Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Food, Fridge, & Friends... all in a days work

Megan is "demanding" to try to feed herself - with a spoon. We have entered into a new world of "messy!" Some days, if she's not holding the spoon and trying to dip it into whatever is not a finger food, then she'll flat out refuse to eat. I'm a little concerned about the strong will of this soon to be toddler.

And, she's discovered the amazing world of the refrigerator! You know, I throw conservation out the window when the inside of the fridge will keep Megan occupied long enough for me to work on dinner. Sometimes we just do what we do to get done what we must get done.
Yesterday we had a play date with some friends. Megan loved playing with Watson (thanks for inviting us over, Watson), Shelby, and Jackson (new to the scene.. but his big sister will show him the ropes as he gets bigger).
One of the highlights for Megan was the froggie puppet (AKA a pot holder).
The other HUGE highlight was the Jump-o-lene. WOW! Megan thought it was so fun, it was hard to keep her out of it. Here she is trying to climb inside.

Watson and Shelby had a great time jumping. It's a trampoline type blow-up that is totally surrounded by a short wall so the kids don't fly out.

Megan gave it a whirl and thought it was the best! She laughed and giggled and didn't want to leave. In all the fun, I totally didn't take a picture of her in it.... no fears - we may be investing in one of our own.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Independent Daddy's Girl

Now that Megan can move freely and pull up on anything - she's exercising her new found freedom! It's adorable, exciting, so fun to watch, and exhausting - all at the same time.

Tom has been amazed at what Megan learned to do in just one week. While he was gone she became really proficient at pulling up on anything, cruising around furniture, walking with the help of anything that moves (preferably her doggie push walker), and will talk your ear off. She's started saying "Elmo" - although the Megan version is more like - "eh-ma". She's obsessed with lights and points to them non-stop, and will try to repeat virtually anything you say. Tonight we were in the kitchen and she heard an airplane. Tom and I were both saying, "Do you hear the airplane?" and Megan responded with "eh-pane". Now it's not like she's doing it on her own and don't hear me say that she's a genius with a huge vocabulary. It's just so much fun to see her try to to mimic our sounds. In one week I feel like she's grown up so much.

Today, Tom got some dearly missed Megan time. She ate it up. Not only was she glad to see Daddy - I think she was pretty bored with playing with me constantly.

It's been a great weekend so far. We got lots of further babyproofing done. I finished a foam cover for our hearth - I'll have to put that on here one day because I'm so stinking proud of it. In the end it was worth saving the $$$ it would've cost to have bought one pre-made. But it was a labor of love for sure! AND worth it!!!! Today Megan rolled over a toy and hit the front part of the hearth head first (not the edge, the stone facing.) Thankfully it was all padded and she didn't even fuss. I think she was just trying to figure out how she rolled over it and ended up in a new place. If we had only installed the corner/edge guards, she would have really hurt herself by plowing into a little stone wall. So I'm glad I finally finished it and saved us all some tears.

Before I forget... there is a huge sale going on at etoys. So if you are looking for a gift for anyone check it out. I found some deals for great toys that are literally almost 80% off. I think I have kid birthdays taken care of for awhile.

New Tooth for Daddy

YIPEE! Tom is home! For those of you wondering why I was blogging soooooo much. Tom's been out of town since last Saturday - business trip to Denmark. Oh my gosh - I have so much respect for single parents. It's been a long week. I didn't mention anything about it earlier for safety's sake. I don't like putting too much personal info out there for anyone to get to. Anyway, the time difference and international calls made it hard to communicate about what was going on back here - but Tom got a first hand reminded of what he was missing through the blog.

And to welcome him home.... Megan decided it was time for another tooth. Her first top tooth is breaking through and it's got another one close behind. So we have tooth 3 as a confirmed arrival and tooth 4 will probably be in any day now.

And what's up with the snow? It snowed the day Tom left (ask him about his travels that day... it's a hoot of a story) and now it's threatening to snow a bit overnight. I'm officially ready for Spring!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Searching for a Snowball!

My 10 month old is in love.... with Snowball!
This is Snowball...

To say that Snowball is like a member of the family is really an understatement. I've heard of parents paying hundreds of dollars trying to find another stuff animal that their child has lost... I totally get it now!!!!!! Snowball has some amazing ability to immediately quite a screaming baby. He/She/It can do what no one else can do. It's amazing! I don't know when I realized that Snowball was Megan's favorite "friend" - but one day, I realized that if she had snowball, she was happy. Not just content in fussy situations - but happy. We play games where Snowball suddenly appears around the corner and she screams and drops whatever she's doing to go get him. And if we have to talk about sleeping.... Snowball is a must! Enough said! With all that in mind, he is (how shall I put this...) getting gross. Seriously, he's surface washable only.... so he's been sucked on, chewed on, spit up on, got snot on him (sorry, I warned you with the "getting gross"), has some medicine stains on him, and has been dropped Lord knows where. He looks very very very loved on - which he is.

