Latest Flickr Photos

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Kid Update

It is now officially fall at the Janssen household. We went apple picking last weekend, and drove upstate to see the leaves and fantasize about buying a "country home" this weekend. Things have been pretty great lately. I'm loving my new job, Ryan's startup is going well, and the kids are a joy 75% of the time (if we took more car trips this number would go down substantially).

Today we went upstate for a pretty great day of looking at houses, watching an air show and having lunch at a great little kid-friendly cafe. Two out of three of those things were enjoyable. If I threw in the car ride, we'd be about at 50/50 enjoyment. Just when you think getting out of the house is a relief, you realize you are stuck in traffic on a Sunday evening with screaming kids and you are out of water and milk. "Please, I will never leave the house again, if I can just get home without my brain exploding" I'll spare you the details.

Rexie is increasingly easy on the eyes and very charming. He is soooo social. He wants to meet everyone and play with them, and wave to them. Adorable. This is a good thing because he is increasingly a pain in the butt as well. I say that in a completely loving way. He is absolutely stubborn, and LOUD about it. Part of this I attribute to be being a little brother (fighting for what he wants) and part is being a boy. He also has found out that he can communicate what he wants pretty effectively and if he doesn't' get what he wants after communicating it, he gets frustrated and angry.

For example, If he looks up at me with his little arms outstretched (pick me up!), and I do not cooperate, he will immediately cry. Even more dramatic......if we are in a restaurant and he does not want to sit in the high chair he will scream at the top of his lungs until he is removed. (That happened today).

Rex seems to be maturing way too fast. Yesterday morning when I came to get him out of the crib in the morning, he looked so incredibly tall to me. I don't know how much longer a crib will keep him. That same morning, I caught him successfully feeding himself with a spoon.....

And, as I said above, he is communicating so much. None of his words are super articulate, but he has a way of saying the following:

*fay ("day")
*bubbles ("buba")
*thank you (this one is hilarious -- he repeats is if you say it to him)
*Oh Ohhhh (for dropping something)

Amazing. And one of the cutest things is when I showed him a picture of a lion a couple weeks ago and did a "roar" sound, he IMMEDIATELY starting roaring. He also does an elephant sound while putting his arm up for the trunk (this is what mommy did for elephant). it is the cutest thing and now every animal he sees on the street is a "rawr".

Fay is also maturing into a beautiful smart little girl. She can be really funny. Sometimes she knows why she is funny and sometimes it is an accident. But if she makes you laugh, she is soooo proud of herself and then will dorkify herself by trying to repeat the trick over and over.

Fay is sponging up words and information every day. I no longer have to tiptoe around anything with her. We talk about what it means to die. And she wants to share her dreams every morning. It seems she has mostly sad or scary dreams. She will dream that her blanket has been taken, or that one of her toys has been accidentally broken by daddy. So neat to see what is stressing her out.

A cute moment with Fay recently involved her upcoming birthday. We are planning to have a slumber party with her friends in nyc a week before her birthday and then fly to FL to visit Ryan's family for her actual birthday weekend. We've talked about both of these events a lot and then one day she mentioned something about Granny being at her birthday party. I clarified to her that Granny would be in FL, but not at her NYC slumber party. She stopped me and said "no, my birthday party is in FL". I explained that we were going there for her birthday but that the slumber party was here. She got really disappointed and said she thought ALL of her friends were flying to FL to have a slumber party with her. I felt like such a downer! No, her friends could not come with us to FL, that would be too hard and they couldn't' come without all the parents, etc. So then she asked if JUST ONE of her friends could come to FL, PLEASE. So sweet.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer is 1/2 over

Summer is half over and I haven't posted nearly enough. Rex is walking up a storm. He doesn't even really crawl anymore. And more importantly, he turned ONE! The year definitely went fast. We had a small birthday party for Rex in the East River park. We invited about 7 families with 1-2 kids -- mostly Fay's little friends who also have new babies Rex's age. It was a hot day so we positioned ourselves by the "Seal Park" which has water fountains and Seal statues coming out of the ground as if they are swimming. I didn't bring Fay's swimsuit so she got stripped down to her pants. It was a great summer scene...


We had lots of dinosaur themed items around for the of all, I found a cake mold in the form of a T-Rex....


My mom and niece Natalie came in for the weekend to help celebrate Rex's birthday and to enjoy NYC. They helped with the party, and even better....they babysat Fay and Rex for a full day while Ryan and I went sailing on the Hudson with friends. I think it was an exhausting day for them. But, I know it wasn't sooo bad because at the end of the day Natalie said "I want a baby". :)


Other big news....Fay got her first bike. We put training wheels on it, and she did pretty well. As long as she wasn't going uphill even the slightest bit. That bike is heavy!

Rexie walking more....

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rex walks and mingles

Its official, Rex is walking....not all the time and not without falling. But I think its safe to say that Rex started walking at 11 months. I've been trying to capture a good video of this, but its hard because he usually only takes 3-4 steps before sinking to the ground. He is much faster at crawling, so he still favors that for getting around.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wipeout for toddlers

Last weekend, Fay and I were walking back from swimming class when we noticed there was to be a little street fair right by our apartment. The local school was holding a fundraiser...with bouncy houses, face painting, and crafts among other distractions. I thought the bouncy houses looked a little advanced for Fay because sometimes she is shy about trying new things -- especially if there are a lot of kids already crowding up the place. But she LOVED the one that was an obstacle course. It reminds me of a TV show called Wipeout where they make adults run through various obstacles with the intention of knocking them on their butts.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Yes its been waaaay too long since I've posted anything. I have a ton of photos and videos that I should have posted. But I'll try to be somewhat current. Ryan and I went away for a kids-free vacation at the end of March. We left Fay and Rex with their two grandmas. When we left, Rex was trying to crawl, but mostly just spinning around on his belly. When we returned, he was a crawler! I believe I told my mom "some babies just don't crawl" and she may have taken this to be a challenge. From what I hear, she worked baby Rex the entire time we were gone....taunting him with a stuffed bunny..."Rexie..don't you want the bunny". Moving the bunny just as it came within his reach.

