Nothing Brings Happiness Like…

…sweaty little feet and chubby red cheeks after playing hard at the park.

…”Sweet to the Core” pineapple pajamas with ruffly little shorts.

…an hour spent squealing, laughing, running, and spinning together with my girl.

…knowing Daddy is coming home early tonight.

…listening to Daddy giving Hula Girl a bath.

…seeing my child, my sweet child, discover new things.

 

“Come Here” Means Come Here!

A Limerick Describing our Day

There once was a wee tiny baby.

Her Mama said, “Come!”; she said, “Maybe.”

She turned and with glee,

She fell to her knees,

And laughed her head off like she’s crazy!

I know it sounds like I’m complaining- I am not. I think this has been one of the most hilarious days ever. Hula Girl’s second waketime of the day left me chuckling to myself even as I tucked her in for her nap.

When I got her up from her morning nap, Hula Girl wanted nothing to do with her milk. She drank about 3 ounces, but then she was all about her book. I frequently read to her in the rocking chair in her room while I’m giving her her milk. However, she has learned to make all the animal sounds associated with the pictures in the book, so she was just too into that to drink. That’s fine- I decided I’d give her the rest of her milk at lunch. She pointed and bawked, neighed, baaed, mooed, quacked, tweeted, squeaked, and oinked her way through her book- twice. So fun!

During independent playtime I peeked in when she was crying a bit. She wasn’t even looking for me; she was just sending out a general complaint I suppose. Once I went in to get her, she jumped up and down (a feat which leaves her playpen a mess) and pointed excitedly out the window. She does this every time. There is never anything different outside the window. It’s always just the two red chairs and the inflatable pool in our neighbors’ yard. Nothing interesting. But I look and say, “Oh, wow! I see the chairs! I see the pool!” etc. Every time.

Lunch came around and she ate her entire grilled cheese sandwich, a quarter of a watermelon, and two helpings of goldfish crackers. She did not, however, drink her milk. Stinker.

Next up was helping me fold laundry. She put a bib on her head and waddled around a bit, hooting like an owl and saying, “Ow!! OW!!” She knows how to say “Owl” and she knows what an owl says. Who taught her that? I think I mentioned it once when we were looking at one of her bibs. Maybe twice… but months ago. Kid blows my mind.

Then she found my phone. All I heard was, click. boop boop boop boop boop boop boop! riiiiiing riiiiiing riiiiiiiing. She had dialed my mother-in-law. I decided to put it on speaker and just say hi. However, since my mother-in-law didn’t answer, she got a lovely message from us, during which Hula Girl kissed the phone twice and hooted like an owl once. Nice.

And then Hula Girl gestured to the computer and said, “Zhu-zhu?” which in Hulagirlese means, “Music?” So I turned on some ballet music. She promptly started dancing, so I took out her Easter tutu and put it on her. She looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooved it.  I am not even kidding you when I tell you she picked up random bits of the tutu and kissed it at least a thousand times. What a happy girl she was. Oh, and her dancing improved tremendously as soon as the tutu was on. I think she’s ready to perform in Swan Lake.

I was putting away her bibs in the kitchen drawer, and she had one in her hand, so I asked her to bring it to me. She did what she always does when I ask her to come, which is to turn the other way and scamper off as fast as she can. She usually falls. But today, in her tutu, she ran gracefully around the couch and looked like a lovely ballerina on stage. The next thing I saw was her little face poking out from behind the couch at me, which of course made me laugh. This made her giggle like mad! She loved it!

I love my kiddo.

Gabriel, put your chocolate down!

For those of you who are friends of mine on facebook, sorry for the double-use of a very interesting phrase.

This morning during Hula Girl’s independent playtime, she was listening to Bible songs for kids, and I could not, for the life of me, make out what the lyrics were on one of the songs. The closest I got was, “Gabriel, put your chocolate down!” I am 99.9% positive those were not the actual lyrics. But it gave me a great mental image!

Speaking of Hula Girl, she’s really been putting her hormonally-imbalanced Mama to the test these past few days. Let’s not forget, here, folks, that I am in the middle of weaning her, which causes hormone wackiness. I have been tired, crabby, and edgier in general. But add to that mess Hula Girl’s Wonder Week (you can find out more information about wonder weeks here) and her newfound love of screaming, and you’ve got yourself a VERY happy Mama when Daddy comes home at night.

