Monthly Archives: October 2005

Needy Dogs and the Time Change

I was all excited about getting an extra hour of sleep due to the “fall back” time change. Well, it turns out that babies do not know about this extra hour that you are supposed to sleep. Meaning that Adrianna woke up for her early morning feeding today at 3:40 a.m. instead of 4:40. (On the days that I work, I often get up at 4:40 to feed Adrianna if she doesn’t wake up on her own.)

This early waking wouldn’t have been a big deal if I could have gone back to bed and slept for another hour. However, I forgot to change my alarm clock back an hour since I was gone over the weekend. ARGH. So after I fed the baby, my clock indicated that it was 5:00 a.m. even though it was really 4:00 a.m. So I got up and started going about my normal get-ready-for-work routine. I went downstairs, made breakfast, and sat down to watch the 5:00 news. Only the news wasn’t on. It was at this point that I looked at the clock on our cable box, which automatically updates, and noticed my error. It was only 4:30 a.m. *sigh* As if I don’t get enough sleep on any given night as it is.

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When I went to Wyoming over the weekend, I left the dogs at home with Greg. They really missed me. They even slept on Greg’s side of the bed since I was not home.

When I got back, they were beserk in their greetings for me. It is really cool how they can tell that I was actually away somewhere and not just at work or grocery shopping.

This morning though, they were extra needy. Usually they will get up in the morning when I go downstairs so that I can let them outside to do their business. After I let them back in, they get back in bed and go back to sleep. Not today. They got up the moment I got out of bed and followed me around all morning until I left for work. I actually had to even shut the bedroom door so they would stay upstairs when I left. I think they were afraid that I might leave them again. Poor, sweet, faithful dogs.

Two solid meals a day

I started Adrianna on two solid meals a day now. Fruit is also now a regular part of her diet. She really likes bananas and pears.

The bananas smelled really good, so I actually got brave enough to taste them myself. They didn’t really taste like bananas to me, but they were pleasant enough. Aren’t I awful that I am not brave enough to taste the veggies I am feeding my own little child?

I decided Adrianna isn’t too keen on green beans. She still likes her carrots though, and doesn’t seem to mind rice cereal.

This whole parenting thing is a lot of work. And selflessness. Even feeding her another solid meal a day is hard for me. Breastfeeding is so much more convenient, so I guess that is why I have delayed the 2nd meal as long as I have. I finally decided that I need to knuckle down, as she is at the age where she needs to transition her meals to be less milk and more solids to some degree.

Adrianna had 3 poopy diapers today. My goodness and two of them were huge. Of course I was the lucky one to discover and change the huge ones. She never saves those for her daddy while I am at work. Unfortunately they caused her to have a painful diaper rash. The kind that makes her cry when you clean her little bottom. Poor baby.

Adrianna is getting really good at getting around. She can scoot backwards while on her belly and she has got the rolling back and forth thing down pat. She doesn’t get far and doesn’t move fast unless she is on the bed. Then she seems to move lightning quick so that we have to be really careful not to let her roll off. Still no crawling, but I am still expecting that to occur at any moment now.

Ku Klux Klan and Scattegories

In a previous post, I mentioned how my family loves to pick on each other. Greg also likes to pick on ME, so he fits right in.

One time, Greg and I were playing Scattergories with my family. Scattergories is a game that consists of a list of 12 categories. A letter die is rolled. Whatever letter the die lands on is the letter each player must use to come up with 1 example of a word that starts with that letter for each of the 12 categories. Only one answer per category is allowed. For instance, if the letter is G and one of the categories is Foreign City, you could write down Geneva. The goal is to think of answers that the other players will not, because duplicates are marked out at the end of the slotted time period. For each remaining answer, one point is scored. Points are good. Another strategy is to think of answers that contain two or more words that both start with the letter. So if the letter was M and the category was cartoon character, you could put Mickey Mouse and score 2 points if no one else had it as their answer.

Well, back to the story. We were playing Scattergories with my family. The letter was K and one of the categories was Persons in Uniform. Thinking I was pretty clever, I came up with Ku Klux Klan. Three points.

When we were reading our answers after the time was up, Greg stopped me as I was reading my Ku Klux Klan and stated, “Is that how you wrote it down? It is Klu Klux Klan, not Ku Klux Klan.”

