Monthly Archives: January 2006

Little Chompers

I was sitting on the couch watching a Scrapbooking show on the tv. Adrianna was sitting on the floor in front of me, contentedly playing with some of her toys. After a little while, she pulled herself up, using the couch, so that she was standing and looking up at me. I wasn’t paying too close attention to her, when all of a sudden I felt this sharp little pain on the top of my foot. OUCH! She bit me. Hard. That got my full attention. Even though it hurt, I couldn’t help but laugh.

The bite reminded me of a story that my mom has told me many times from when I was about 3 years old. My mom was standing at the changing table, changing my little brother’s diaper. I guess I was pretending to be a lion or something like that. I crawled over to where my mom was and bit her on the leg. Cause that’s what lions do, don’t ya know? I may have been playing, but it was also probably a bid for attention since I had went from being the only child to having to share my parents’ affections when Brian was born.

My Laundry Checklist

Here is a mother’s guide on how to put laundry away when you have an older baby or toddler available and willing to help.

  1. Remove freshly laundered clothing from dryer and put in laundry basket.
  2. Carry laundry basket of clothing to bedroom and dump clothes out of basket onto bed.
  3. Proceed to neatly fold laundry.
  4. Put neatly folded laundry back into the basket.
  5. Have one 9-month old baby available to tip basket over and pull out each folded item.
  6. Have baby grab clothing items and shake furiously in the air.
  7. Repeat steps 3-6 as needed.

Sobbing and Sneezes

This afternoon, I dropped Greg off at the airport as he is flying out to San Francisco for a business trip. I have been dreading this all week. I am going to miss him so much and this will be the longest we have ever been apart in our 6 years of marriage. As I dropped him off, he gave Adrianna and I both a goodbye kiss and I tried my hardest to compose myself and hold back tears. Then, I drove away. He stood there and watched us pull away and waved. After I waved back and turned back to look at the road, I couldn’t hold back the floodgates any longer. I cried most of the way home. I am fighting tears even now when I think about it.

I think it would have been easier if he were to have just got in our car and drove off from our house rather than me having to drop him off and leave him. Somehow, that would have seemed more normal, like he was just going to the grocery store and I could expect him back at any moment.

The rest of the afternoon drug on. I called Greg before his plane took off, and I expect a call from him in an hour when he has a layover in Portland. I am already looking forward to hearing his voice again, even if it is only for a few minutes. Just to know he is safe too. I hate flying and I am fearful for my family when they have to fly. September 11th only magnified that fear and gave me one more thing to worry about as a thing that could go wrong on a flight.

Adrianna has been a doll and such a comfort. She has been really cuddly; nuzzling her head on my shoulder and wanting to be held. We did have one funny moment this evening. while I was feeding her some dinner. Right after I had just spooned a big bite of green veggies into her mouth, she sneezed. Bits of dark green landed all over the highchair tray and all over me and my clothing. And of course I am wearing one of my favorite shirts too since I wanted to look nice for Greg today before I dropped him off. So between the green veggies and friendly noserubs that Adrianna also so graciously provides me on a daily basis, I hope a good soaking will work wonders.

Well, on another note, yesterday was our 6 year wedding anniversary. We are going to celebrate it when Greg returns from California. Six Years. Has it really been that long? It has been a wonderful 6 years. This past year has been a lot of fun, and I have enjoyed watching our marriage grow and change as we ourselves grow and change in our new roles as parents to Adrianna. A friend once told me that a woman’s love for her husband often grows and deepens once you have a child, and I would have to say that it is true. Watching Greg with Adrianna brings me so much joy and I feel truly blessed to have them both in my life.

Cuddling or Kleenex?

Adrianna has been extra sweet these past couple of days. She has always enjoyed it when I lay on the floor, as she can then crawl all over her mommy-gym. Today, as usual, she made a beeline for me as soon as I laid down. Once she reached me, it was all cuddles. She buried her sweet, little face into my chest and just snuggled close to me. She would rub her little head back and forth as she held me close. It was then that I realized that I was perhaps just a glorified kleenex, as she left many a trace of her runny nose on my sweater.

Below is a picture of her crawling towards me. Unfortunately it is blurry, but that is because that little booger can cruise when she has a destination in sight.
Adrianna Grace

No More Nursing

Well, I think I am done breastfeeding Adrianna. It wasn’t by my choice; it was by hers. The last few times I have attempted to nurse, she wasn’t too interested. Instead, I was given playful nips as she tried out her four little chompers. Ouch! Or, she would reach out her hand and tweak the nipple that wasn’t being used. That totally weirded me out. I am sure when she reads this in about 14 years she is going to be completely grossed out by this whole post. hehe.