I love this kid. I mean, for real. She’s a super cool baby. Not to mention, she’s pretty darn cute. However, she has done some not-so-cool and not-so-cute things within the past 24 hours which have contributed to her Mama’s DESPERATE need for ice cream. Allow me to elaborate…

1. Liquid intake. Hula Girl has decided it is no longer “dans le vent,” as they say in French (“fashionable” for those of you illiterate or rusty in the French language), to simply drink from a cup. No, no! She takes her cue from her friend Shamu, and spits her dew and says, “Wahoo!” Not only does Mommy get soaked, but Hula Girl goes through like 5 outfits/day again… just like when she was little and refluxy. I am ignoring this behavior in hopes that it gets boring after a few days.

2. Solid food intake. Hula Girl is decidedly slowing down her eating, and eating much less than she did even a week ago. Fine by me. But it still makes me crazy how slowly she eats.

3. Miscellaneous intake. Yep, had to call the Poison Control Center (again) last night. Why? She shook the (childproof) lid off my prenatal vitamins. I thought I cleaned them all up, but she got her little hands (and then mouth) on one. She had orange foam coming out her mouth. So gross. Apparently it didn’t taste bad enough for her, though. Here’s why- during her independent playtime, she started to cry a lot. Unusual for her. When I got to her, I noticed her pointing and whimpering and wiping her mouth. What was she pointing at, you may ask. I wasn’t sure at first… but then I realized… it was her poop. !?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!????!!!!  Her diaper failed to contain everything, and it got smushed against the side of her playpen, and she thought it looked tasty (or at least interesting enough to investigate), and she tried it. And then cried.  But did she learn? NO! I took her outside after lunch, and we played in the sprinkler, and she decided to eat a rock. Sigh.

4. Spills, spills, spills. Water, food, water, milk, food, toys, water, food, milk. You get the gist.

5. Random potty maneuvers. Hula Girl has decided it’s fun to climb into her potty. She has also decided she doesn’t want to peepee in her diaper any more. No, she’d rather wait until she’s lying on her back fully clad (other than the diaper) so she can go all over her clean clothes and clean changing pad cover. Have I mentioned how many outfits she goes through each day?! There is a bright side to this issue- she is VERY aware of when she goes peepee. She looks, watches, and then yesterday she started pulling at her diaper to let me know it was wet. We will be potty training for real when she’s done weaning. I just don’t want to throw all that at her at one time.

By the way, she is way too young to be doing things she does. Saying colors? Showing me she wants to be out of diapers? I’m all for it… I just don’t think I am ready to parent a baby who thinks like a toddler. Only by the grace of God. I pray for His wisdom in raising her every single morning. And I’m pretty sure that’s what gets us through. That and our washer.

 

 

Garden Photos/Project Update

Here are some lovely hollyhocks- these were actually here before we moved in. They’re perennials, they’re beautiful, and we’re taking LOTS of seeds when we go!

Aawww, how cute! Our carrots have foliage!

Our kale can beat up your kale!

A wildflower from the wildflower mix finally bloomed! It’s lovely, is it not?! It’s about the size of a half-dollar coin.

Another view of our carrot patch. Kind of blurry. Very messy with dead leaves and sticks.

Our snap peas blossomed… and gave us beautiful flowers to behold!

Remember those tasty little rubies? Here they are!

Okay, so I didn’t plant these. But this basket is a beautiful basket, and I tend to it better than I do to the rest of the plants!

Our first harvest! Yummy, they were good!

And here’s a teaser shot for the table- I haven’t gotten it cleaned off enough to take a picture of the entire thing yet. Trust me, I love this thing. It’s worth the wait.

Another teaser shot- there are drawers on the ends of the table. My neighbors, who are awesome, got me these acrylic drawer pulls. Lovely.

There’s the back of a chair- just to give you an idea of what they look like. Distressed, but not too distressed, you know?

Annnndd…. A new project! I found these beauties at the flea market a couple weeks back. I can’t WAIT to get my hands on them! I’m thinking aqua, with a bit of white. Or maybe steely gray. I can’t decide.  (And yes, that’s a king size headboard behind them, which I was unable to convince the lady to keep… so… anyone need a really old headboard?)