Well, my family immediately picked up on this taunt and joined in. I still insisted that I had it right, but no one believed me and everyone took Greg’s side and enjoyed teasing me about my “mistake.”

Fast-forward a few weeks. I don’t remember for sure how we found out the correct spelling of Ku Klux Klan, but I think it may have been when we were playing Scattergories with Greg’s family. Lo and behold, I had been correct and Greg was wrong.

Isn’t it just great how my family instantly took Greg’s side in the teasing, when it turns out I was correct all along? It is like a pack of wolves hunting for sustenance. They see a supposed weakness and all attack at once. Hehe. But let the record stand that I was right!

Quality Time with the family

This past weekend at my parents’ house was awesome. Both Karen and Cindy were there, and I really enjoyed their company. We all played Rummikub and Scattergories and also got some scrapbooking in. I am so glad I made the trip. I have been wanting to get in some quality time with my sisters for awhile now. They have grown up so much. One thing I regret is that I was absent during some of their growing up years while I was 8 hours away at college. I feel like I missed out on getting to know them during that time. And now they are mature adults.

When I was a teenager, they used to always want to tag along with with me when I had friends over. Being that they were 5 and 8 years young then I was, I greatly frowned on this and hated it when mom made me include them. Now I am sad that I was so careless. It was I that missed out. I think it is typical of older siblings though, at least to some degree. But now that we are all grown up, I am excited to see them and enjoy hanging out with them. I guess that is why this weekend was extra important to me.

Quit Sitting on the Job

This isn’t so much a funny thing that was said, but more a laughable reaction to what was said.

When Karen was two, she was sitting on our yellow armchair and someone jokingly told her to “Quit sitting on the job.” She raised up her bottom and looked down to see what she was supposedly sitting on.

The Golden Arches and McDonalds

Okay, I am going to pick on Cindy again.

We were in Cheyenne and were going to go out to eat. Eating at McDonalds was a big deal for us kids when we were in Cheyenne, because the town we lived in did not have one. Knowing this, Dad asked if we wanted to eat at the “golden arches.” Cindy got upset and promptly told Dad, “No! I want to eat at McDonalds!”

“Amber, did you flunk Will?”

It turns out that my mom actually has written down a few of the funny things us kids have said over the years. It is a virtual gold mine of funny things that we didn’t remember until reading the entries tonight brought them back to mind. We spent several minutes reading the entries and laughing out loud. I also reminded her of a few that weren’t written down, so she added those to her list. Watch out siblings of mine!

Well, on to the quote. This one is for Cindy.

When I was 14, my first “boyfriend” and I broke up. When Cindy, who was 7 years old at the time, found out about it, she exclaimed, “Amber, did you flunk Will?”

“She’s gonna get her nose pushed in”

Well, in all fairness, I guess the first mistake in using an idiom should be my own. This is one that my mom especially likes to bring up.

In 1990 when I was 12 or 13, my mom, dad, and I went to the animal shelter in Cheyenne and ended up adopting a sweet little red dachshund, Buddy. Buddy was the first dachshund we ever owned and thus began our love for the breed.

Anyways, we had just adopted Buddy at the shelter and were eating lunch in Cheyenne before heading home. We were talking about how our existing pets, namely our tabby cat Sandy, would take the new addition to our family. I told my parents that she was bound to “get her nose pushed in.” What I meant was that she was going to “get her nose bent out of shape.”

My Family

My family is loud. We all like to talk, and when we get together, we all talk quite loudly and excitedly. We also like to make fun of each other, especially when one of us makes a mistake in our grammar or messes up the use of an idiom. Something that you might have said 10 years ago (or even more) is constantly brought up again for everyone’s enjoyment and so they can laugh (again) at your expense. It is all in good fun.

This weekend, several mistakes were brought up again, as usual. Mistakes from the early 90’s. We decided that it would be a good idea to write the past, present, and future mistakes down for posterity’s sake. And so we can continue to make fun of the person that said them. hehe. So, I have added a new category for Quotables. Plus, I figure that Adrianna will be talking soon, and there are bound to be adorable things that she will say that I will want to remember.

