Tuesday, March 31, 2009
- Potty-training Emily: Still in a holding pattern with this one. She asks to sit on the potty a couple times a week but never actually goes. She also has the pages of her "Big Sister" book memorized that talk about big sisters wearing panties because they are too big for diapers, but there doesn't seem to be any application of the concept--yet.
- Moving Emily before Easter: This was the big accomplishment this month. I posted earlier with pictures of the redecorating. The move itself went off without a hitch. Emily never even blinked. She loves the butterflies and flowers. I'm still working on some wall decorations. I also hope to eventually move more books onto the exposed bookshelves. For now, her bin shelf is in the closet. I filled the bins with some clothing items and different toys. We have locks for the bi-fold doors, so everything can be easily be shut off at night when she is supposed to go to sleep. As I mentioned yesterday, I've been working on a quiet playtime in the afternoons in lieu of a nap. So far Emily has done great entertaining herself for about an hour with the toys in her closet and a CD of kids music. At the end of the day she has to help clean up and sort the toys back into their proper bins in the closet. Then she gets a sticker to put on the poster hanging on her door (Thanks Aunt Brandi & Grandpa Lorenzen!). That has also worked very well. She still tends to get out of bed to grab the books that are on the exposed bookshelf, or sometimes even sneaks into the bathroom to dig hair accessories out of the drawers, but she scampers back up on her bed as soon as you come check on her and eventually goes to sleep without a whole lot of fuss.
- Deep-cleaning one room: I consider Emily's room the accomplishment for this goal this month, although I think I still need to vacuum/dust the mini-blinds and window sills. However, Austin took it upon himself to do most of the kitchen, too. One night he completely cleaned out the fridge--including the vent panels on the bottom. Another Saturday I left to run some errands in the afternoon and came home to find him removing everything from the kitchen cabinets/drawers and wiping everything down inside & out before reorganizing and putting things back. Wow--do I have an awesome husband or what!?! In addition, when my mom was here to paint it was such a nice day on Saturday she ended up brushing the screens and washing all the windows in our kitchen & breezeway. I'm lucky to have such awesome help!
- Cutting grocery budget by 25%: I completely blew this one in March. As stated last month, I was running really low on inventory. My other excuses are that we were home almost the entire month (therefore eating all our own food) and I took not one, but two major shopping trips to Sam's Club, which can do a LOT of damage in a hurry! Let's just say I should be stocked up on baking supplies for quite some time. ;o) I went through a baking spree/binge about a month ago. After doing some price comparison I discovered how much cheaper it is to buy basic baking staples in bulk. Now that I'm stocked up I feel another baking binge coming on. This morning I made 3 dozen homemade cinnamon rolls for the freezer to be baked later and 7 dozen monster cookies. I think it's my way of nesting. :o)
- Praying nightly over Emily: I am still doing this. It is so precious to tip-toe in her room at night and see her peacefully sleeping. You can't help but forgive her no matter what happened during the day. It is a good, daily reminder of the kind of unconditional love God has for us all!
- *NEW GOAL* Catch up on photo albums/"scrapbooking": I know, I know--what mother doesn't have this totally unreasonable goal?!? You're lucky if you get through age two of your firstborn, the pictures printed for your second and pictures taken of your third. All the sudden your "babies" are graduating from high school and you start panicking about what you're going to display at their open house. Well, here's my game plan: I upload all our pictures to Winkflash.com. (Note: you can view them with a user name/password, which I will gladly provide if you don't already have it--just ask!) I only order/print pictures to put in frames or to send to people, which rarely happens. Instead, I have created digital photo albums through the web site and have had them printed in hardcover, bound books. Then I add stickers and handwritten captions as needed for embellishment and explanation. I call it "digital scrapbooking." I tried traditional scrapbooking of my own baby pictures when I was in junior high, but I'm not as artistic as I would like to be, and it would take up to an hour for a single page. I only made it to age 2. Now it takes me a total of about 3-4 hours to put together a 100-page book online and another couple hours to add stickers/captions. I can usually get 3-5 months worth of photos in a book. So far I have Emily's picture books completely done through 14 months (3 books). I have the books printed and stickers purchased through 22 months (2 more books). I have another book almost put together online through 25 months (November 2008). There are enough uploaded photos on Winkflash to create at least one more book, although the picture volume has slowed significantly since Christmas. I am already in the habit of uploading, sorting & organizing all our photos on the computer on a regular basis because of the blog. I always upload them to Winkflash at the end of the month, if not periodically during the month. Now that I'm almost caught up with putting together books, I've decided to try and add to the current online photo album at the end of each month, too. I only print/purchase the books when Winkflash runs a flat-rate book sale (saves 60%). You usually only get a window of about a week, so if I have books waiting to be printed I don't have to go crazy trying to get one put together before the deadline. I missed two opportunities last year because of that. One of the other nice things about putting together these books online is that once kid #2 comes along, it's so easy to use the same pictures in separate albums. You don't have to worry about ordering doubles/reprints and sorting which pictures go to which kids. So, after all that rambling explanation, my goal is to be as caught up with Emily's pictures as I can be by the time the baby comes and going forward, adding photos to online albums on a monthly basis so I'm ready to order at any time. Whew! (P.S. If you'd ever like to look at my photo albums to see what I'm talking about please let me know!)
Monday, March 30, 2009
Speaking of nap times, after enjoying a month of returned afternoon naps, I've decided to purposely mess with them again. Emily's nap times kept creeping later and later (like not until 3:30pm or 4:00pm), which forced me to wake her up before she was ready, which made her crankier than if she hadn't napped at all. Plus then she would bang around her room until 10:00-11:00pm, and we'd have to constantly fight her to stay in bed. Instead, I've been working hard at establishing a quiet "play hour" in her room from 1:00--2:00pm where she can look at books and play with toys while I take a desperately needed nap. ;o) So far it has been working well. (See tomorrow's post for more details.)