My 10 month old is in love... with a polar bear! Did I mention that he is a very very very LOVED polar bear. He's loved so much that I MUST find another. We had one incidence early on of Snowball being accidentally tossed out of the stroller in a store at the mall. You would've thought I'd lost several hundreds of dollars (as well as my mind) if you had seen me on my hands and knees retracing my steps. The sales staff didn't seem to have my same vigor in looking for snowball. I'm sure they just referred to me as "the hysterical lady looking for the white teddy bear" after I left. Thank the Lord, we found him. The "we" would be Megan and I. Honestly she wasn't much help during the search. At that point we issued the mandate that Snowball does not leave the house or car. But that didn't really work for us or last long.

So for the past 3 months - yes 3 months - 90 long hard search engine filled days - I have been searching for another Snowball. Finally this week - I found one!!!!!! The Hallelujah chorus was being sung in the heavenly realms on that one! He's not an exact replacement... but I couldn't find one the same size... but other than a few inches - he's the same (minus all the forementioned "gross" elements). He came yesterday and Megan got a chance to get acquainted with Big Snowball. She seems to like him. I've been giving them both to her at the same time and she now grabs for both of them. So it seems like it's a successful integration of a new family member.
Here they are side by side... you can see the NEW Snowball has several inches on the old loved on Snowball. I think I might start calling them Mama Snowball and Baby Snowball.... ???? We'll see. (note that new snowball actually still looks white and fluffy.)
Maybe now that Big/Mama Snowball has been accepted as a lovable friend, I'll be able to kidnap the original/Baby Snowball and give him a good "thrown in the washing machine" bath. And pray that the "surface washable only" snowball doesn't fall apart.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Friends and Fun Times

We've established that Megan is extremely social. I think we are going to start trying to have a weekly playgroup. She thrives on the interaction, and to be totally honest, I thrive on
1. the distraction (for Megan - it's hard being a constant entertainer)
2. time with other moms who are going through the same things
3. just knowing I'm not in this alone... (more on that at the end of the blog)

Here are some of our fun times together today.
Megan greeting Will - she's learning to be a good hostess.
Will checking out a toy - I can't believe how much he's grown - what a big boy sitting all by himself.The most common sight of the day... Megan and Nate hightailing it somewhere. Who ever started crawling first was the leader, at least until the other one caught up. We saw a lot of this view...
And we never really knew if they were coming or going or just passing under the table (also known as the fort).
Back to that - "knowing I'm not in this alone"... You know I have to say, being a mom is a hard job! Hats off to all my mommy friends who work and do this. I don't know how you do (although I'm sure it's nice to have some adult time each day). I love Megan and I love watching her grow and change... but at times it's so overwhelming. Everyday I ask - am I doing everything possible to help her live up to the potential that God has given her. That's a huge task. Tonight as I was singing her a little lullaby, I was reminded. She is God's first and mine second. All I can do is be a good steward. He is the one that will guide each and every step she makes. I think I'm going to need to be reminded of that a lot over the next 40 years or so.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Discovering Elmo

Elmo has entered our lives... Let me just say that I'm not a TV mom. BUT.... Sesame Steet is on right before Megan's first nap... And the last 15 monutes are "Elmo's World". It's really cute. I know this because one day, when Megan was being very fussy, I just happened to flip it on to see if she would even be the slightest bit interested. So far TV just doesn't grab her attention (thank goodness). At least she's not interested UNLESS Elmo is on. On that day, Megan totally ingnored Sesame Street unless someone was singing and dancing, or unless Elmo was on. Megan was getting a little fussy today before her nap so I just flipped it on to see if Elmo's world was on yet and she let out the cutest scream and just crawled right over to Elmo on the TV. If Elmo wasn't on the TV she sat down and crawled away. Then when he came back on - back she went to the TV.

Since she was so excited about Elmo, that tonight I brought out the Elmo we got her for Christmas. The one that I forgot to give her.... She saw him and smiled and giggled and then sat with him until it was time to get in bed. So in the words of a famous little fuzzy red kid/puppet (???) - Welcome to Elmo's World!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


What do you do when your baby is fussy and irritable and you just need a break?

Oh what - your thinking - "gosh, she doesn't look fussy or irritable..."
I have a little social butterfly on my hands. Get her out of the house where she can chat with complete strangers that she meets on every aisle - she's in hog heaven. And I get a breather and some sweet time with a happy girl.