 

I’m thinking of doing steely gray fixtures and then making the wire part steely gray as well. Or gold! See, haven’t decided.


Busy but Good Busy

Well, it has, yet again, been a while. I have not felt particularly busy, but things have been happening. Definitely have a lot going on around here, when I stop to think about it. Lovin’ the craziness, because it’s coming at a doable pace. Bring it on.

Hula Girl Update

  • Weaning- Well, it’s official. We started weaning exactly one week ago. We started by dropping one of her nursings and replacing it with a cup of whole milk. She did pretty well, drinking about 4 oz the first day, which was way more than I expected. She then proceeded to drink anywhere from 1 to 4 oz/day for the last week. Today, I dropped a second nursing. She drank 3 oz for the first cup, and when she wakes from the current nap, she’ll have the opportunity to drink up to 6 oz more (although I think she’ll stick with 3-4 oz). We’re currently on 2 nursings/day now, one right when she gets up and one right before bed. I think I will drop the bedtime nursing last. By the time she’s 100% weaned, our goal will be 16-24 oz of whole milk/day, spread across 4 cups. Doable. I am also remembering that we can count yogurt, cheese, and on the (very infrequent and special) occasion, ice cream.
  • Talking- Hula Girl is on the brink of a major language explosion again, I do believe. She is really into jabbering and babbling on and on in baby talk. I hear a lot of “Dadadamamadadammamanaanoononono.” She also likes to experiment with pitches and volume. Her favorite pitch/volume combo is definitely the ear-piercing shriek. Her second favorite is the whispered, “Ahhhhhhhhhh!” She has gotten quite good at saying and signing many words, such as more, mama, dada, milk, no, uh-oh, elbow (pronounced, “Bel-bow!”), all done, banana, and a few more. We’ve also noticed her ability to make the sounds for quite a few animals, including pigs, sheep, dogs, cats, lions, tigers (which sound freakishly similar to lions), chickens, fish, ducks, and monkeys.  But my favorite “new words” as of recent times have been the colors. Yes, she knows some colors. I walked into her room yesterday wearing a purple dress, and she pointed to it and said, “Pu-pow.” She has also successfully identified blue (“Boo”) and yellow (“weh-wow”). Oh, and she can say our cat, Riley’s, name: “Rah-rah.” She even uses the /r/ sound. I can’t wait until this girl really gets going!
  • Walking/Standing with Arms Down- Hula Girl’s walking and standing has mostly included the “arms-bent-at-the-elbow-and-balled-into-fists-for-balance” maneuver. However, she’s been trying to walk and stand with arms at her sides for the past couple of days. Let me tell you, that has got to be the funniest thing to witness, ever. Since she doesn’t have her hands up to balance, she sticks her little tummy out instead- like, WAY out. And she doesn’t do it slowly or subtly. Nope, it’s more of a hip-thrust motion that goes awry, and it always knocks her down after a few steps. So funny.
  • Does it Fit?- Hula Girl’s latest “something to do” obsession has been to see what fits inside of what. She has a Victoria’s Secret shopping bag, a big plastic liquid measuring cup, a felt brown toy grocery bag, and a small 1/3 cup dry measuring cup. These, together with her other toys, have kept her entertained for hours during the past week. She’ll start by putting something in the Victoria’s Secret bag, lifting it, and walking around with it for a bit. Then she moves the toy to the liquid measuring cup, and carries it around. Next, to the grocery bag, to be carried, and finally, to the dry measuring cup. Most of her toys don’t fit in the dry measuring cup. However, if they do fit, she will walk around holding the cup by the handle and jiggle the toy inside of it so that it clanks around while she walks, which is probably the most fun she’s ever had. Just ask her! She also likes to go “shopping” and fit as many toys as possible in one container before dumping them into the next. Carrying boxes, bags, and containers is the coolest!

