Saturday, January 22, 2011

An Important Anniversary

Today, January 22, 2011, marks the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. This historic decision has allowed over 53,000,000 innocent human beings to lose their lives to voluntary pregnancy terminations (abortions).

"I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart as my prophet to the nations.
-Jeremiah 1:5
"I will never be silent about the death of those who cannot speak for themselves."
-Sen. Jesse Helms

My Favorite Recent Pics

I can't help it that my baby gets more beautiful by the second. I will take responsibility for sharing it with you though. She really is the most incredible little person and I find myself more and more awestruck by her every single day. Ok ok, mom-talk over.

Here she is!

Who can resist a baby girl snuggling with her daddy?? Not me.

I'm in love with these next 2 photos because she looks so much like me in them :)

And this is a face she recently started making. Sometimes for fun, sometimes when we tell her "no no." Always hilarious.

Still a thumby girl

Daddy stayed home sick...
...but she sure was a happy camper :)

She was pumped for the game. Not so much at the end though :(

She was so wiggly when I was trying to get a good picture of her in her Batman shirt, then she stopped to poop.

Showing her uncle how to play XBox :)

And that's why I'm so in love. It's ok if you are, too, as long as it's not in a creepy way.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Extra Extra!

While this isn't technically an "Extra" post (since I don't post every day) it is a news post! Therefore, the newsy title :)

This is also a late post. Those of you who know me on Facebook have already gotten this news. Our baby girl is crawling! I have an adorable video of her crawling for the first time (shot on my fabulous Flip camera) on Jan. 9th. What took me so long to write this was my trying to upload the video to Blogger and it taking longer than over night. What the what? Does anyone know a good way to upload videos? The Flip shoots in HD, so I know the file is large. I'm not sure how to cut down resolution though. I guess it will take some playing around to figure it all out. But look out when I do :)

NOT her crawling for the first time, but a photo of her crawling to the shoe mat pretty much sums up her motivation for crawling in the first place.

In other news, my nephew Austin is now coming to our house every day while his mommy & daddy go to work. We are having so much fun with him, and adjusting to the challenges that a 3 month old baby has added to our day. He's super cute though, so any challenges are well worth it. Baby Girl loves sitting on the floor talking to him. He is just now figuring out how to use his voice also, so he jabbers back at her a lot.

A very happy photo of a very happy Austin!

Lastly (for now), we have a snow day today! Most school districts near us closed today so some friends came over and we are hanging out at home. My sister-in-law is studying with her classmate, her boyfriend is playing video games with my hubby, and I am hanging with the babies (who are sleeping at the moment, yes I'm that good).

Earlier before naptime, my cute baby showing Michael the right way to play X-Box

I have a post coming up of my most favorite recent photos of our sweet baby girl. She has started making some pretty funny faces and is generally just the cutest thing I could ever imagine. So I will share some of that cuteness with you -- y'know, the next time I get both babies to sleep at the same time! Ha!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Not Me! Monday

A little late in the day, but as promised, here is my Not Me! Monday post chock full of silly, crazy things I have not done!

I did not have a brief moment of sadness for missing my cute former car when I saw one in the grocery store parking lot. It's just a car, after all. I also would never need to look up one of my daughter's outfits on to figure out which pants go with the top. All pink baby girl clothes definitely do not seem interchangeable. My precious girl has definitely never done anything to warrant a "no no" from me (not even attempted to play with the dogs toys or swipe remote controls from the coffee table), nor would I find it super-duper cute if she melted down afterwards upon realizing she had been scolded. Nope. Not me. I have never kissed my sweet baby's cheeks only to later taste something in my mouth that would turn out to be a boogie. First of all, my darling little girl would never have a stray boogie on her face, and if she did I would certainly notice immediately and remove it with a tissue!

There are a few things I have not been doing these days. Don't forget to share your own Not Me! confessions in a comment or on your own blog.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Favorite Things.... Updated!

I've written a "favorite things" post before. I'm pretty sure it was part of my Transition to Mommyhood series. I could be wrong, but who has the time to look these things up? I figured with an update on my baby girl, it might be time to do another favorite things installment for any moms out there who might be interested in the tools and gadgets I'm employing these days.

Here we go!
#1 Video monitor
We were gifted this for Christmas by my husband's sister. She lives with us and knows just how horrible our old audio-only monitor was. It had been gifted to us as well, last Christmas before we had registered, so we hadn't gotten to research and choose one ourselves. It had so much static and interference that it was buzzing with all of its "sound indicator" LEDs lit at all times. You could still hear if the baby cried, but I'm a paranoid mom. I need to hear if she gags or gurgles and that monitor was just not clear enough. The video monitor is not only silent but it gives me peace of mind to see what's going on in her room so I know she's not suffocating or gagging or anything else dangerous. Maybe now I'll be able to put her to bed in her own room... maybe.