My plans for this weekend

I am so excited. I have decided to go visit my family this weekend and do some scrapbooking with my sisters, who will also be visiting my parents. Greg is going to stay here and catch up on some relaxing. And since Adrianna will be with me, I imagine that he will also catch up on sleep, in spite of not having me around to make him go to bed at a decent hour.

As I write this, Babyanna is making a lot of noise in her activity center. She is so cute – she enjoys making noise with the various toys on it. She is so proud of herself that she then will rock back and forth excitedly and make happy baby squeals. I am glad the thing won’t tip over – she gets pretty violent.

Sounds I love to hear

While in church on Sunday, during the worship part of the service, I happened to overhear Greg singing. I just had to stop singing myself and listen. I enjoyed it very much and couldn’t get the beautiful sound out of my head for quite some time. It got me thinking about sounds that are special to me. Here is a list of some of my favorite sounds or things that I find pleasant to my ear. They are not in any particular order:

  • Greg singing (in general but also especially to Adrianna)
  • Adrianna cooing
  • Adrianna laughing or squealing with joy
  • Hearing my family or Greg’s family dote on Adrianna
  • Listening to Greg talk to and play with Adrianna
  • Hearing Greg say my name
  • When Greg calls me Ber-Ber
  • The silence (or muffledness) falling snow can bring
  • The crackling of a campfire
  • Greg playing the guitar or the banjo (seriously!)
  • Chloe’s happy chortle noise
  • The thump, thump, thump of Molly’s happy tail against things
  • The jingle of Molly’s collar as she faithfully follows me around the house
  • A cat purring
  • Rolling thunder (especially in the mountains where it echoes)
  • Listening to rain fall on the roof and knowing everyone I love is home and safe
  • The popping of popcorn, in anticipation of curling up with a big bowful, a diet coke, a blanket, and a good book
  • A song with tight harmonies and amazing vocals
  • Being in church with other believers, all lifting our voices in praise to God

I have noticed that most of my favorite things to listen to have to do with family, feelings, and also the memories that are evoked when I think about them.

New Paint and Living Room Arrangement

I finally got around to taking pictures of our new and improved living room arrangement. It is hard to tell by the pictures, but the paint is a light tan and makes the house look so much better than the boring white that had been painted throughout. I wish we would have done this years ago. I am also liking the new arrangement we have our furniture in. I think it makes the room look larger, which will be a good thing once it comes time to sell our house.

New Living Room Arrangement

BTW – See if you can spot the dog in the below picture. Somehow Molly seems to manage to sneak into quite a few of my pictures that I take.
New Living Room Arrangement
If you need a hint, check out the patch of sun on the right side of the picture. The dogs LOVE laying in the sun.

Weekend spent in Kansas

We decided to spend the past weekend in Kansas with Greg’s family. We hadn’t been out there since May and we heard that Kristi would also be visiting, so we figured it was a great time to make the trek out there. I am so glad we did.
Amber, Greg, Adrianna, and Molly

We arrived Friday evening. We hadn’t even gotten out of our car before the garage door had opened and Grammy and Grampy and Aunt Kristi came out to greet us. Or, should I say, to greet Adrianna. Greg and I were just a nice afterthought. We don’t mind. It brings us great joy and pride to see our families fuss over Adrianna. Nothing could make us happier.

On Saturday we also spent some time with Adrianna’s Great Grandparents on the Reimer side. Great-Grandpa Reimer loves holding Adrianna and carried her all afternoon. Great-Grandma Reimer loves spoiling her grandchildren and now her great-grandchild. She was really itching to feed Adrianna some vanilla and chocolate parfait but kindly refrained when we told her that we are being strict with Adrianna’s food intake for now. I am sure she cannot wait for that restriction to lift so she can do the whole grandma thing in regards to sweets.
Adrianna and her great-grandparents

Speaking of parfaits, Dave (Grandpy) was holding Adrianna while he ate his parfait. Adrianna watched his spoon go from the parfait to his mouth. As the spoon was heading back to the parfait glass, she followed it with her head ducking and her mouth wide open! It was so funny to watch. Yeah, she is definitely ready for “solid” baby foods.