I was hoping to continue breastfeeding until she was about a year old. I guess 9 months isn’t too bad though. I am pretty sad about this part of her babyhood being finished. No more will I get to hold her quite so close and see her big, blue eyes stare up at mine. I will also miss her little hand reaching up and gently patting my face as she eats.

Sure, she can still do some of those cute, little things while I feed her a bottle, but it just isn’t the same. It is so true when people say that breastfeeding is such a great bonding experience with your baby. An experience like none other.

When I first thought about the whole breastfeeding thing back when I was still pregnant, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. Even the first time I fed Adrianna in the hospital I wasn’t sure about it. But after a few days, once my milk really came in, I didn’t mind it anymore (for the most part). Now, I am sad that it is over and done with. My baby is growing up.

My Little Mimic

Today I was hollering up the stairs for Greg. I shouted “Gre-eg” and behind me I heard a little voice call out “aa-aa” in a really similar voice pattern but an octave or so above mine. It is definitely to the point where we need to be careful what we say around Adrianna and what she is exposed to, because she is soaking everything up like a sponge, even if she doesn’t know what it all means yet.

This evening, Greg sold 2 floor monitors from his Springfield days. (Springfield was the name of his band in college; they started out as The Broken.) I am told that this money is to go for a “New Banjo Fund.” That’s right. A new banjo. He likes playing so much that he wants to purchase another one. The one I bought him for his 30th birthday a year and a half ago is okay for a starter one, and now that we know that he is sticking with it, I think a new, nicer banjo is totally justified. He plays that thing all the time. In fact, I can hear him picking away on it right now.

Sleep Schedule

There is nothing better than having your baby on a sleeping schedule. One that includes her sleeping through the night. At least most nights. We put Adrianna down to bed between 7 and 8 and she will sleep until about 7:00 a.m. the next morning. Now if only I could get myself to bed at a decent hour.
Amber, Adrianna, and Mr Bear

Climbing and Independence

Now that Adrianna has fully mastered crawling, it is on to her next achievement. Her new thing now is climbing and pulling herself up to a standing position.

Adrianna pulls herself up on the stairs

One of her favorite things to climb on is me. If I lay down on the floor, she will speed over to where I am at and climb all over me. Climbing includes pulling my hair and grabbing my face. She also loves to grab my earrings, and has pulled at least one out so far. Thank goodness for those backings that are made to come off.

Another thing she likes to climb is our stairway. She made it up one stair on Friday. We didn’t let her go any further, but it is only a matter of time before we will have to put a baby gate across them. We watch her pretty closely now, but she sure can crawl quickly when she is heading towards something that she has been told is off limits.

Adrianna climbs the stairs

She is starting to assert her independence now. While she still generally likes to be held and cuddled, she also now is getting to the point where she sometimes will push me away while I hold her, meaning that she wants to get down and play. But just as she is becoming more independent, so is she also more needy for her mommy. She always wants to be in the same room as me, so if I walk into the kitchen from the living room, she will crawl after me. But when she cannot follow me and I go out of her sight, she will start crying. Even if Greg is holding her, there are many times that she just wants me. I think it is a good thing that I am not the one who has to drop her off at Janette’s for her childcare, because she would probably cry when I leave. As it is, if she sees me through the door when I go to pick her up, she often bursts into tears until she is in my arms, even though she hadn’t cried the entire morning while she was in childcare until I got there.

Speaking of childcare, that has been such a blessing. I am glad that I can continue working and I now work about 15 hours a week. I think it is good for Adrianna to have this interaction with other children, even if they are older than her and she can only watch them for now. I am so thankful for Janette and her family. They are such good neighbors and I will miss them when we move.

Orange Friday

Today has been declared “Orange Friday” by most Denver-ites. The Broncos won their big game last weekend and have another big game against the Steelers this weekend.

Now, I am not a big sports fan. So why am I even choosing to blog about it? Well, it is hard to not notice this Bronco fever today. Out of the 10 people in my department (not including my boss since he hasn’t made an appearance yet today), all but 2 of us have orange and blue on. I am part of the 2 that doesn’t have the orange and blue. Instead, I have my favorite gray wool sweater on since it is cold outside. Mind you, 9 of those 10 people in my department are women. The only guy in my department (again, not including my boss) is the other person without Bronco colors. He actually has Steeler colors on, but it wasn’t on purpose. hehe.

