. (I chose this picture because it displayed the least amount of drool!)
Lola is on the move. Each night she goes to sleep on her back, but we frequently find her on her belly in the morning. And rotated 180 degrees. And shifted three feet.
This kid beams.
I'm sad that this picture is blurry, but it's an action shot. Background: We'd push Lola over so she'd land face-down into a pillow. After each launch, she'd open her mouth widely like she was trying to eat the pillow.
And the YMCA dance -- it's a crowd pleaser!

Sleepy Girls

How Raina responds to the West Wing ...
And how Lola responds to milk ...

The Prolific Artist

Raina's class had an art show, and we captured some of the pieces here. Here are Raina with her two teachers, Ms. Stevie and Ms. Stacy. They rock!

Raina's Sistine Chapel / Michelangelo impersonation

The sculpture series. Raina's piece is the purple and yellow T (actually a tree) in the center.

Picasso and Cubism. Raina's piece is the top left corner.

The portaits. Kaden's rendering of Raina is matted in green; her rendering of Kaden is matted in brown. If you look closely, you can see pictures of the artists in action.

Watercolors, inspired by Monet

Raina was tremendously proud of her work, and we were astonished by her creativity.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Breast - Bottle Alliance, aka The All Lola Can Eat Buffet

Lola had her weigh-in this Thursday and she hit 11 pounds, 2 ounces. I was excited -- she gained three ounces in two weeks, which is a much better rate than she had before. Unfortunately, it is still substantially lower than she needs. So the pediatrician told us to bulk Lola up by increasing the frequency of feedings and adding formula at the end of each nursing session. And for two weeks of trying, we were convinced that Lola had no interest in the bottle because she refused to take it and would cry furiously each time we tried. After more research, though, we decided the issue may be with the Avent bottle itself, so off we went to Target to acquire three different bottles, in the hope that she would like one of them better. Lo and behold, the First Years "breastflow" model was the winner -- it's the one that most closely resembles a breast :)

Since that discovery, Lola happily nurses every two hours with a bottle to follow. During every two hours period, she nurses for forty minutes and then bottle-feeds for roughly forty more minutes. Yes, roughly eighty of every 120 minutes are spent eating. The Compton appetite is voracious! Lola feels heavier and looks bigger after a few days of formula -- here's hoping she outgrows the 0-3 month outfits by 5 months old!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day of Glory

Tuesday was a busy and exciting day. Samantha was in Owensboro (cleaning closets, escorting our mom to doctors appointments, hanging out with fam and friends) so we took dog duty. Eric walked Roxanne while I got Raina ready for her field trip, which meant making her a special lunch and wearing a special outfit. (We had ventured to the grocery store the previous day to obtain her special lunch items.) Additionally, Mr. Kearney (a.k.a. Dad) came in from Naperville to do manly house chores for Tina and he volunteered to do the same for us. He came and installed ceiling fans in both girls' rooms and did a magnificient job. We made a quick YMCA trip before taking Raina to piano lessons. And Lola cut her first tooth. We celebrated the day with Black Bean burgers, fresh tomato, squash, and watermelon.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Chomper #1 (and #2)

Lola has spent the last month furiously sucking on all body parts -- hers and others' -- and drooling copiously. The rewards are finally here! Last night, Lola woke up with a strange cry and this morning we noticed her first tooth broke through. Hooray!

The next morning saw another tooth. Lola is the proud owner of two chompers and she happily chomps on everything, including Eric's dinner plate last night.

This baby girl is eager to grow up.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day, Minus One

Saint Louis has a fantastic Independence Day festival each year: two-three days of concerts, dances, air shows, and fireworks featured at the Arch. This year's festival starred Counting Crows, one of Krystal's favorite bands, so the Whomptons trekked out to downtown last night to watch. Raina danced and sang and played with a glow necklace and loved the fireworks. Actually, when we told her that we were going to see fireworks and a band, she immediately started quoting Olivia Forms a Band -- wanting to know what type of band and if we were taking our watermelon and sandwiches. She thought it was hilarious we were seeing a rock band, not a fireworks band.

We also took Raina in the Arch -- underneath it, actually -- so she could see the Westward Expansion Museum. She delighted in the covered wagons and the "peaceful mission" coins but was terrified of the robotic, talking mannequins. In her own words: "they freaked me out!"

Lola also experienced her first concert. She slept through the opening band, woke up for the headliners, played and watched people for a bit, happily nursed, and then checked out the fireworks.

Raina's Art Show

Raina's class has been studying famous artists with the goal of creating inspired artwork. She studied Van Gogh, and then drew her own still life of flowers and a self-portrait; she learned of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and then got under a table to paint upside down; Monet for watercolors, Pollock for splatter painting, Seurat for pointillism, Picasso for cubism. She made a sculpture of a tree and painted it too. My favorite piece, though, was the portaiture. She partnered with her friend Kaden and painted his portrait, and he painted her. The portrait is very kid oriented (purple hair, bright red smile, etc.) but she had a great time with it.

Raina was tremendously proud of all nine pieces, and she yanked us from place to place to show them all. When the artwork comes off the gallery, we'll take some better pictures for posting.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Lola vs. Nurse Jane

Lola's recent check-up was with Nurse Jane, a wonderful and highly competent woman. Lola, however, was adamant that all parts of the check-up were bad and she repeatedly tried to thwart Nurse Jane by:
- turning her head to avoid the oral vaccination
- turning her head and firmly closing her mouth to avoid the tongue depressor
- kicking the nurse when she leaned in with the stethoscope
- rolling over when those methods were unsuccessful.
Nurse Jane's response: "She's a smart baby -- and really strong too!" (The strong comment came after being kicked in the chest.) She also was an unhappy baby; Lola was really upset that she could not avoid anything the nurse wanted to do.