Oct 29, 2009

New Developments (Of the FUN variety)



While Ella's new developments may have caused some disruption to her normal nap routine, she certainly is exploding with newness and it is so fun to watch! I'm happy to say the battle for nap time today was MUCH less drawn out. It doesn't seem to take her long to realize mommy's not going to change. So that's good. Here are fun new things she's doing!

Waving. She does this consistently, with pretty much anyone. Sometimes initiates it on her own, usually you have to wave at her first. It's great.

Signing. So great that 6 months of consistently saying, signing and make her hands sign it is finally paying off! She understands when I sign no, more, all done, bath, sleep, and eat. She signs "more" with great consistency and fervor. She initiates it. She points to what she wants and then signs it. Yesterday she signed "please" copying me but that was a one time occurrence thus far.

Clapping. She was always enamored when I clapped and she just figured out how to do it herself. Adorable!!!

Answering the phone. She's loved toy phones for a long time. I've showed her how to hold it up to her ear and say hello enough times that it's rubbing off. I'll make her toy phone ring and say, "hello!" and she smiles and puts it up to her ear!

Talking. In addition to babbling up a storm and making all sorts of joyful squeels and such, she is starting to attempt words. She says "dada" with the most consistancy but nothing is super consistant yet. She's definitely trying to repeat words that we say all the time. We know when she's saying "dada" and "doggie" and "kitty". It amazes me.

Putting things down her toy slide.
She's figured out how to make her animals and balls go down her twisty toy slide and finds much pride in it. She also tries to put EVERY other object down it too...like her phone, yogurt container, teether, stuffed animals and so on. Hilarious!

Dancin'. She continues to bust out her moves to music when the mood strikes her. Today I had her in the cart at the dollar store and she was just a boppin' and wigglin' to the music playing in the store the whole time we shopped. Beyond cute!

Giving Hugs! I knew I forgot something! This one is the absolute best. She's never been super snugly and it's still a chore to get her to give us kisses but she'll consistently give us hugs now! In fact, when I say, "Give hugs?" she'll hug just about anything...the dog, a toy, a stuff animal, the couch...It's the best!

Oct 28, 2009

Where do I Even Begin!? Help!

This is a long one....but please read and advise!!!

Ella missed her morning nap because we were at women's Bible study. Usually she's so tired she falls asleep on the ride home. Not today. It was later, she was hungry, we ate and then I laid her down at about 1:30.

After quite a long time of a happy sounding, but still awake baby I trapsed upstairs to see what the deal was. When I entered Ella's room I saw her SITTING UP in her crib smiling the biggest, proudest smile I've ever seen her smile. My heart overflowed. Pride welled up inside of me. This was the first time she had ever gone from laying down to sitting up all on her own! What a milestone! And then as I stood there in the doorway, I watched my beaming daughter nose dive right into the side of her crib. Fabulous!

It was kind of a slow-mo nose dive and she half caught herself with her hands so after just a few seconds of soothing she was giggling in my arms. I told her it was nap time and laid her back down.

After another extended period of time litening to the joyful baby giggles coming through the monitor I went up to peek in again. This time I found her on all fours, rocking back and forth squeeling with delight. Again...joy, happiness, and pride ran through me watching my daughter's new development. But slowly...the cold hard truth that naptime would never again be the same began to seep in.

I resettled her again and went downstairs, heard the happy baby sounds again but then heard a THUD and crying. I rushed up to find her toppled over against the side of the crib. She was fine and much cuddling and soothing ensued.

I was at a loss. I am a big proponent of letting babies cry and sooth themselves and not running in every two seconds. And that has worked beautifully for us up to this point. But I cannot employ that method if my child's physical safety is at risk with her new found talent!

I decided to resettle her, and sit silently next to her crib, not making eye contact or interacting with her. Just monitor her safety and lay her back down if she was sitting up and in danger of falling forward or backward and hitting her head. (As I watched her I saw that she rolls to her stomach and then walks herself up to sitting using her hands in front of her. She very capably lays back down by hurling herself forward onto the mattress...I think the only problem occurs when she doesn't understand depth and hurling herself forward results in head hitting side of crib before hitting mattress.) Well people, tried that for a little over 1/2 hour. No dice. She just tried to interact with me the whole time. No sleep.