My Projects Update

  • Well, the table and chairs are finished! I will be taking/posting pictures soon. I will actually be posting a before/after because it really does make me HAPPY to see what we started with, and how it ended up. Let me just say, I LOVE our table and chairs now. LOVE. I couldn’t be happier with them.
  • I also cut the fabric for 12 cloth napkins to go with my table and chairs today. I will be finishing the hems this evening after I visit our local Walmart for the thread (I know, who runs out of white thread!?) They match the chair fabric.
  • I will be making some cloth flowers next, to put up on my shutters in the kitchen. I have an old window and shutters hanging on the wall, and I will be putting a mini-bunting in the window, but the shutters really need… something…. to make them seem less boring. Fabric scraps? Check. Flowers are definitely in our future. 🙂

Garden Update

Remember how I was feeling somewhat down about our garden recently? Well, I’m not so forlorn anymore.

  • Carrots- they’ve come up, and now they’re sprouting the more ferny-looking leaves at the top! SO cute!
  • Kale- um, we’re having a lot of Zuppa Toscana soup this fall. I am so looking forward to it. (Did you know, by the way, that kale is one of nature’s superfoods? It’s PACKED with nutrients, and it’s quite tasty!)
  • Chives/Green Onions- The ground looks like the head of a ChiaPet where I planted these babies. I consider that a good sign.
  • Strawberries- our strawberry plants make delicious strawberries. They’re tiny, but it’s like eating the very best, sweetest little rubies on the planet. Seriously, they’re awesome.
  • Herbs- haven’t sprouted. Boo.
  • Green Beans- These babies are taking over our lives. They’re going to be monstrous.
  • Peas- We’ve already harvested/indulged on these little pops of perfection. My friend Aaron recently tasted some of the first harvest, and referred to fresh snap peas such as ours as “God’s candy.” Well said, Aaron.
  • Jalapenos- the potted ones are hangin’ in there; the ones in the ground aren’t coming up. Not that I mind.
  • Broccoli- we have one broccoli plant. It’s surviving.
  • Cucumber- we have one cucumber plant. It’s surviving, but definitely not thriving. I will be shocked if we have cucumbers at all.
  • Tomatoes- all three plants have yellow blossoms and are on the 2nd or 3rd rung of our tomato holder thingies.
  • Squash- we have so many squash plants. I hope you all like painted gourds, because that is what we’re giving away for Christmas presents this year. I might only be half-kidding.
  • Brussels sprouts- not sure on these. We might have some growing, but they might be weeds. We’ll see when they get bigger. We just don’t know what they’re supposed to look like when they sprout.
  • Corn- oh yeah, our corn is growing now!!! We’ve got about 25 corn plants that have sprouted; I am sure more are on their way. YESSSS!
  • Watermelon and Cantaloupe- After the squirrels ate the first round of seeds, Jonathan planted about 17 seeds/mound. And we’ve got about 7 plants growing outside. Now if we could just remember which ones were cantaloupes and which ones were watermelons…

See, busy. But good busy. Pictures to come.

 

 

To-Do List

  1. Start weaning Hula Girl (like, immediately).
  2. Make a pillow.
  3. Make some napkins.
  4. Make placemats and a table runner.
  5. Actually sit down and write a blog post longer than 11 sentences.
  6. Weed the garden.
  7. Harvest some more veggies from the garden (photo tomorrow).
  8. Go grocery shopping.
  9. Write thank you notes for Hula Girl’s birthday gifts.
  10. Cook dinner.

Some of these might be out of order, but that’s how my brain thought it through.

Hula Girl is One!

I copied this from an email update I sent out to my regular Hula Girl followers. It’s LONG! Enjoy!

 

Well Folks,

Here it is. The last of the “baby” updates. I can’t believe it’s time for this.

Hula Girl is doing so well.

I was reading back through all the updates I sent out over the past year, reminiscing and thinking, “I don’t remember that!” (This was an especially common thought when reading the emails from the first couple of months!) I am not exactly sure where to start or what all to say, but there is so much. Sorry if it’s disorganized- I’ll do the best I can.