#2 Flip Camera
While not technically a baby tool, this little thing is super fun and convenient. Since our sweet tiny girl is our first, I obviously want to photograph and video every second of her life because every thing she does is the cutest thing I've ever seen and she may never ever do the same exact thing in the same outfit or the same lighting again. Yea, I'm that mom. We do have a really nice video camera but it's a little more involved to upload the videos and post them somewhere like my blog or Facebook. The Flip (gifted for Christmas by my in-laws) is small, durable and comes with a built in USB so you shoot your video, plug the whole thing into your computer and it loads. Then you can use a simple button in the FlipShare program to send it to Facebook (or Twitter or YouTube). Look for some videos of my little cutie in the future!

#3 High chair
Now that baby girl eats baby foods, we're using our high chair on a regular basis! It's the Fisher Price Space-Saver high chair and I love it. We live in a townhouse, so we're limited on space. My kitchen is nice and big for a townhouse, but we also have a full sized table with 6 chairs in there. It was nice not to have to add another piece of furniture to make it feel cramped. I love that it tilts from a slightly reclined position to sitting up right. The tray also tilts and has a one-hand button so you can take it off the high chair with one hand while holding your baby in the other arm. Genius!

#4 Take & Toss
I'm using these all the time. We visit our parents a lot because they live close, so the Take n Toss dishes are perfect. They stack, they all have lids, they're easy to wash, and if you leave them somewhere or something happens, they're cheap! They come in a lot of shapes and sizes and colors too.

#5 Pandora Radio
Also not specifically a baby item, my sister in law recently introduced me to Pandora Radio. I had heard of it, but figured my iTunes was just as good. False! There is a lot of music I don't own and now I don't have to buy it to try it! I can look for kid music to listen to while my baby is awake and we're playing, and then switch to my stuff while she naps and I'm trying to be productive, relax, cook, etc. I also hate the regular radio so that limits my exposure to new music and makes it hard to branch out. Pandora plays music that is similar to what you ask it for, so you hear artists and songs you may not know of in addition to stuff you already like. I've already found 2 new artists I really like and will probably download their stuff from iTunes.

#6 Cart cover
After reading a lot of reviews I almost bought a version almost twice as expensive, but in a pinch went with this cheap one instead. Don't let any review convince you that these things need to be fancy. Mine fits every shopping cart and restaurant high chair I've tried it on, it has loops to hook some toys onto and holes for the seat belts to come through. Honestly, what else do people want these things to do? It doesn't have a stylish carrying case, so yes I have to carry it into the restaurant folded up (GASP, right?). But I'm not proud -- actually I am. Proud that I have a baby everyone in that restaurant is staring at so I'll happily carry her little folded up high chair cover. Trust me, no one even sees it because they're staring at her. Anyway, she's big enough now that she really doesn't want to stay in her car seat carrier while we're in the store so this has been a staple. She loves sitting in the shopping cart, or at the table in a restaurant. That, in return, has made my life easier.

#7 Wipe Warmer
It's an item some may consider frivolous, but let me tell you, right now even I am grateful for the wipe warmer. It's January and my house (while the thermostat is set on 72) can get chilly. My hands are cold year-round, and I actually get mad when I'm cold. Those wipes are ice cold on my already cold hands, so I can only imagine how much it sucks for my baby when I unwrap her from her warm clothes and not only am I touching her legs and tummy with my cold hands, but then I go applying an ice cold wipe to her bottom. Yipes! She doesn't really complain but my own sensitivity makes me feel bad for her. Wipe warmers were another item I read a lot of reviews about and people had various strange complaints. We ended up with the Prince Lionheart version and it works just fine. I think my baby appreciates it too :)

#8 Diaper Genie II Elite
I can't talk about other versions of this product, but I really like the one we have. Now that our baby girl is eating foods, the diapers have gotten a little nastier. We used to just toss them in the kitchen trash can (we have a changing table on our main level), but that's not really an option any more. Plus, starting this week I'm going to be watching my nephew, so there will be even more diapers. This one is really easy to use and it keeps the room from smelling anything like diapers.