Seeing how ridiculously tired she was I thought if I resettled her and left the room per our normal routine she might just sleep this time. Not so much. Through the monitor I heard her playing, then getting fussy, then crying. But alas...finally....silence. And now...two hours from when I first put her down... it is 3:23 and dare I even utter the words for fear her little eyes will pop back open with the stroke of the keys....she's alseep.

WOW! Talk about battle of all battles. I found myself asking for the filling of the Holy Spirit throughout the whole ordeal...praying for patience, and wisdom in this uncharted territory. God was faithful. And I thank Him for giving me the ability to keep it together while not giving up on the nap. Consistency and boundaries are key. Sleep is too important and I know better than she when she needs sleep. But holy hannah, I'm used to a child that every time you lay her down, she's asleep within a matter of minutes. If this is the battle in store for me each nap time, I'm in for some tough times ahead!

Any advice and suggestions are greatly appreciated!!!!????



Oct 27, 2009

A Few Points Of Common Sense Baby Etiquette

Based on my experiences while running errands yesterday, I have a few things to say to the world.

#1) I know my child has no hair. BUT...if she is wearing a cream shirt with pink hearts, a pink and purple striped sweater, jeans with pink and purple flowers and hearts embroidered on them and pink robeez and you STILL say, "Aren't you a good little boy!?"....then you have issues! C'mon people....it's not like I'm making it hard to figure out with an ambiguous wardrobe!

#2) If my incredibly adorable she/he is displaying her/his magnificent, new found coordination and social skills by smiling from ear to ear and waving at you in line at the post office...you DARN well better wave back! Dude! Who doesn't wave back to the cutest she/he in the world!?

#3) Do not stare at me like I have two heads when I turn everyday activities into learning opportunities for my adorable she/he. Yup, I tell her the name of every purchase as I put it in the cart. Mmm Hmm, I count the bananas, repeat the word several times and tell her they're yellow. Sure, I give her a piece of paper and ask her what we need next on the grocery list. And yes, I've even been known to sing little ditty's, make the cart go a little faster for a second, or bounce up and down as we make our way through the store. Yup, I encourage social interaction while being bored waiting in a line. Yeah, I let my kid play with the stamps and attempt to put them on the letters. And of course I let her try to put each letter through the mail slot...don't worry I never hold up any lines. I'm molding what is already one sharp little mind. It's called GOOD PARENTING. LEARN HOW TO DO IT!!!

That is all...for now.

Oct 26, 2009

Bab Leg Warmer Tutorial

(A tutorial has been demanded and the ransom for said tutorial has been paid) Man alive this is a test of my technical writing skills! Here goes...

1) Begin with a knee high sock of your choice (Available for darn cheap at your friendly local Walmart)

2) Cut out the heel and the toe of the sock as shown below. Discard heel and toe sections.
3) Leave the leg part of the sock as is. Of the remaining foot part of the sock cut a 2" wide section as shown below.
3) Cut a 1/2" away from this 2" section as shown below. Discard the 1/2" section you cut off. The remaining piece we will call the cuff piece.

4) Turn right sides of cuff piece together and surge edge.

5) Now fold wrong sides together so that you have a tube cuff looking like this.

6) Place the cuff around the lower portion of the leg part of your sock so that the finished edge of the tube is pointed toward the top of the sock and your three raw edges line up at the bottom as shown below.
7) Now sew the three raw edges together. I recommend sewing around once with a straight stitch and then going around once more surging the edges.

8) Now flip the cuff down and there you have it! Finished baby leg warmer!!!

Oct 24, 2009

Baby Legs!

With my sewing machine finally fixed I was suffering from some serious stitching withdrawals. So I whipped out a project I've had in my back pocket for a while. My mom bought these ADORABLE knee high socks after seeing that you can make them into baby legwarmers. She was behind on her projects so passed them along to me. I checked out a few tutorials online. I didn't like the patterns with no cuff at the bottom or really big cuffs so I adapted and made my own small cuff. LOVE THEM! It took no time at all!!! I think Ella approves also.