Current Schedule:

8:00 up, nurse
8:20/30ish breakfast, then play
9:30 go for walk in stroller
10:15 nap
12:00 up, nurse
12:15-12:45 independent playtime
12:45 lunch, then play (we usually go to the park or the library here)
2:15 nap
4:00/30ish up, nurse
4:30-5:00 independent playtime
6:00 dinner
7:30 bedtime routine (bath, lotion, jammies, nurse while Daddy reads)
8:00 bedtime

Sleeping:

Naps:
Hula Girl has transitioned from taking 5-6 naps/day at 2 months of age to taking 2 naps/day. We are currently working on shortening the first nap. We’re doing this because we’re looking forward to the transition to 1 nap/day sometime around December or so, and also because she’s starting to wake somewhat early in the mornings. She does just lay there contently and talk to herself, but I’d like to get her nighttime sleep stretched out as long as possible again. She goes down for all naps and bedtime without a fuss. She sometimes talks to herself a bit before falling asleep, but that’s not really something I’m concerned about.

Nighttime:
Hula Girl goes to bed at 8 or so every night. She sleeps like a rock. The only time she’s woken in the night since she was 6 months old was when she was sick. And that night, none of us slept at all. Boo. She usually wakes around 7:30 in the morning, but as I mentioned above, once I cut her morning nap down, I expect she’ll start sleeping until 8.

Nutrition:

Nursing:
Hula Girl is still nursing 4 times/day. This is compared with the 11, 12, 15 times she nursed each day during her first few weeks of life. Whew, were those tough times! She’s been on a “four-hour schedule” since February or so; it’s been really easy. Her latest nursing habits include, but are not limited to, playing the “eyes-nose-mouth” game, high-fiving, and pinching me while she nurses. (I have had to be very serious-faced and tell her no, she is not allowed to pinch Mommy.) She also has to “kiss” her blanket before she will nurse. Not sure what that’s all about.

Weaning:
We will begin weaning her next Monday. I thought she might have been trying to self-wean a couple of weeks ago, but we just realized that she was really excited to be out of her own environment. Since we’ve been home and stable, she’s been just fine to nurse. But I’m SOOOOOOOO ready to have my body and my “freedom” back. It will be nice to make plans to do something with a friend and not have to worry about pumping, bottles, and being there as soon as Hula Girl wakes from her nap. So on Monday we’re going to begin a 4-week weaning process. I will be replacing her third nursing period with a cup of whole milk. The following week, we’ll replace the second nursing period; then the last, and then the first. I think the slow approach will serve two purposes- first, it will ensure Hula Girl adjusts to whole milk well enough to actually drink it well from a cup before it becomes her sole source of liquid nourishment; second, it will allow my body enough transition time between dropped nursings so that I don’t become engorged going from 4 nursings down to 0 nursings per day. Once she is weaned, I plan to call my best friend Joanna and ask her to accompany me… somewhere… for a whole day’s worth of fun.

Now, I don’t expect Hula Girl to like whole milk at first. I am gearing up for that struggle, as I know it will be tougher on me than it will be on her. I am her Mommy! I want to make sure she’s getting enough!!! But she’ll drink when she’s ready (or just really really thirsty!)

Eating:
Hula Girl has been eating solids for 6 months now, and I have been fascinated to see her tastes change multiple times, even within this time frame! Her current favorites are: blueberries, pasta with creamy sauce of any kind, cantaloupe, rice cakes, corn, and sweet potatoes. Her used-to-be-favorites-but-now-won’t-touch-them are: peas, pears, prunes, and toast. She still eats a wide variety of foods, which makes me really happy. She’s also willing to try anything. I think we might start doing some more adventurous foods soon. The other night she had Mexican (ground turkey and vegetarian refried beans) and she enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure she’d like it- I thought maybe it’d be too spicy for her. Nope!

Medical:

Reflux:
Gone. We took her off all meds at almost 7 months old. She has not spit up in, like, forever. Praise the Lord!!!!

Constipation:
She got a huge constipation problem right around 4 months of age. We ended up having to give her about 1 tsp every day of Miralax, mixed in with bottles of breastmilk, or, once she started solids, her morning oatmeal. We actually used to give her 5 prunes every morning at breakfast, too. Otherwise she got so constipated it was extraordinarily painful for her. Poor little girl would scream and scream, and the only way to get it out was to do a suppository, put her in a warm bath, and massage her little tummy. Plus I had a few times when I had to use a q-tip covered in Vaseline to stimulate that area to help get things moving.  Thankfully, she seems to be drinking enough water every day (at least three sippy cups are downed daily) that she no longer needs the Miralax or the prunes. Another praise!