Those are my current favorites. What are yours?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Baby Update

I haven't done a good update on our teeny tiny girl for a while -- actually for almost 3 months! So I figured you were mostly checking back here to see some pictures of her anyway, I might as well just do an update.
  • She is now 8 months old (will be 9 months on the 24th) and turning into quite a little character. She learned to grunt from her cousin, Colt, so now that's a big game between her and daddy.
  • She is oh-so-close to crawling but just won't pull those knees up. I'm ok with her not being mobile for a little bit longer. She also pulls herself up onto her knees if there's anything available to pull up on.
  • She got a lot of fun interactive toys for Christmas so it's great seeing her actually interact with them as opposed to just chewing on a toy. I do try to limit the number of singing/blinking/dancing/ toys she has out at a time to one or two. First because they get annoying, but also because I still want her to be interested in the toys that require a little imagination. I don't want her to start thinking that if a toy doesn't sing/blink/dance that it's not worth playing with.
  • She started taking naps in her crib in her bedroom and that's going great. She still sleeps in our room in the Arm's Reach co-sleeper at night. She doesn't quite sleep through the night yet, so while she's still waking I like that I can check on her and soothe her without having to get out from under my own covers. We're working on sleeping through though, and she's making progress.
  • We've started baby sign. She hasn't signed anything yet but I'm pretty sure she recognizes some of the signs I make. It's fun, and a learning experience for me too. I took basic sign in college, but when you don't use it every day you forget a lot. I've always had an interest in sign language so it's fun to have an excuse to get back into it and become a little more proficient (if baby signs count as proficient, lol).
  • She now eats pretty much all baby food. I haven't tried any of the meats with her, but she's hit a good variety of fruits and veggies. Her favorites I would say are apples and squash, but she loves nothing more than her oatmeal. I'd like to start using my food mill to make some of my own stuff for her, but I worry about making the jump from made-for-baby foods to regular table food. Even if she can handle the consistency I don't want to disturb her system and cause her any tummy troubles. Plus at that point I would pretty much assume that she will lose interest in baby foods that don't have the flavors and seasonings of the foods that we eat. I have a book of baby food recipes, I should probably start there. Have any of you used a food mill or made your own baby food? I'd love to hear your thoughts or advice.
  • We've also started putting her small bath tub into our tub for her baths because she was splashing water all over the kitchen (and me). This kid LOVES tubby time. I got her some tub toys for Christmas which she loves playing with but she really loves chewing on the wet washcloth. It's adorable :)
  • She just got a late Christmas present the other day. We got her the Baby Einstein Around the World Discovery Center. It's the same as an Exersaucer just not made by Evenflo, so they can't call it an Exersaucer. It's really cute with lots of fun things for her to do. She lit up when we put her in it. She didn't know what to play with first, but she carefully went around and tested out each toy. The piano is definitely one of her favorites. The girl loves her music. She pushes one of the buttons and then looks at us to see if we're dancing. It's pretty hilarious. She also really likes standing up so this lets her stand and play which is nice. I don't want her to be in it too frequently, but I'm going to start babysitting my 3-month old nephew next week so during that transition it will be nice to have something that both entertains her and keeps her safe when I can't be right by her side.
So there you go. A short and sweet update. Anyone else have a baby near this age? What are they doing? It's fun to hear since babies vary so much in what they pick up and when.

Also, stay tuned for a Not Me! Monday post coming up. I've got some good ones :) Be thinking of yours to share!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year's Goals

Have you made a New Year's resolution? I haven't. I try not to do those. It always seems like the same things and they pretty much never happen, or people only stick to them for a little while. I prefer to set some goals for the year instead. Goals have a deadline. There's a definitive point of accomplishment (if you set them properly). Plus it just feels better to say I'm working toward a goal than I'm sticking to my new year's resolution, or I accomplished my goal rather than I stuck to my resolution all year. Yknow? That's my take anyway.

So I've been thinking about my goals for 2011. What do I want to do this year? Here are some things I've thought about so far. I may add more...

-I like organizing. So I think I might try to get my house more organized. Having a baby this year both gave me greater cause for organization and less time to do it. My goal is one room each month.

-I also like saving money. I stopped working this year, so we've done some general off-hand budgeting, but I'd like to take a good look at our budget and create one that makes sure we're saving money. Then I want to seriously stick to it. My goal is to have a budget set by the end of January and stick to it at least through the year, then we can reevaluate.

Those are my more serious "need to be done" goals. I'd also really like to sell my elliptical machine ($300 negotiable, for anyone who's asking). It's in perfect condition and works great, I just prefer a treadmill. I know they're supposed to be worse on the joints, but there's something about actual running that makes me feel better. That said, I'd like to get back into it and maybe sign up for some races - again, the deadline factor will get me running regularly. I could just run outside but I'm too much of a sissy for that. I'm not going out in rain, cold, or extreme heat. I can't run while my baby naps and I'm not investing in one of those strollers to push her while I run. And I'm definitely not dragging my tush out of bed at some ungodly hour to run in the mornings. I won't run while it's dark because I'd like to see my family again. Yea, treadmill it is.

I also have some things in mind that I'd like to do around our house. I really need to decorate our bedroom. It's builder paint with a few pictures I finally hung on the walls. But generally it looks like crap. Our house also needs new carpet and some various other flooring, but that might have to wait. We'll see what the budget looks like!

So, any goals for 2011? Do share. You may inspire the rest of us!