Monday, January 21, 2008

My Sockless Reader

Megan has just entered a new stage.... she loves books. Over the past couple of weeks she's suddenly realized that she loves being read to. Previously, books were fun to chomp on, and the pictures were pretty, but it was hard to get her to actually sit and listen to a story. But now, she will sit and listen to books over and over and over again (I just invested in some new board books so that mommy could have some more variety).

We have stumbled upon Megan's favorite book - Baby Boo! It's in the Amazing Baby series. She loves it - she smiles, giggles and screams when we read it. Each page has real baby pictures on it and she loves looking at them. The last page is a peek-a-boo mirror page....And when we get to that page - she kisses the baby!
And what do you do after you've read a good book.... take your socks off, of course! Megan is so proud of herself that she got a sock off (notice her playing with her toes)! That's the sock I've been trying to keep on all day.
So, I "win" the battle and put on socks that she really can't get off... but that doesn't mean she won't try.


Caught red handed.... Megan has decided that she will periodically help me clean out my purse. Pulling out anything not securely in place- a spare receipt, my car keys, a $5 bill..... And to top it off, my purse started out inside her red diaper bag behind her. How she got it out of there, I'll never know. It's amazing what can happen beneath your feet while you clean up a highchair.

Speaking of cleaning a highchair... Megan is insistent on trying to feed herself. It's good and bad. Good in that she loves eating "our food" which makes eating out a little easier (as long as I order Megan friendly food). She is very occupied with food pieces so I actually get to chew my food instead of merely inhaling it. We found out she LOVES lasagna.
Have I mentioned how messy lasagna eating can be?
Megan is also trying to hold her own spoon. That's not going so well. She usually ends up finger painting in whatever she spilled on the highchair. Don't think for a second that I'm' not holding tightly onto that plate for fear she'll fling it to the floor.
It's so bizarre to realize we are to the stage where eating is very very messy. After each meal I basically have to hose her down. If we are going anywhere, I definitely have to change her. I thought we had tons of laundry before... now we have at least 2 outfits a day due to just eating. One day I'm going to write a post about my LOVE of Oxyclean. Oh my gosh - everyone with children needs it! Without it, we would have permanently stained clothes and bibs. But that's for another day.

On a side note - for any of my shopping savvy money saving friends. If you are a Huggies user, they are on sale at Kroger for 7.99 for a jumbo pack, and there is a coupon on Smart Source for $1.25 off a pack of any size Huggies. They also have a coupon for $1 off Boudreaux's Butt Paste.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A busy little girl

Someone said to me at our playgroup a few days ago - "you know, Megan is a very busy girl." Oh yeah, I know it. Her attention wanes after only about 2 minutes. So we spend most of the day going around the house looking for something to entertain her. Here's our afternoon and evening....

What a great little helper! One day she'll be able to actually unload the dishwasher.
Or maybe one day Daddy will let her help with his filing...Her little doggy walker has been a lifesaver - we walk up and down the hallway quite a bit. You'd think she'd get bored with that (I do).
But oh no, add a little fun by trying to do it one handed! High five baby girl!

What occupies our time

Well Church was cancelled this morning due to the snow/ice. I'm very bummed because I was looking forward to getting out of the house with Megan. So we had to do something this morning to stay busy. Her little internal body clock keeps going off earlier and earlier. It doesn't matter what time she goes to bed, she's up at 7 - well now that would be 6:30 or sometimes 6:15.... I'm dying. So I refuse to get her out of bed before 6:45. You would think by now this "sleep training" would've made an impact and she'd sleep till then. Nope.
So here's what we did this morning...

Practiced some stair climbing.
We made a fort out of the dining room table and chased each other around it and through it.
Refrigerator magnets keep her occupied in the kitchen.
Now this one needs some explaining... Megan has always been a good napper - gone down with no fussing. The tide has turned on that one I think. Now that she is mobile... she gets in the crib and pops up. This morning, she played in the crib and fussed and stood up, and did about everything she could imagine to avoid sleeping. Finally after about 45 minutes of her being in there (and me checking on her several times) she fell asleep on her knees looking over the rail and then she just crumpled down. I snuck in and took a picture of her crumpled down at the end of the bed. That little stinker... but hey, at least she's taking a nap! I don't dare move her for fear she'll wake up and we'll start the nap dance all over again.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Let it Snow

Well the snow finally has arrived. So Megan and I went out to take a gander at the falling flakes. It was so beautiful. This wasn't her first snow (see Minne-snow-ta in the archives) but it was the first time she had snow falling on her. Here's the scene from Megan's perspective....

"Hey, it's all white out here... and cold. What's up with this scarf?"
" Hey now - it's hitting me in the face..."

