Wednesday, August 27, 2008


We love you!

Crib Problem Solved

Well, we did it! I am so relieved that we figured out a way to lower the mattresses to a height we felt comfortable with...2-3 inches. So far there have been no indications that Owen and Mason can get out on their own. Phew! Here are some pics in case you were wondering...

1. Before (we had already unscrewed the brackets so I had to hold it for the picture).

2. After. I know, looks real simple. For some reason it wasn't. We wanted the spring to go lower and it wouldn't fit inside the 'frame' that it is now resting on. We spent a while trying to fit it in there but thought we weren't lining it up properly. Come to find out, the spring was about 1/8" too big to fit down in there. Argh!

3. Back side of crib with the new bolts in place.

Friday, August 22, 2008

My crib or yours?

Aaron and I have been back and forth over whether to return our existing cribs and find new, 'deeper' cribs, or somehow modify the ones we have to make the spring lower. You're probably thinking, why don't they just use the new brackets that are being shipped to 'fix' the recall problem? The answer is simple. One silly inch isn't going to prevent future nosedives from the top of the crib. I spoke with my pediatrician and she said the sides of her kids' cribs went up to their chins. She has safely gotten three boys through 'crib-hood,' and she has never, ever given us advice or suggestions that didn't work wonderfully. We figured we should take it from someone who has seen every crib-diving scenario possible. So, to the chin it is!

On a side note, try to avoid the use of JC Penney as the middle man when purchasing furniture. We had more problems than we can count trying to get the furniture to our house before the babies were born. And now that there is a recall situation, one department of JCP is telling me that we can return the cribs for our money back, and another department is telling me that we can not. We learned the hard way that the lovely folks at JCP don't know their a$$ from their elbow. Bless their little hearts.

So, upon looking at numerous cribs online and in person, we ultimately decided that we should try to modify the ones we have. Aaron being an engineer and me having gone through college for architecture, we had a very lengthy discussion on exactly how to go about this modification. It sounds (and looks) very simple, but once you look at the edges of all the brackets, crib sides, nail heads, etc., you realize it's not quite as straight forward as it seems. The following explains why: *Nerd Alert* No two objects can occupy the same space at the same time. -Pauli Exclusion Principle.

So, Aaron is at Wal-Mart as we speak, purchasing a few things to fix this headache of a situation! I'll let you know how it goes...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

No More Monkeys...

I figured this would be easier than re-telling the updates to everyone. For those that don't know, Mason somehow fell out of his crib on Tuesday evening during a nap. It had been 30 minutes since the last time I went in the room and when both boys woke up crying, I gave them a few minutes and then went in to replace pacifiers. That is when I found Mason on the floor. He had carpet indentations on his knees and cheek, like he'd fallen asleep on the floor after he fell out, or was knocked out from hitting his head on the bottom of the crib. You may not recall, but the base of our crib juts out like upside down crown molding. I called Dr. Nguyen (pediatrician) right away and she told me what to watch for on Mason, and to check his collar bone. She also said he is lucky he didn't break his neck. He did fall from counter height, and I know for a fact that he didn't do it gracefully. He doesn't even know how to get off the couch without falling. My theory is that he was pissed when I left the first time and in all his crying, somehow pulled himself onto the rail of the crib using his toes (like climbing a slide barefoot). He got too much of his body leaning forward and out he went. Thankfully, there was no bumps, bruises, or any evidence at all that he hurt himself. After a few minutes of brainstorming and asking me questions about the boys and about the situation, she suggested either toddler beds even though they were too young or just the crib mattress on the floor. In both cases, being only 15 months old, they don't know how to stay in one place. There is definitely a reason that kids don't switch to toddler beds until close to two years old. That would involve completely revamping their room into a hazard free zone. Nothing sharp, no furniture or drawers that can be pulled out or over, no choking hazards, etc. What a mess. We still have a lot of growing to do.

Now, the update...

