Friday, November 30, 2007

Playgroups, Crib time, and Daddy

Oh what fun... we had a playgroup today. It's always interesting when you try to plan a playdate with kids under the age of 1. Everyone has a different schedule of when to nap and when to eat. Half way through it, it was time for Megan's nap... but being the good hostess she was she stuck it out for till almost the end. Of course, that was while demanding to be held by mommy.
Nate and Megan
Megan, Nate and Sarah Michelle
Megan, Nate, and Rayna
Sarah Michelle and Andrew
Lately, Megan's naps have left a lot to be desired. All the books say (I'm realizing that textbook babies are few and far between - but hey, research is good) that when all those movement milestones are kicking in, kids wake up a lot and want to move. I believe it. Megan still hasn't mastered rolling over from her back to her stomach. Now it's not that she can't... she just chooses not to. She's done it before - but now it's just not what she wants to do. I'm seeing some strong willed trouble in my future. :^) But, when she wakes up, I'll go in and help her roll over - trying to get her to do it on her own (she's not catching on to that part of the equation). Once she's rolled over to her stomach, she can maneuver to anywhere in that crib. Her latest goal is trying to stand up in the crib. I'm usually watching her from from door, sometimes she knows I'm there (like today) and will try to climb up the high side of the crib (the end). It's like a giant game of peek-a-boo for her.
Once she wakes up she usually realizes that Daddy is home - either from work, or he's been working from home that day. The great thing about Daddy being home is that if he's on his lunch break, she gets Daddy story time.
If he's working (and she's in a good mood) then she'll get to play a little in the office. Lately that means trying to stand up on Daddy's chair. Are you catching the theme of pulling herself up...

It's been a great week. Hard to believe it's the end of November. Megan will be 9 months old in a little over a week - wow! I know December will hold a lot of fun memories!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Holidays are Here

We put up our Christmas tree this past weekend. I don't think we've ever gotton it up the weekend after Thanksgiving, but this year seems to be so busy - that we had to do it early or else it wouldn't get done. Megan loves staring at it and if she could crawl, she'd be all over it! She loves looking at the lights and ornaments. Whenever she's fussy, it's the place to take her because she's mesmerized by it. We just have to keep her a good distance away from it, she's got a great lunge and grab.

Speaking of crawling... We are quickly trying to get the house babyproofed in anticipation of the day she finally realizes that she can go forward and not only scooch backwards. Megan loves trying to stand up already so if you put her next to anything she can lean on or grab, you better believe she's going to try to pull up. I was working in one of the guest bedrooms to work on covering the outlets and she was supervising and making sure I didn't miss anything.
Of course, when mommy told her little helper that she had to move and get off the wall and away from the outlet that she thought was a fun new toy (the one mommy was trying to cover up)...
Our other BIG discovery is solid food. As I've said in the past, Megan isn't crazy about the solid food. Unless you are giving her "puffs" (the Gerber puffs). Those she loves.... Almost to a fault. Little Miss Attitude has now realized that if she's in her highchair she gets puffs. The big struggle is getting baby food down her because all she wants are some puffs or a biter biscuit. Which of course have no nutritional value. And she likes exploring table food and loves to practice picking it up (her pincer grasp is getting good) but it goes in the mouth and then out of the mouth with a great show of displeasure. Yesterday we tried with some watermelon pieces (she loves the taste of it, but hates the texture) and some macaroni.

Have you noticed that Megan seems to be without clothes a lot... We are working on the crawling and she seems to be sliding around in her clothes. So in the morning and evening, she gets to go bare (mostly bare) so that she can get some traction.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Fun Family Times

Imagine this... 3 families consisting of 6 adults and 4 children (one under a year) all needing to smile at the same time. I'm telling you, our photographer needed a raise today! And in the end, it was a fun memory even with the goofy grins. 3 generations ranging in ages from 71years -8 months. What a joy! To top off the fun adventure to the mall for pictures, Megan got to go on her first merry-go-round. Her cousins kept her laughing and smiling while Daddy held her on the horse and mommy tried to take some moving pictures (not my camera so you'll have to wait for those to be posted). So fun!

Afterwards we had some family time and started to think about decorating for Christmas. We've started all the discussions of what kinds of family traditions do we want to have with Megan. Our families gave us some wonderful holiday memories and we want to do the same for Megan. So we are working through how to celebrate Advent, setting limits for gift giving so that it doesn't become a free for all, do we celebrate with Santa (which by the way is the source of many of our fondest childhood memories), what "tree trimming" traditions do we want to establish. We figure this year is our test run because it's not like Megan will remember it... I'd love to hear from my friends out there - what memories and traditions mean the most to you!?!?!?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Another Tooth - Let's talk teething!