" Cool - did you know there is stuff under here..."
"Ooohhhhh, my favorite - leaves to eat!"
We are going out later to play with the neighbor friends... but right now it's still snowing and still very wet. They said we've had about 4 inches fall in our area, but most of it melted before it started to accumulate. It's just a light coating now, but very pretty. Megan and I actually just went to the store (long story as to why, when everyone else and their brother is out having a panic attack at the grocery store) and it's just wet and slushy so far.

We'll try to post some more later if we get back out in it.

Music Class

One of the joys of our week is Music Class. We love it! Megan goes to an infant music class, and it's been amazing to watch her growth and change throughout the course of the class. Now, Megan can hear music or hear someone singing and immediately starts clapping out the beat or drumming. She looks for things to turn into instruments (like the air/heating vent covers). And when you sing to her, she starts singing back. It's very very cute.

One of the things she loves the most is when the teacher gets out puppets to sing to the kids. The lion is her favorite.
One day Daddy got to go to class with us. Megan awed him with her ability to play the bells and rattles.
When we started, the egg shakers were nothing more than fun toys to chew on. Now she can actually shake them and knocks them together.
The kids are introduced to all sorts of fun musical instruments. Of course they still usually end up in their mouths, but they have fun trying to play them as well.
You may think - ok, she's only 10 months old... why a music class? Kids this age are taking in everything! Educators know that music helps to form synapes and pave the way for all future learning. Everything we learn is categorized into patterns.... and that's exactly what music is. And above all... Megan loves music. She hears music and her rear end starts moving (the fanny dance)- and it's a fun way for Megan and I to spend time together. I highly recommend it!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Totally For Fun!

Ok - sometimes I think - will my brain ever return to normal? It is a fact that when you are pregnant your baby does sort of "eat your brain." No joke! They steal everything from you to grow and thrive... and that includes all the DHA in your brain (for their developing brains). That's why pregant women and moms all seem to have memory issues - standing there staring at you and not remembering your name, or standing in the middle of the aisle at Publix going, "what was I coming down this aisle to get?"

Wanna have some fun, help someone thousands of miles away, and start to get those neurons firing again?

Go to and play a game. I challenge you! I got up to level 42. It's fun and humbling. It's a word game, and every correct answer you get, you'll donate 20 grains of rice through the World Food Program. So take 30 seconds and check it out. If you miss one, it just takes you back down some levels. Did I mention that although I got up to level 42 (sheer luck, I confess) I quickly started down the ladder with words like "jupe."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Continue to pray for Susanne, Tricia, and Baby Gwyneth

As I start this post today, I have been reflecting on how fast life can change. We went to the Dr. today and Megan's ear infections have cleared up finally (praise the Lord). But while we were there, a set of triplets came in and were taken to the hospital because they had really bad cases of RSV (they were little ones). You know, Megan had a bad case on Christmas, what if that had been her....

Every time we go for one of Tom's MRI's I know that a quick visit to the neurologist could suddenly catapult my life into a new dimension. (Thankfully this past year has been good news of no new growth in his brain tumor.) When I say life can change so fast, I don't mean - wow, Megan is growing up so fast - I mean from the perspective that you never know what life will hold around the next bend.

Here's a picture of Megan on the day after her birth, once I finally got to see her and touch her in the NICU... who would have imagined that's where we would have found ourselves. And today she's a thriving 10 month old who is in to everything - as precocious as could be.

God is good and uses all things to His Glory.

As you think on that, rejoice in where you are now, savor it and live each moment to the fullest - after all, it is a precious gift from God.

Continue to pray for some dear people who also have no idea what the next moment holds. Susanne (My friend Sandy's mom) who was in a car accident. She was moved out of ICU last night and is showing signs of being alert. Praise the Lord! Pray for her recovery. And also pray for Nate, Tricia, and baby Gwyneth. Tricia and Gwyneth both seem to be doing better, but they both have long roads ahead. My heart breaks for Tricia... I know how devastating it was for me to not be able to see or hold Megan after she was born - but at least I saw her and held her for a few seconds in the delivery room before they rushed her away. I can't imagine not being awake enough to even see pictures or be able to go look at her or just sit by her. So my prayers go out to their whole family!

Megan's favorite things

What do we do all day.... bounce back and forth between toys (when we can't go outside to play). here are a few of her favorites.

This is her toddler rocker that she loved as a baby - it's now a new favorite for her because she can stand up and play with the toys that hang down.

Anything that helps her to walk... little Ms. Independent wants to do it all by herself.
Her newest toy - the Play and Learn Home. It has lots of options for the child who bounces from toy to toy.
Musical instruments! Give her something to bang, drum, or rattle and she has her own band going.What a great buy (for my niece) because now it's made it back full circle. This sit and push hippo is now on it's second little girl - still elicits smiles of glee!
And of course... the cheapest thrill of all - the strings that hang down from the ceiling fan.
Last but certainly not least... every little girl needs their own special "Natalie"...