Saturday evening Aunt Kristi and Grammy gave Adrianna a bath. I enjoyed being able to sit back and watch. Adrianna made sure to make splashes large enough to get everyone wet. She loves baths.
Adrianna

On Sunday, we got to see the new addition to the church that Dave pastors. It is amazing and so beautiful. I really like the people that attend the church. They are all so friendly. Every time we visit I feel right at home and loved by the parishioners. Greg and I were glad to see Darrell and Gail Voth and their two kids while we were there. (Darrell and Gail used to live in the Denver area.) Lily, like all toddlers, liked to look at the baby.
Lily and Adrianna
I was proud of Adrianna. She was such a joy and smiled at everyone who greeted us.

For Sunday lunch, we decided to let Adrianna try a bite of our mashed potatoes. We figured that, even though it wasn’t official baby food from a jar it was still, after all, mashed. It didn’t turn out so well. The look on her face was one of dislike. Then, it turned to gagging. Which of course freaked me out. I guess this proved that she isn’t ready for “real” solids yet. Or at least solids that contain yummy garlic and onion flavorings. hehe.

We had to come back to Denver on Monday. Though the trip was long, it went well. Adrianna was such a doll. She only cried when she was hungry. I was worried that she would sleep most of the trip and then not be able to go to sleep tonight, but thankfully that was not the case. While she did take longer naps then she normally does, she also was awake for much of the trip and happily played with her toys or talked to me and the dogs. (Chloe and Molly sat on one side of her carseat and I sat on the other when I wasn’t taking my turn driving.)
Adrianna drives the car

6 Months Old

Can my baby really be 6 months old today? My, how time flies! Half a year already. It sounds like such a long time, but in reality it has come and gone so quickly. Adrianna has changed and grown so much in 6 months time. So have we.

Nothing that is within Adrianna’s reach is safe anymore. The dogs, the wall, the carpet, her toys, my hair, my earrings. All are subject for grasping, scratching, and/or tugging. While I am excited and anticipating her beginning to crawl within the next few weeks, I am also dreading it. Our house isn’t baby-proofed at all yet. I was hoping we would be moved to a new house before we would have to baby-proof, but it doesn’t look like that will be the case. Once she starts to crawl I will really have to keep an eye on her. And so will the dogs.

Speaking of dogs: I am proud of Chloe and Molly. Both have had their tails or other body parts pulled on, and they have been really patient. Such good dogs. Not once have they given me any cause to worry about them. They are extra needy now that they get less attention from me. Often when I am holding Adrianna, both dogs will feel the need to also be in my lap. When they are not in my lap, they are at least close by. A normal day for me consists of my carrying Adrianna to whatever room I am hanging out in, followed by Chloe and Molly. So all of Greg’s girls are always pretty much together. Greggor is the lone alpha male.

Tonight we fed Adrianna green beens for the first time. She didn’t seem as excited about them as she did the carrots, but she didn’t spit them out either. I will have to post pictures later on. I would do it tonight, but I have to be AT work in 6.25 hours. I guess I should go to bed now…

Picasa and Organizing Photos

Greg mentioned to me recently that a friend of his uses Google’s Picasa program to organize his photos and that he swears by it. Since Picasa is a free downloadable program, I figured I might as well give it a try.

What a fabulous program! I would especially recommend it for users who do not already have some type of photo editing program (i.e. Adobe Photoshop, etc). It would be perfect for people who like to email pictures to friends. Have you ever gotten an email with pictures from someone, and when you click on the picture it is SO huge that you cannot view it all in your browser? Picasa can automatically resize your photos for you before you email them. You just click on the photos you want to email and go to File/Email. Choose your Email program (Outlook, Gmail, or Picasa/Hello). Then you are brought straight to your email program with an email draft started, including the pictures already attached for you.

Picasa’s editing tools are also very simple to use. So much simpler for the average user than navigating through Adobe Photoshop. You can easily reduce red-eye, crop the photo, and straighten the photo – all with just a couple clicks of your mouse. I love the straightener! I had a couple pictures that I took while in Vancouver of a sunset that were just gorgeous. But Greg pointed out that my horizon was crooked, which it was. With just a couple clicks of my mouse I can fix them now.

For users on blogger.com, Picaso also has an easy “Publish to Blogger” feature.

I am still learning to use this feature, but already I have fallen in love with it. And you can’t beat the price! I love Google. Thanks to Graham (via Greg) for the tip.