Eczema:
She still has eczema, and her skin is prone to flare-ups when we go from one environment to another, say, to my parents’ house for the weekend. I think it’s the difference in the water. They have well water, so it’s really hard water, and I think that irritates her skin. Anyway, we still treat her skin daily with Vanicream moisturizer, and use Aquaphor over the top of that if things really get patchy (pun intended). I also have to use special sunscreen on her, without chemicals. I have been using California Baby sunscreen, but I just learned today that Vanicream makes a sunscreen that doesn’t use any chemicals, and I found it pretty cheap on Amazon. I will be purchasing that in the future, at least to try it out.  We have still not found any food or other allergies that seem to trigger her eczema, even after my 4-month-long starvation period. Sigh.

Blocked Tear Duct:
I read that I thought we had fixed this when she was like 2 weeks old. False. She has had 3 infections in her left eye and it always seems to be a bit runny, especially when she has a cold. Our pediatrician has mentioned seeing a pediatric ophthalmologist here in Colorado so we can get that opened up with a minor procedure. I’m not sure I want that… so we keep trying to massage it open. We’ll see how things go.

Milestones:

Locomotion:
Hula Girl is a mover. She is go, go, going all the time. Her preferred form of locomotion is walking; however, she will crawl if need be. For example, she likes to go between the loveseat and the wall, but she is too tall to walk between the space between the wall and the arm of the loveseat. So, she has to crawl between.

She is working on learning how to run. We practiced today at the park. She also saw me jumping today, and she decided that was pretty cool. Her version of jumping includes: a HUGE smile on her face, both arms bent at the elbow so her hands are at her shoulders, hands in fists, bent knees, bent hips, and bouncing. And did I mention the HUGE smile on her face? So funny. We sure got a kick out of her!

Other Physical Skills:
Hula Girl loves to kick her ball, then chase it across the room. She likes to push her push-toy lion, the laundry basket, boxes… anything that will move across the floor. She also likes to put anything down on the floor or on the couch and “fall” on top of it to “take a rest” so that Jonathan or I can rub her back. She really loves having her back rubbed. She looks at us and grins until we come.

She is getting really good at helping me clean up. Today I asked her to put one block in the box; she put the first one in and then picked up three more and put them in the box without even having to be asked! I was truly shocked and delighted!

She is a mountain goat, or she has some kind of spider bite that allows her easy climbing. We have a potato cellar outside our garage, with a door that is slanted at about a 45 degree angle. The other day, Hula Girl was outside with me, eating potting soil while I had my back turned, and then I found her halfway up the door of the potato cellar. She was on her hands and feet, just cruising up the slope like it was nothing! She also knows how to pull herself up the “big steps” on the playground equipment at the park and is close to being able to clamber onto her rocking chair.

Language:
Hula Girl’s receptive language skills are astounding to me. She is able to remember so much, especially about animals. For example, we have a really awesome book that was given to Hula Girl by my friend Ha as a gift for being a flower girl in her wedding. This book has a picture of pretty much every cool thing in the world, including an alligator. So I was reading it with Hula Girl the other day, pointing to pictures and helping her do sounds for animals and such, and she pointed to the alligator, and I said, “That’s an alligator! Chomp, chomp!” I clapped my hands together out in front of me, like an alligator mouth. She smiled, laughed, and clapped her little hands. Fast forward to today. I said, somewhat off hand, “Hula Girl, what does an alligator do?” and she smiles at me, pauses a few moments, and then CLAPS HER HANDS!!!! CHomp, chomp!

She also loves playing games with Jonathan, especially chase. When she hears, “I’m gonna get you!” she squeals with the thrill of fear and glee mingled together, turns away as fast as she can, looks for a place to hide, and buries her face in the couch or whatever stuffed animal or blanket is convenient at the time. Then she proceeds to laugh and laugh and laugh while she gets tickled by her Daddy.