I forgot to mention yesterday... we have our second tooth! This one has come in just one week after the first one finally poked through. Yippee! You would think that would mean we would get a little relief from all the teething troubles we've had - oh, no such luck! Today she's been acting like her little mouth is killing her - wanting to bite on anything and everything she can find. That doesn't sound too bad does it - oh wait did I mention the whimpering and little cries she's making at the same time. It's been a wild day.

But for all my mommy friends - let me tell you what has worked for us. Every child has his/her own comforts, so take it or leave it. First, I wish the teething tablets worked for us, but they just seem to irritate Megan even more. I think she hates the way the foam in her mouth. However, I have other friends who said those tablets were the only thing that got them through the teething. I did find 3 tricks that help us get through the rough times. 2 are linked so if you want to know more, click on the links to go see the item. But... shop around, you may find them on sale somewhere else (once you know what you are looking for).

1. Get a baby washcloth and tie it in a knot (so you have a little end poking out one side, a knot and then some to hang onto. Put it in cold water (or better yet pop it in the freezer for a little bit, frosty but not frozen) and let them chew on it.

2. JeJe Teether - heard about it from a friend then found it online. It is a vibrating teether. You push a button and it vibrates for 7 minutes then shuts itself off. The best thing is that you can replace the battery - some of the ones you can get at the local stores don't have that feature. For the little tykes, it's a bit heavy, but as you can see from the picture, that doesn't stop Megan. When she's too tired to pick it up or flip over, she just lays on it.

3. RaZbaby Teether - Thanks to Amy W for introducing me to this beautiful thing... It's shaped like a giant raspberry pacifier, but bumpy and perfect for teething. At first Megan wanted nothing to do with it - she thought I was giving her a new paci (which she has started to want again so that she can chew on them) and was irritated by it because she has to hold it in her mouth (too much trouble), then the next day she started to chew on it and now she loves it. We took it with us on our Thanksgiving trip and she chewed away. On the way home she was so tired she could barely keep her eyes open, but she wasn't going to stop chewing.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

It's hard to believe it's already the end of November. My how this year has flown by and how different life is now. Last year we were expressing our thanks that the Lord was expanding our family and giving us the amazing opportunity to be parents. We had just found out that we were having a little girl. And now.... we have this adorable little girl who keeps us on our toes. We are so thankful that we have had the chance to watch Megan grow and change for 8 months.

And on her first Thanksgiving, we drove to visit my Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins. It was about at 2 1/2 hour drive and Megan was a trooper. My parents weren't able to go last minute due to my mom being sick. So we jumped in the minivan with my brother and his family. So picture this... a FULL minivan - 2 men in the front, 2 ladies in the middle with a baby, and 3 kids in the back. It was a hoot. My youngest nephew would sing out kiddie praise songs at the top of his lungs. I just smiled and laughed and thought - out of the mouths of children, the Lord will be praised. We had a great trip and enjoyed being able to chat. Normally we are so busy with the kids that the adults don't get time to talk. So it was a nice change of pace. It's always a blessing to be with the extended family - we see each other twice a year for sure, and try to get in some other time, but it's so hard with everyone's busy lives. So our time together at Christmas and Thanksgiving is a real treat! The last time they had seen Megan she was just a few weeks old. The kids made cute "apple turkeys" (my cousin is a teacher also)

Today, the day after Thanksgiving, we've been hanging out here - it's been an eventful day. First, Megan is trying so hard to crawl. Today she figured out how to get one hand moving and then she looked like she was going to go for it and actually get a crawl going and then WHAM, face plant off the carpet and onto the hardwood floors. So we had our first bump of the noggin. Poor thing - a big red knot on her forehead... the really sad thing is that tomorrow we are going to have a big family picture taken. Hopefully it'll look a little less red and enlarged tomorrow. :^)
Once she recovered from the fall, we went outside (which always makes her happy) and watched Daddy mow the grass. With an acre to mow, he has a riding lawnmower and she thought that was cool. However she didn't know what to think about his protective gear.

It's been a great Thanksgiving so far and the weekend is far from over.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lions, Tigers and Bears, oh my!

Today we had our first real "out and about" playdate (meaning it wasn't a trip to the park or mall). Megan and I packed up and met up with my friend Ann and her baby, Nate, at the Zoo. It was a fun outing because Megan and Nate are only a week or two apart in age. But, I definitely think the mommies had more "zoo type" fun than the babies did - but they did awesome and loved watching everything (including the leaves, maps, kids, trash cans, each other, and occassionally they even saw an animal). It was fun, and you should have seen us trying to get the kids to actually look at the animals.