This Bronco mania doesn’t stop with my department. Orange Friday has been declared all over the radio and tv as well. The news anchors on Fox this morning had orange on. The radio deejays claim they are also wearing orange, but of course since we cannot see them they could be lying.

Last weekend, we had dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery with the Rempels and happened to be there during the last Bronco game. The whole place was alive with excitement about the game that was playing on tv and there was much celebration, yelling, and cheering. It was a fun atmosphere really. It almost made me think I could get into watching a football game on tv. Almost.

Tax Season

Tax season is here again. I have to admit that when I received our 1040 form in the mail a couple weeks ago, I almost did a little happy dance. When I received one of our W-2 forms, I ran up to Greg’s office to show him right away. I look forward to and love doing our taxes. It probably helps that we always get a nice refund. But I enjoy preparing taxes for my sisters and my parents too.

Being that I love preparing taxes and working with numbers and money so much, maybe I should have stuck with my accounting major when I was in college. But I switched my major part-way through to Web Design. Go figure.

Sometimes I still think about finishing up my degree since I never did end up graduating. I met Greggor (at Grace University) and got my Mrs. degree instead. In 2004, I decided to go back to school and enrolled at Colorado Christian University. But then that fall we found out we were expecting, so college got put on hold once again. Maybe someday…

Lijie

I just heard a song that I fell in love with on Pandora (a free online music service). The song was Roam by Lijie, who is an artist I have never heard of before. For me, it was one of those songs that only 30 seconds into it had me excited and quickly searching the web for more information on the artist. I love her voice and the simple piano accompaniment of the song. And the sweetness of her voice in the chorus. I need to add this song to my music collection and soon. I guess that is why I felt I had to blog about it only minutes after listening to it and surfing through her website.

Baby and her Bears

Our normal bedtime routine with Adrianna includes rocking her to sleep, using our glider chair. Glider chairs are such a blessing for new parents, by the way. While I rock her, I either sing to her or I play music while she winds down. Then, when she is asleep or almost asleep, I lay her down on her belly and rub her back. That usually does the trick.

There have been a couple nights this week where we have put her to bed still awake though for different reasons. Both times when I have gone in to check on her later, she is asleep and cuddling one of her stuffed animals. So cute. Now that she is older, toys are becoming more important to her and she seems to be developing favorites. I think it is great that they also bring her comfort as she falls asleep.

Adrianna and her bear
A couple nights ago she cuddled one of her bears (shown above). Tonight, it is her dog, Droolie.

Teddy bears have come in handy in other ways too. Now that Adrianna is more mobile, changing her diaper is often a complicated game of trying to keep her from rolling over while taking one diaper off, cleaning up baby, and quickly replacing the old diaper with a new, clean one before any accidents (both pee, poop, or rolling off the table) occur. Easier said than done.

Sometimes, when Adrianna is feeling needy and just wants to be cuddled, there are also tears.

In both cases, I have found that distraction is key. I keep a teddy bear right next to the changing table. When needed, he makes an appearance, complete with a cheesy growl (provided by me). Adrianna loves it and it usually provides the distraction I need to get the job done. This particular bear only makes appearances at diaper changing time, so he is always a fresh novelty toy for Adrianna. So thank you Roston Newton (a college friend who gave me the bear about 7 years ago) for the cute bear. Mr. Bear is very loved and serves a very important job in our house.

My Favorite Children’s Music

I listen to a lot of children’s music with Adrianna. It is funny, because I am finding myself enjoying most of it. Even so, I do prefer some albums over others. I thought I would include a list of my favorite children’s music. I expect that this will expand as we continue to purchase more music for Adrianna. I know there is a They Might be Giants album out there that I am curious to sample. So here is my list so far, in no particular order.