I called Munire (the company that made the cribs) to find out about the toddler guard rail that replaces the front side of the crib to convert it to a toddler bed. Dr. Nguyen suggested it may be the only option since our mattresses are as low as they can go and our bumpers have been removed (they were being used as a step to help climb out). Dr. Nguyen said that her cribs always went up to the baby's chin when they got to climbing age. Ours hit Owen and Mason at the bottom of their breast bone. No where NEAR the chin. Unfortunately, no toddler guardrail was made for our crib AND there has been a recall on our cribs that we were not informed of back in February when it came out. The min. distance from spring to top of crib is supposed to be 26" and our cribs are only 25". Munire will send a new bracket that will lower the crib by 1" to meet the safety standard minimum of 26". I called JC Penney to find out why I wasn't notified of this situation and they tried to tell me they sent a mailer to everyone. Yeah, right! I adamently told her I never received one and she said, "now, I do apologize, ma'am." I said, "I know it isn't your fault directly, and we are lucky that my son was not seriously injured, but a simple apology for not notifing me isn't good enough. It wouldn't have made his injuries go away if he had gotten any. We are lucky but maybe there needs to be a system put in place to better notify customers of recalls."

The whole situation really has freaked me out because I feel like Aaron and I do so much thinking on the things we buy for the boys. Who knew a reputable brand sold by a well known store like JCP would have this situation? I thought we were safe. Then JCP told me I can take the cribs back to the local store and get a full refund if the credit card used for payment still exists, or I can get store credit. I think Aaron lost the actual debit card used for payment and I really don't want $800 to JCP. I am going to call the bank tomorrow, find out if they can pull up my transactions from Nov. 2006 when the items were purchased, and somehow prove that the card used back then is still linked to the same account as the replacement card we use today. I REALLY don't want those cribs because I feel like in order for them get low enough (the 1" isn't gonna cut it) we would have to jimmy-rig something which could also be unsafe. I want new cribs that go low, low, low. We are so far away from being old enough for toddler beds, and sleeping in pack-n-plays just isn't gonna cut it. Not when we spent money on nice furniture. What I found out was that there are two types of "convertible cribs." The kind that drops the mattress really low and has a guardrail option. This kind is the type where the front comes off and the guardrail goes on (like a 3/4 lenght railing so the kids can't roll out). OR, the other kind of conv. crib called a "toddler daybed" where the mattress doesn't go as low and there is no guardrail. Three sides, thats it. Two ends and a back. I don't know any toddlers that won't roll out of this apparatus. This is apparently what we have. No guardrail ever manufactured and matress that stays too high. I didn't know about all this when I was purchasing. Apparently we picked out the wrong cribs!

I plan to call the bank during busniess hours and see how they can help me. Stay tuned.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Backyard fun

Granna, Granddaddy, Numna, and Great (Great) Aunt Bee all visited for the weekend. We had a good time hanging out and playing with Mason and Owen in the backyard. We broke out the watermelon (Owen's favorite thing in the entire world right now), the sprinkler, the baby pool, the swings, and the slide and everybody had a great time! We got to put a new camera lens to good use and caught some cute pictures of the boys.

Backyard fun

Friday, August 8, 2008

Cute New Chairs

Owen and Mason did it! They convinced Daddy they love to sit in chairs! We finally got rid of the beloved tricycle box that they used as a bench and got them some little chairs. And they LOVE them! (So does the cat)

We also found a cool park to take the boys to. Here are some pics...

New Chairs, Splash Park

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I think they know more than they're letting on...

For the first year or so, Owen and Mason's physical development was particularly impressive. They grew and grew, learned to hold their heads up, learned to roll over, learned to crawl, to pull up, to cruise, and, eventually, to walk. They moved from formula to cereal to baby food to table food, and from the bottle to sippy cups. During the last couple of months, however-even though they are polishing their physical skills-they have REALLY been growing in their language and in their understanding of the world around them. Big skills like holding a pencil and learning to draw came to them after only one example. They already have a good understanding that letters represent sounds. They can interpret entire phrases that Erin and I say, doing some pretty complex tasks on command. They have made the connection between pictures, drawings, and life around them. And, of course, they keep learning more and more words.