She’s getting really good at following simple directions, too. She will hand me things, go do things I tell her to do, follow me when I ask her to follow, and point to things when asked. This is how we know her receptive language is so keen. She can accurately point to eyes, nose, mouth, ears, cheek, neck, hand, arm, leg, knee, foot, fingers, sheep, dog, lion, ball, box, books, banana, water, Riley, Mommy, Daddy, Hula Girl, blanket, Ama, Papa, elbow, tree, car, flower, rock, stick, swings, buttons, and more. It’s so fun to ask her, “Hula Girl, where is the ______________?” to see what she knows.

She is not really verbalizing that much. She has 9 recognizable words right now: Mama, Dada, wa-wa (water), uh-oh (uses this FREQUENTLY), Nona (Strega Nona is the story we read before every single nap), book, box, bottle, and… elbow! She said “Belbow!” tonight when Jonathan was dressing her in her jammies for bed. She just pointed to his elbow and said, “Belbow!” without any prompting. We just looked at each other in amazement. So cool.

She still loves books. We read to her a LOT. Every nap time is preceded by Strega Nona; every breakfast is followed by at least 2-3 stories, if not more. Every bedtime is accompanied by Jonathan reading to us. We’re 2/3 of the way through Lord of the Rings right now. Ok, not age-appropriate at all, but she’s hearing a LOT of good vocabulary! When we stop nursing at bedtime, I want to add a reading of Goodnight Moon each night before bed.

Parenting:
We have learned a lot. We no longer freak out over every single tiny thing. We are looking forward to watching this little person grow and change and develop in front of our eyes. The Lord has blessed us beyond measure and we can’t wait to receive even more blessings. Yes, we do plan to have another baby. It’s totally worth it. I think I’ve got Jonathan convinced that God told me we’re having twins. 🙂

Enjoy some pictures from today’s visit to the park. These were taken on Hula Girl’s actual 1st birthday. I will send some others in a separate email.

Thank You:
Without your support, prayers, and love, this year would not have been nearly as wonderful as it has turned out to be. We so appreciate each and every one of you in our lives and are overwhelmed by the love you’ve shown to us. Thank you for caring and continuing to support us as we meander along this path called parenthood. It’s tough, it’s overwhelming at times, but it’s wonderful to know that you’ve got our backs! We love you!!!!!!

Kim, Jonathan, and Hula Girl

Surprise! 4.5-day Weekend!

Jonathan came home early on Friday and surprised us. He them proceeded to get a surprise migraine Sunday night/Monday morning, and ended up staying home yesterday as well! So we had a lovely 4.5-day weekend.

It was pretty awesome. I primed and painted our kitchen table. I still have to do another coat of paint and then distress it a bit. I also have to paint the chairs and cover the chair pads with a new fabric. I am considering the one I already posted, but I’m not sure if that’s the vibe I want to go for. I have another idea in mind already. I have to set up the entire thing, china and all, before I can decide.

I also spent some time with our neighbors this weekend, which was fun. We met up at the flea market down the street, where they helped me haul a set of nightstands and a huge (AWFUL) headboard home. I am super-excited about the nightstands- they’re exactly the kind of thing I want for our future home, all for the low low cost of $40 for the pair (headboard inclued- gag me).

Then Neighborfriend and I went to another town very close to here with lots of great antique shops. I found some window accessories, fabric for a pillow I’m making, and some antique eyelet trim to use on something else in the future. Oh, and some great old suitcases in which to keep my crafty stuff, as if two old suitcases were going to be enough- HA!

Our garden is going… fine. I guess. I mean, there are great parts and not-so-great parts of our garden. Great: peas and kale. Seriously, our pea plants are already producing pods that are at least 2-3″ long. Not-so-great: pretty much everything else. Okay, okay, the green beans are coming up. And I have 2 corn stalks. But aside from that, NOTHING is coming up. Nothing. In fact, some of the things I put in the ground as starter plants (ahem, cucumber) are DEAD. And this is not for lack of trying. We did what we had to do to improve the soil (chicken poop, aeration, compost). We water twice, if not three, times a day. We have the entire garden fenced. We have flowers in pots scattered throughout the garden to attract the insects to the flowers. I put down ant poison. I spend 8, if not more, hours weeding each week. And yet, it is somehow not enough. Is it possible for the weather to be too hot for a garden? I thought vegetables LOVED the sun…