Oct 23, 2009

Fabulousness

I'm feeling particularly fond of my husband this morning. Here are just a few snippets of his fabulousness and why he's such a great guy.

He left me a cute note one morning this week telling me how much he appreciates me and all I do.

He encourages me to get out and do things for myself all the time. He looks out for my well being better than I do!

I came home from a lovely "knit knight" with some great women last night to find the three loads of laundry that I had started were finished and put away...the dinner dishes were done and the floors were swept. I never even asked! He told me it's the least he can do for all I do.

And last but not least...a few weekends ago he had the opportunity to shoot a deer. (He hasn't shot one in two years and we could really use it.) Just as he had his arrow aimed at the good sized doe he saw a tiny fawn, still spotted with white, walk up behind. He lowered his bow and came home empty handed. He later told me "I just couldn't do it! I couldn't shoot bambi's mom!"

Oct 18, 2009

The Great Pumpkin Drop

So here is the long overdue post about the Harvest Daze 2009!I baked this FABULOUS apple pie and entered it into the contest with the lure that if I grabbed first place I'd get a gift certificate, and if I nabbed second or third I'd get a ribbon. Well, I did not not win. But then they had the gall to NOT announce the 2nd and 3rd place and I saw no ribbons. The gall! Ella and Daddy hanging out waiting to watch the great pumpkin drop. The target for the pumpkin drop. And one of the many planes that buzzed ridiculously close to the lake with "pumpkin bombardiers hurling large gourdes aimed at the target below. It WAS as fabulous as it sounds. No one hit the target but a few got dangerously close! The crown oooed and ahhhed, the pumpkins splintered into millions of pieces when they hit the water and the planes were awesome. Ella and Mommy posing by the giant jack-o-lanterns. There was a pumpkin carving demonstration where a guy created this masterpiece...very cool! And last but not least...the Giant Pumpkin Rigatta. People hollow out and decorate GIANT pumpkins, then dress up and race them! The race begins! In the bottom right corner you can see the pirate takes the early lead. But guy in the green pumkin, who had quite the sea worthy vessel and a great kayaking stroke, begins to overtake the pirate! As they round the waterski jump to head back to the finish line, guy in green pumpkin is increasing his lead. (Note the tippped over pumkin...taking on water quickly. This heroic individual did not give up. He swam the entire race pushing his capcized pumkin in front of him the whole way!!!) And finally, guy in green pumpkin pulls away, leaving his closest competition (the pirate) in his dust!

Oct 14, 2009

It's Been a While!

Life has been a little busy these days. My aunt and grandmother just headed home to MN. It was so great to have them here and for them to see Ella for the first time. Now I'm looking forward to the pace slowing down a bit and just being able to enjoy and savor this fall!Our little Ella has been exploding with new things and it is such a joy to watch her personality emerge more and more each day. Some of her new things are:

~Pointing at EVERYTHING and saying, "Dat?"
It's so neat to see how inquisitive she is. She'll point and say "dat?" and when I figure out what it is she's pointing at and go tell her what it is she puts her hand down, examines said object and goes onto something else. She also points and things she wants, like toys or food and it's so neat to see her purposefully communicating with us!

~Feeding Others. She'll pick something up and hold it out to you and grin from ear to ear and giggle when you swoop in and eat it.

~Showing you things. She holds things out with pride just to show you like, "Look what I found ma! A leaf! Isn't it great!?"
~Waving! She doesn't do it all the time, nor does she do it "on command" but she does it quite a bit and when she so chooses. So cute!

~Initiating Peekaboo on her own! Yesterday was the first time she did it. I gave her some pants to play with while I changed her. She put them up over her eyes and just waited. When I figured out what she was doing I said, "Where's Ella?" and she whipped them down with the hugest grin and I said "peekaboo". This then went on for quite some time to her delight!