Recently Mason walked into his "pentagon" (the fenced-in play area in our living room) and took the play phone off the hook, put it to his ear, and started walking around the house "talking" to it. I guess he had been paying attention all this time!

The other day, when Erin asked Owen where his truck was, he walked over to it, sqatted down by it, and starting going "VROOOOOOM!" It's just too funny to us - "truck" isn't one of the words they say, but they sure as heck know what it is and what sound it makes.

The other day, I was paying for dinner at Carrabba's and I gave Mason my debit card to hold while we waited for our waiter. He looked at it, then started tapping on my picture, saying "Da Da Da." We were all blown away because we didn't even know that he knew the term DaDa, much less could recognize me in a little picture on my card.

I was in the living room with Owen and he was holding a little bird magnet that he has. He let me know that it was a "quack-quack," and I agreed. I said "Owen, go put that back on your board." Owen got up, walked across the house to his bedroom and to his magnetic board, and stuck it on there. Both Owen and Mason have started doing a lot of things like that. If you tell Mason "go give this to Owen," he'll take it right over to him. The other day when Mason was crying, Owen found a pacifier and brought it to him. Too cute.

They are also learning their body parts. For a while now they have known eyes, but just recently, we realized they knew their head and their toes. We couldn't figure out how they even knew it - we hadn't taught them and it's not like they're in daycare - until finally we realized that they had seen the "head, shoulders, knees, and toes" song/video on their DVD player while we were going to Austin. There are just a ton of words that they understand but can't say yet.

Of course they're saying some words, too. Their new favorite things are their A&M hats and their shoes. Mason can say "tat" for hat, and they both say "sus" for shoes. When you say "let's put your shoes on," they will sit down and hold up a foot so you can put it on. Actually, they love putting their shoes on - if they see them they want to wear them all around. We have to hide them. Earlier today we left one pair of crocs out and they just had to have them. We put one shoe on each guy and they were content, limping all around the house. They love to wear their hats now, too. Owen and Mason will beg you to put their hat on them. Then they'll walk all around wearing it proudly, until their curiosity gets the better of them and they pull it off. Then they come running to us to put it right back on.

They will also lay down if you say "let's change your diaper!" They can say "dah pah" or something like that for "diaper," Mason can say "tee" for tree, and the other day Owen suprised us with "bobble" (bottle) when we asked him what his sippy cup was called - has he known the word bottle for the last 2.5 months (since we switched to sippies) without us knowing? I guess so!

They are adding to their reportoire of animal sounds as well. The latest is a "owwww" for a dying cat. Well, it sounds like a dying cat but it's for any cat - but it's a dead-on (no pun intended) imitation of Sully when she's blocked in the kitchen by the baby gates. No, Sully's not dying, don't worry.

They are learning some letters now and it's really cute. The ones we're pushing are "M" and "O" of course, although they can also do H, S, Z, F, and T sounds. The O sound they make is too cute. Speaking of too cute, if you tell Owen "I love you," he will come over to you and lean his head in for a kiss. It's really precious.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Playing in the baby pool

Aaron and I tried to have a little while at the gym the other night but after 3 minutes on the treadmill we heard the dreaded "Erin Crews to the childcare center" over the intercom! We both panicked and ran downstiars, hoping nothing serious had happened. Everyone was fine but Owen was inconsolable! We were expecting something more serious because they have never had a problem with separation. So, after 10 minutes of trying to distract Owen into playing so we could finish our workout, we aborted the mission and went home to play in the baby pool instead. We let them go naked and put the pool under the water spout. It was like a bath with no rules and they went bananas over it! Here are some pics...
(the first few are from another day)

Playing in the baby pool