Well, I have a lot to do this week, since I’m planning Hula Girl’s birthday party on Saturday. It’s not going to be wild. It’s a few friends and neighbors and family members coming by to enjoy a cupcake and possibly a goody or two. Hula Girl will be wearing a dress from Hawaii, sent by my best friend after her whirlwind honeymoon (mom, dad, aunt, uncle, cousin, and sister included). We’ll have “Aloha Rolls,” which I invented for another friend’s bachelorette party (but unfortunately no one got to eat them because I missed the shindig). They’re delicious. I think I’ll add mini chocolate chips to a few of them this time. Yummy goodness. We’re also planning to skewer some pineapple and veggies and roast them on the barbeque. That plus pink with pearls cupcakes and drinks, and we’re set!

Thoughts on my Hula Girl’s birthday tomorrow.

Daddy’s Home!!

“EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” <waddle waddle waddle> “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” <holds arms up as far as they can go while trying not to fall over backward because her big head is tilted back as far as it can go> “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”

Daddy surprised us by coming home early today. Hula Girl was over the moon. 🙂

Moral Dilemma

Okay, so I will be the first to admit I am not a natural at relationships, aside from Mommy-Daughter relationships, at which I excel. Put me in a room with a group of people I don’t know and a good book I’ve been dying to read, and you’ll likely come back 20 minutes later to find me with the book clutched in my grasp, making awkward conversation, trying to find a way to just sit there and read without anyone else thinking I’m weird. In case you didn’t know, I’m also not that outgoing. Oh, and I have very strong opinions (which I choose to keep to myself in most cases, because I don’t like offending anyone). Whew. Now that you know that about me, please consider the following dilemma and vote on what you’d do.

Hypothetical situation (bear with me, it’s long):

It’s your best friend’s birthday(let’s call her Indigo), and another friend (not a mutual one, but a good friend of your best friend, let’s call her Scarlett) has invited you to a party thrown in your best friend’s honor!

Even though you don’t really hang out with any of Indigo”s other friends, you decide you really ought to go to honor Indigo, and besides, it’s her birthday, for Pete’s sake, and you don’t want to miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate!

So you tell Scarlett that you’ll attend and that you’ll bring a snack that goes with the theme. Next, you ask what the activities are. Scarlett tells you they’ve planned to go waterskiing. You, who have never waterskied in your entire life, inform Scarlett and ask what the dress code is, because you’ll have to go purchase a whole new waterskiing-appropriate outfit. She tells you, and after much deliberation, and spending far more than you could really afford, you purchase the outfit.

The day of the party, Scarlett calls you and informs you that due to a random blizzard, the lake has frozen over and you will not be able to go waterskiing after all. You tell her that’s ok, and then agree to go along with a different plan she comes up with.

Scarlett then sends out a mass email to all the people attending the party asking everyone to bring $50 to cover the new, exciting fun event that she has planned. “What’s the event?” someone else replies. Scarlett never answers.

As chance would have it, you end up not being able to attend the party after all. A British rock band has invaded the interstate, and by the time you could get to the party, the “fun event” would be over. You call ahead to Indigo, to apologize for not being able to make it, and wish her the very best of birthdays.

After the party, you find out that Scarlett’s “big event” was a paint-your-own-pottery class, to which you are morally, ethically, and religiously opposed (since this is a hypothetical situation, let’s say you’re opposed because you believe that only God is the potter, and that humans should not make pots, let alone paint them!) Since you would not have attended that class anyway, and would have refused to pay $50 toward anyone’s participation (the birthday girl included), you feel relieved that you have dodged the proverbial bullet. You got to skip out on something you were opposed to, without having to get up on your soapbox and make everyone else feel bad for participating, and without having to make yourself feel like an idiot for refusing to be part of the “in crowd.” (Middle school flashback?)

Okay, so a few days go by, and Scarlett starts sending emails and messages asking you and the other non-participant, who was also not able to make it, to send her the $50 you would have had if you had attended the party. After all, she did pay for the entire thing, and she was counting on that money from you.

Thanks for your input. Feel free to email me or leave a comment if you have any other ideas. By the way, this hypothetical situation is loosely based on a real situation in my life. I’ve been praying about it and asking lots of wise friends, but I still have not received clarity. I figure it’s good to use my resources!

 

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