  1. Pet and Play by Do-Re-Me & You (created by )
    • This CD comes with a touch and feel book which Adrianna loves. She enjoys touching the different textures. There is one page with a little mirror and she will bring the book all the way up to her face until it is touching her little mouth so that there are baby prints all over it. Greg and I both enjoy the music. Light, acoustic guitar (and other instruments) accompanies the clear and concise vocals. The instrumentation on this album is superb and of better quality than many children’s albums.
  2. Wiggle Waggle by Do-Re-Me & You (created by Kindermusik)
    • Like the Pet and Play CD, this CD also comes with a board book. The CD itself has light, acoustic guitar (and other instruments) which accompanies the clear and concise vocals. The instrumentation on this album is superb and of better quality than many children’s albums. Adrianna’s Grammy also gave us a stuffed bee and mobile that match the characters from the board book. The bee has become one of Adrianna’s favorite toys.
  3. O Mickey, Where Art Thou? from Walt Disney Records.
    • I have mentioned this CD on my blog before. It is like the O Brother, Where Art Thou? CD but for children. It takes popular songs from Disney movies such as Toy Story and Lion King and puts them to bluegrass tunes. I am very impressed. I like most of the songs on it and enjoy listening to the music right along with Adrianna.
  4. Disney’s Lullaby Album, Vol. 2
    • Of all the instrumental albums we own, both children’s or otherwise, this is one of my absolute favorites. Beautiful piano accompanied by other instruments. Very soothing and well put-together. When I rock Adrianna to sleep while playing this album, it makes me want to fall asleep too (in a good way of course!)
  5. 20 Songs for Kids, Vol. 1 by The Benson Company, Inc. ฉ1987.
    • This is actually a cassette tape from my own childhood that includes many old gospel and Sunday School songs. Maybe it is nostalgia that prompts me to include this on my list of favorites, but I just love this tape. The songs have great harmonies and descants (I am a sucker for good harmonies) and I wish I could find this on a CD. But alas, I cannot seem to find this online anywhere. Probably because it was created before the major advent of the CD or the internet as we know it today. *sigh* How did we ever live before the internet?
  6. Cedarmont Kids
    • We have several CDs from the Cedarmont Kids, and I like all of them. Some songs are better than others, but overall they are great listening.

Verboten

We finally got around to buying some outlet covers at Walmart today. So now our downstairs level is mostly childproof, with the exception of a couple cords that Adrianna likes to grab and twirl and the dogs’ water and food which Adrianna loves to stick her hands in. In fact, she is like a little wind-up toy. We will pick her up and remove her from the area where the dogs’ water/food is and bring her to another part of the room or even the other room. Immediately when we set her back down on the floor, she is back in action, crawling back towards the forbidden area. I swear her hands and legs start moving before we even set her back down. Well, maybe not, but she sure takes off pretty quickly.

We are teaching her the word “NO.” Sometimes she will startle when we say it, but I am not sure if it is just our tone of voice or the actual word. I am pretty sure that she is learning what is allowed and what is not, but she sure likes to push and test us. Not in a bratty way; more of an explorative and inquisitive manner.

I took her to the doctor on Friday because she still has a really bad cold. She got to the point where she was unable to breathe from her nose because it was so runny and stuffy. Her coughing and difficulty breathing was also waking her up during naptime and at night. So we have some drops to give her that help a little. At least they help her to sleep. She weighed 18 pounds and 15.5 ounces.

Her fifth tooth is coming in already. It is on the top towards the back. That explains why she has been chewing on her fingers so much on that side. Sweet baby. At least the last couple of teeth haven’t been bothering her as much as the first couple of teeth did.

This evening she had a poopy diaper. Not an uncommon occurrence. But Annabelle (Shad and Lynette’s dachshund) must have really thought the smell was magical. As Adrianna was crawling around, Annabelle followed her for about 10 feet with her nose right there. Adrianna was unfazed. I can atest to the fact that, upon changing the diaper, the smell was definitely not magical.

Getting a Clue

This weekend was spent with Shad and Lynette. That seems to be a common way for us to spend our weekends now that they have made the move to Colorado, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. All of us love to play games, browse at the Walmart, eat at RockBottom Brewery, and watch movies so it works out quite well.

This weekend we played Clue and Life. In fact, they bought the game Clue for us since we enjoyed playing it so much last weekend. Clue is a game I remember playing as a child, and it is still SO much fun. Now that I am older, I am much better at deducing who has what cards even when it wasn’t my turn to do the asking. In fact, all four of us have come up with our own detailed system to logically eliminate suspects one by one whether it is our turn or not. These elaborate systems include a complicated graph (Greg of course) and printed pieces of paper from a computer (Shad) with different logical ways to figure out the culprit. Lynette and I fall somewhere in between their nerdy systems, though we haven’t fallen prey to creating our systems on a computer quite yet. We have all gotten pretty skilled at the game, in my opinion. Each time someone says their guesses out loud, the other three of us have our heads bent down over our papers marking out our deductions based on their guess.

So yeah, that was our weekend. Maybe we need to get a Life.