~Getting up onto her hands and knees from her belly. I sense that greater mobility and decreased daily productivity are in our near future. I guess I didn't walk until I was 13 months old. I'd really be okay with that. The longer I don't have to chase her everywhere the better!

~Dancin'. Well it's more like wiggling. There are quite a few toys she has that make music. She knows how to get them to do it. So she'll push the button or spin the wheel or whatever and when the music starts she gives a little smile and wiggle. You can see it a little on this video. ADORABLE! (PS: The video gets boring after 1:10 so just watch 'till then!)
video

Oct 4, 2009

The Youth Have Spoken.....and I am old people.

So there I was at my local Wal-mart, thrilled that I had found a fly-away cardigan for just a little under my budget, and pondering weather to buy black or gray. I was thinking that this is perhaps the trendiest piece of clothing I will own in a few short minutes and feeling rather hip....when up walked a reality check in the form of a teenage girl.

Her mother pointed to the black cardigan that I had been pondering and said to her daughter, "How 'bout that one? It's cheap and it's black."

I cheerfully passed the black one over as it was the last one and said, "Oh, here you go. I decided on the gray."

The mom smiled and thanked me, I smiled back, and the teenage daughter? Well, she jutted her hip out to the side, put her hand on said jutted out hip, cocked her head to one side, wrinkled her face in disgust and said, "MooOOOoooom," in that long, whiney, drawn out teenage kind of way, "that looks likes something OLD people wear! I'm NOT wearing that!"

And I just busted out laughing! At the hilarity of it all and also wondering if I had ever been that rude in my bratty teenage years!?

Oct 1, 2009

Finding My Niche

Sure our town may be nicknamed the armpit of it's county. So, it has the highest % of people on welfare in the county and I'm willing to bet the highest unemployment rate too. Yeah, we may have had those little hoodlums terrorizing the street a while back, but a good scare from the cops has nipped that in the butt.

Despite all of those things this little town is beginning to grow on me. The downtown revitalization committee puts on fabulous little festivals each season (the pumpkins being hurled from planes into the lake WAS as awesome as it sounds!!! A post on that one to come...). There are a few cute little parks scattered about. The libraries have great kids programs. Any store you could want is right near. Our awesome church is right in town. Our neighborhood is pretty cute and there are many moms and children.

It's taken a bit, but I'm beginning to feel like I'm finding my niche. I'm co-leading a discussion table at our church's Wednesday morning women's Bible study that has 63 ladies in attendance! We're doing Beth Moore's study on Breaking Free. Thursday morning's I go to "Baby Rhyme Time" at the library. Friday morning's I go to Mousam Valley Mom's group. And wednesday nights Jason and I attend a small home group with people from our church. And I just got a job working per diem with adults in group homes! Here's the awesome agency I'll be working for!

I continue to build a relationship with my duplex neighbor, and the other day she slipped a note in my door saying she wanted to come to church with me! She came to Rhyme time with me today and is coming with me to the Mom's group tomorrow also.

Today I met two other stay at home mommy's at Rhyme Time and invited them to the mom's group as well. They were both so grateful. One said she knew no one in the area and would love to come. The other said she really needs some time with other adults and moms. She and I exchanged e-mails. She has a nine month old little boy and we're hoping to get together for play dates!

My across the street neighbor and I have really hit it off. We're like two peas in a pod. From our views on the neighborhood happenings, to natural birth, to limited vaccinations to organic foods! She's a believer and she has a two year old and a 6 month old.

I continue to grow the relationships with people down here that I knew from before. Some go to our church and those that don't I try to go visit every now and again. We've found a few good hiking spots already. Jason continues to scout the fishing scene but he declared with excitement when I got home from my moms, "I think I've found the best hunting spot EVER!" Yay! Fill our freezer babe! I've ventured on over into New Hampshire, where most people down here do their shopping and I already feel like I totally know my way around Southern Maine and New Hampshire.

I prayed much in advance that God would put us exactly where he wanted us, that he would help me to find my place and purpose here, and that he would bring meaningful relationships and other moms into my life. Wow has He blessed me with all of those things!