The best animal fun was the gorilla area. There are several baby gorillas and they would come right up to where we were next to a see-through part of the exhibit and the baby gorillas would knock on the window and kiss and lick it. They were rolling around and chasing each other - it was quite a site! The other kids in there were going crazy - our little people were pretty oblivious to the fact that there were gorillas anywhere around.

The other really fun part was the petting zoo. It was like one of Megan's touch and feel animal books come to life. The goats were so mellow, they would just sit there and let Megan pet them (and grab at them). The sheep however, I think they must have intrinsicially known that she was a hair grabber and everytime I got bent down with Megan so that she could feel their wool, they would get up and high tail it out of there. It was pretty humorous I must say.
Here are our special little monkeys!

We had a great time! Thanks to Ann and Nate for a super fun outing - we can't wait to do it again!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

We Have A TOOTH!

Finally... it's here! The long awaited 1st tooth!!!!! We were beginning to wonder if it was ever going to pop out. That lovely sharp tooth popped out at 8 months and 1 week. However, Megan isn't going to let you see it without a fight. So you'll have to take our word for it without a picture.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Little Houdini

It's amazing what a baby can learn to do! Megan is trying to figure out how to sit up by herself in her crib. Instead of rolling over and getting up on her knees, she wants to go from laying on her back to sitting. So to help herself out she grabs hold of her PJ's and tries to pull herself up. The first time we saw it, we laughed so hard, and then we realized how hard she was working with no rewards. Well the past couple of mornings we've gone in to get her and she's half undressed herself trying to pull up on her clothes. How on earth she got one leg out of her sleeper is beyond me... tonight it's getting cold so she's in a fuzzy zippered sleeper - We'll see how that works for her!

As for a tooth.... we'll she's still working on that one. You can see it and feel it but it's still under the skin. Every morning I try to peek in there to see if it's finally broken though (no small task belive me). Any day now..

Since separation anxiety has hit us... I made a little area in the kitchen for Megan. I got her some cute baby pots and utensils and she gets to be mommy's little helper. It's quite cute. Maybe one day she'll know how to handle that rolling pin (instead of hitting herself in the head, or chewing on it.)

If she's not happy being a little helper she still loves her exersaucer. She recently learned to hit a bubble to make the things inside "pop". She thinks that is very amusing. The only thing more amusing is when Daddy uses his foot to do it. Now that is fun!

Monday, November 12, 2007

All The New Things

We survived Dad's trip out of town.... His first post-baby business trip. I'm so glad that they are few and far between. Megan missed Daddy and was so excited to have him back. She was really enjoying her new Minnie Mouse (his trip was to Orlando/Disney). By the time he got back, I was ready for reinforcements!!!!! Separation Anxiety has hit full swing and it was quite an adventure to get no down time. I have an enormous amount of respect for single moms - what a job that is! Now we are all getting back into the swing of life and Megan is trying to figure out how to crawl. It may be awhile before she's truly mobile, but we are having fun watching all her other firsts! Here are a few photos to show you what I mean.

Learning all about the ever so important sippy cup...

Standing by herself... as long as she remembers to hold onto something.

Learning about the "real world" food. Megan has
this little issue where she really doesn't want to eat table food. Getting her to eat baby food was a real job. Now that she's a pro at stage 1 and stage 2 foods, we are tying to get her to eat bits of food. She will have none of that. She thinks it's fun to play with, but if any of it actually gets in her mouth, she'll stare you down with her infamous "what have you done to me" look. But she loves the flavor or real food - as long as it's not chunky. So to get her used to new flavors, we resorted to the teething feeder. She loves it! Watermelon was a huge hit! Tonight we tried a real banana - she loved it, but lets just say mommy didn't like cleaning out the bag - ick.

Friday, November 9, 2007

How long has it been...

Ok - so life is so interesting that it's hard to figure out time to keep up on the blog. I am sincerely impressed with my friends who have found a way to do it... perhaps I too will learn in time.

The past month (or 2) have flown by - We had Megan's baby/parent dedication at church, Grandparents were here from MN, Halloween was a blast, and we are loving watching Megan grow up. She's about to get her first tooth (finally) and it's been an adventure waiting for it. She's finally decided that rolling is to her advantage and it wasn't just something we were trying to trick her into doing. But the whole crawling thing... she's just so content to stay where she's at.... as long as that is sitting or standing. She's got that backward scooch starting, and I'm babyproofing like mad, believing that one day she's going to finally realize that she likes being mobile and then I know she'll never stop!

Here's a fun little something. While Grandma and Papa were here, we went to Helen (along with my parents). We had to act like true visitors so that Megan could get the "whole" experience...
Here's Daddy and Megan living it up!

AND.... Learning to love baby food!