A couple weeks later he was pulling himself up, and now he is full on cruising. It won't be long before we have a walker. Here is one of his first pull-up moments:

Monday, January 31, 2011

Rex's first tooth!

I though Rex was teething starting at 4 months because he's been putting everything into his mouth since then. I'm not sure if he really started that early, but the final results are in. Rex has his first tooth. It has broken through on the bottom right side of his mouth (his right). And now it actually hurts when he grabs my finger and gnaws on it. He also turned 7 months yesterday.

Time is definitely going faster with Rex than it did with Fay when she was a baby. And now that I'm back to work, it will go by even faster. I must remember to take plenty of pictures and videos.

Here's a good one. Rex was being super chatty and noisy, so I decided to make a video. Then it turned into a completely different video....He's been a little stopped up from the new formula.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Back to Work

Next week I will return to work, part-time. I was freelancing before Rex was born, so I'm not returning to the same company. The job search took me about a month and the nanny search took me about 2 weeks. And now, it seems a little surreal that I will be working next week and leaving my little baby boy with a nanny for three entire days! When I returned to work after Fay was born it was earlier than I would've liked. Fay was only 4 1/2 months old. This time I had the luxury of getting to the point where I want to return to work. I crave the stimulation and I am itching to leave the house. Rex is almost 7 months old. But that doesn't mean I'm not sad about the decision. I've been breast feeding Rex since he was born so we've been attached at the hip. Of course I've had my moments away, but never longer than one feeding. So it will feel very strange to be away for 8 hours that first day.

We've been weening this weekend -- yesterday and today I missed one feeding. Tomorrow I will skip two feedings and Tuesday I will go to work. I had some anxiety about him accepting formula instead of my milk. But he is a hungry guy who likes to eat and he had NO PROBLEM with the formula. Pretty funny.

I don't feel all that stressed really. However this morning I woke up with the most painful jaw. I think I must've been grinding my teeth in the night -- no doubt related to this big change. I could barely eat my breakfast this morning it hurt so bad to chew.

I'm really happy with the nanny choice. I think I've gotten really good at this interviewing thing. I used two websites that specialize in child care. I talked with maybe 6 girls and brought three into my home. And one was the clear choice. The qualifications are the easy part -- does she have experience and good references. The hard part is finding someone that I like and can invite into my home every morning. The new nanny, Stephanie, and I ended up talking for two hours during her interview because we were waiting for Rex to wake up from an unusually long nap. So I got to know her really well. We had surprisingly few awkward silences for strangers.

I'm also really excited with my job choice. I will be working for They make an iPhone app -- but I will be doing Java on the back end. And since I am part time they have said that I will be doing little independent projects. Which sounds perfect. Autonomy, seniority, part-time. Hopefully its as ideal as it sounds!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Rex wants to be three and Fay wants to read!

Its hard to be a second child. I should know. :) Rex seems be to suffering from a case of the want-to-be-three-s. He has never been fond of tummy time. He cries almost immediately, and from about 4 months on, I've given up on forcing him to have tummy time. Instead, I have propped him in a sitting position. Now he can pretty much sit on his own, so he can play contently for spells at a time. But lately, he has become unsatisfied with just sitting and playing. He will whine and complain until I come over and when I reach for him, he arches his back and stiffens his legs and desperately tries to stand up. So if you support him and help him stand, THEN he wants to walk. He doesn't have much leg control, so he sorta twitches his little feet forward. And at this point you should see the smile on his face. He is just so tickled to be "walking". He is a big boy, and just like his sister.

I was happy to help Rex walk for a while because it was so cute and seemed so ambitious. In little time, it became back-breaking and tiring. But now that he has experienced the thrill of walking he is totally unsatisfied just sitting.

Luckily, my mom came to visit last weekend and she was not happy with the idea of a baby that wouldn't crawl and hasn't rolled over. (I told her I'd read that some babies go straight to walking without crawling). So she looked up some exercises and started rolling Rex around on the floor with his blanket. He got a lot more tummy time this weekend, and I think he is starting to be ok with it again. So, I will try to keep it up.

Fay may have read her first word last week! I know her teacher works on identifying letters and teaching their sounds. But I'm not sure they have really worked on linking letters together to sound out words. So I may be reaching a bit on thinking Fay "read" a word. But I have to write down what I saw because it was just so exciting!

Fay and I were standing at the bus stop waiting for the bus after school. She looked up at the store behind us and said "O"..."Ooop"..."OopN". I just about fell down. I said "Fay are you reading?!" She said "Mommy what is that word?". I said "Open!" She said "No, it says closed!". Always a smart aleck. She gets that from her dad. Then I gave her a huge hug and told her how proud I was that she is reading.

I told Fay's teacher about it the next day and she was cautious to believe Fay was reading....saying that perhaps she remembered the word from class...more of a memorization than sounding out. Seems possible. But I don't really care. It was really fun to be there at the moment of her first read word!