Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Yes, We are Slackers...

I know, I know. It's been way too long since we've updated the blog. I don't want to create a "Prison Break" phenomenon with our blog audience, so I will make an effort to be better at updating this...

If you are sitting there saying "What the heck is he talking about 'Prison Break' whatsit?", then you may not be familiar with the Fox TV show 'Prison Break'. I refer to the phenomenon that occurred when the show originally aired and captured a huge following of loyal viewers. However, Fox miscalculated the loyalty levels when it decided to put 'Prison Break' on hiatus for about 6 weeks just at the pinnacle of the storyline... When it finally returned to the airwaves, a significant portion of their audience had lost interest.... THUS, I've learned from this and will attempt not to do the same things... ANYWAY, enough with my ramblings on random pop-culture things...

So, lets see... Last time I updated everyone was mid-January. Our Nanny Nikki had just started and Jeni had returned to work. Honestly, not a lot has changed significantly in our lives.

Nikki comes Tuesday through Friday and Nana Sharon and Papa Rick watch the girls on Mondays. The bonus is that typically Sharon whips up something for dinner for us and leaves it on the counter for us to heat up or bake. SUPER HELPFUL!

We've noticed some advancements in the girls over the past few weeks. They are definitely more social in general with both of them smiling a lot when you smile at them. They both babble a lot when they play (either with their stuffed animals or on their playmats with their rings). Sydney has discovered her hands and now grabs nearly everything she is interested in and attempts to put whatever she grabs into her mouth. We don't see any teeth coming in soon, but we think that will come soon.

Both girls have mastered rolling over, although Sydney actually enjoys Tummy Time unlike Olivia. Olivia barely gets any time on her tummy as she rolls over fairly quickly after being placed face down.

The girls really enjoy their Baby Einstein videos. These are a godsend for us as they typically entertain the girls long enough for Jeni and I to get a somewhat normal dinner in without the girls fussing to be held. Their favorites are Baby Mozart and Baby Beethoven. Not a big fan of Bach, though. They also watched Baby Barnyard which introduces them to cows, pigs, horses, etc. They seemed to enjoy it too with big smiles and lots of attention on the TV screen.

We have also started to introduce solids into their diet. In addition to the bottles, they are now getting one afternoon feeding of veggies. Week 1 we started with peas. I like peas. Jeni doesn't. Apparently I have been outnumbered for the first of many times based on the girls' reaction to the peas... They actually had some gagging and shuttering from the taste... Sorry girls! Peas were my suggestion...

After peas, we moved on to sweet potatoes. They seemed to like them better, but still not an overwhelming reaction. And finally this last week, we started carrots. We may have a winner with them. Of all of the veggies so far, they seem to put up the least resistence to the carrots. They get just a tiny amount each night mixed in with some dry rice cereal to make it a little thicker and more nutritious. Basically it comes out the consistency of the veggie if you had just mashed it up a little and less runny that the form it comes in.

The girls are also getting some attention to help them make sure they are progressing on track with other babies their age. While they are technically 7 month old today (Feb 10), they are just under 5 months old in adjusted age. They are on time developmentally with what they can do based on their adjusted age, but need to catch up a little with what 7 month olds should be able to do. To help this progression, they are getting visits from First Steps (which includes an occupational therapist as well as a speech therapist) and from Parents as Teachers. They work with the girls on doing things like reaching, rolling over, attempting to sit up (and stay up) as well as learning to eat better, both from bottles and from the spoon.

As for Jeni and I, we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Spring, warmer weather, and the departure of cold & Flu season. We very much want to take the girls out with us instead of feeling like we are caring for shut-ins. We did venture out on Super Bowl Sunday and went next door to the neighbor's house, which we thoroughly enjoyed. We spent the first half of the game visiting with the neighbors and enjoying some good Superbowl food. Sydney and Olivia spent most of the time strapped to Jeni and I in their Baby Bjorns. We came home around half time and were exhausted...

We also made a trip out to the pediatrician and took the girls out to breakfast with us for the first time. After the doctor, we stopped at First Watch and had breakfast out like we used to on some weekends. It was GREAT! The girls were perfect as they slept in their carseats in the booth as Jeni and I had a nice relaxing, tasty breakfast (which for the first time in a while wasn't cooked by me). This really made us look forward to the Spring even more when we can get out more!

At work I am getting busier as we head into recruiting season. Luckily I won't have too many trips that will keep me overnight. I'll be headed up to Mizzou and Truman a couple of times, but Mizzou is usually an up-and-back the same day trip, while Truman does require an overnight stay. I'm confident Jeni can handle a night with the girls without me, but we might invite a grandparent over to help out just in case...

Jeni is looking ahead to Spring Break already. While we don't have any travel plans, I do plan on taking some days off that week to spend at home with everyone. Also, my company is sending me to a conference in June that Jeni will be attending with me. The best part is that its in VEGAS! And if you know us, you know that Vegas is one of our favorite destinations. The warm weather and the food is enough to attract us, but the other activities makes it even better. Plus we've invited some friends to go as well which should make it even more fun. We'll be going just a few days after Jeni's birthday so we'll just have to celebrate out at a great restaurant just like we did the last time we were there. I highly recommend the Eiffel Tower restaurant if you are looking for some fine dining in Vegas on the Strip with an outstanding view. Still ranks #1 with me as the best meal I've ever had!

In some not-so-fun news, Macy's announced some major layoffs a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately that will effect several of my former co-workers who stayed on there or got opportunities in other cities with them after I was severed last May. I still get together once a month and do happy hour with some of my close co-workers from there to catch up. We were discussing that as much as it stunk at the time for us to be let go last year, we were very lucky. Lucky in the fact that we were at the front of the wave of job losses which allowed us to end up at some great companies. Of those folks who lost their jobs last year that I worked with, they ended up at Edward Jones, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Ameren, Vijon, and Boeing. All companies with what appears to be solid futures with a major presense here in STL. If anyone doubts how bad it is out there as far as jobs go, try going to a Job Fair. I attended one a few weeks ago at UMSL looking for Summer Interns. The fair was crazy busy. Non-stop traffic through my booth asking for positions. Most of the folks I met were out looking for opportunities after they had been let go from positions they had held with a company for several years. Many had 15 - 20 years of experience and now were back in the 'Job Hunting' category. Very sad. Let's all hope this gets better soon for everyone! I am very thankful that I have the job I have and that Jeni is where she is.

Well, that pretty much updates us to today. I'll be posting some pictures of the girls very soon!

Take care!