One very important skill Emily acquired this month was the understanding/capability of blowing out through her nose into a Kleenex. You take such a small thing for granted until you have to deal with an infant or toddler with snot continually running out of their nose and you just want them to blow it out good for once! Unfortunately, the reason Emily learned it this month is because she had a runny nose for quite a bit of the time. After generously sharing a cold with me she skipped a week and then shared another bugger of a cold with Austin. I also had to compromise with the whole Kleenex battle. I have been "helping" her wipe her nose most of the time recently, but I decided there is a distinct difference between me initiating the blow/wipe because of a runny nose from a cold and her insisting on a wipe if she sheds a tear after getting upset about something.
Another skill we've just started working on is drinking out of a cup without any kind of sippy lid. I know this is long overdue, but it's just so much easier (and safer and neater) to stick a lid on everything, especially when the drink is not being consumed at the table. Emily pretty much has it down but still requires a bib when practicing to catch a few stray drips. We're also working on the difference between "poking," "stabbing" and "scooping" with a fork and the frustration the follows when using the least effective method for a particular food. There has been a bit of digression in that area lately that needs to be corrected.
In general, though, Emily is a very good eater. We are both excited to see the return of strawberry season. Emily would eat a pound of strawberries a day if I let her! One funny discovery this month has been that for however much Emily loves having an ice cream cone, she still doesn't particularly care for the actual cone itself. She's also a bit picky about the flavor of ice cream. Up until recently she had only ever really had vanilla. On St. Patrick's Day I broke out a box of mint chocolate chip. She was all excited for "green" ice cream, but took one tiny lick and declared, "I don't like this!" So Mommy got a double-dip and Emily's cone was refilled with "white" (i.e. vanilla) ice cream. A week later I gave her some S'more Please (the feature flavor of the month from Blue Bunny). She didn't seem to mind the graham-flavored ice cream too much, but she didn't like the chocolate flakes/chunks at all--even after I told her they were "M&M's", which she usually tries to pick out of cookies first. She just licked around the solid pieces and said, "Mommy'll eat it." Yes, she will! :o) I'm curious to try plain chocolate or strawberry sherbet or something without any chunks (i.e. good stuff). Or maybe she'll just be happy with plain old Fastco vanilla!
Lastly, I just noticed that Emily's 2-year molars are finally popping through on the top. There's no sign of them on the bottom yet. I don't know when they're "normally" supposed to come in, but I've been wondering when they'd show up since the rest of her teeth were pretty much in "on time."
I apologize for the shortage of videos again this month. The Winkflash pictures should be up shortly.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
"We tend to keep waiting for life to get better when, really, it just gets
different. If the grass looks greener on the other side of your fence,
it may be because you're not investing your time and energy in your own
grass. Live in the present."
I feel this is especially true for this season of life. The daily grind can so easily cloud the rainbow in the bigger picture. There are definitely moments, days and even weeks where I can't wait to just get through it--whatever "it" is. But the old adage, "This too shall pass..." applies to both the good and the bad, so as my sister-in-law, Brandi, says, "Endure it or enjoy it," and always look for the rainbows!
Monday, March 23, 2009
I put Emily down for a nap for the first time today in her new room. As I should have expected, it took her less than 5 minutes alone in bed to discover that the butterflies and flowers were actually stickers that could easily be peeled off the wall. She had three of them off by the time I reached her. Although I'm sure she'll test me again, I'm pretty sure she got the message of how I feel about that activity! ;o)
I figure moving into a new room is a good time to set some new ground rules and routines. Staying in bed will be one of them. I hope it will help that the bed is up against the wall (for now) with a side rail and is quite a bit higher off the ground now that it is on a bed frame with a bed skirt. We'll see.
I also have more finishing touches to put on the room, including hanging things on the wall. I hope to have a video tour posted soon with the finished product. Then it's on to reorganizing the nursery again. Only 8 weeks to go!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Anyway, this week ushered in a whole new phase. Previously, Emily would constantly ask for things throughout the day in a semi-innocent questioning way such as, "Want to watch George on T.V.?" As of Sunday morning her whole tone changed when she discovered the word "I". Suddenly everything was, "I want to watch George!" in a demanding tone of voice. Since that approach obviously didn't get her anywhere she has now modified it to, "'I want to watch George,' said Mommy!" Now I certainly did not say any such thing--especially in that tone of voice--but it may be true that I was just wishing I could set her down in front of Curious George to get some free time. Of course, that thought is now out of the question. So she's still not getting anywhere with it, but she's still trying. It's almost amusing to see what tactic she'll try next. :o)
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Tonight was the plate's official debut with Austin being the first to use it. He has officially been promoted to Director of Account Management at Short's Travel Management. He is now responsible for managing all existing corporate and sports client relationships and the 2-3 account managers who will be underneath him. He will also continue to be involved in winning new outside sales. It has been a stressful last couple months to get to this point, but I think he's excited to implement some new ideas and processes. Congratulations, Austin!
P.S. For those of you who know Austin well, you'll be happy to note that the first meal served on the Celebrate plate was one of his favorites--frozen burritos. ;o)
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Anyway, Austin didn't get home until after midnight from his business trip last night, so he partially unpacked on the bed in the guest room. Around 4:00am we both woke up to the sound of a door slowly and quietly opening. Then we heard a few footsteps, a long period of silence, a few footsteps and a door slowly and quietly closing. We were both curious what she had been up to but too tired to get up and check. This morning Austin discovered his cell phone missing, which he had left on the bed next to his suitcase. Sure enough, it was tucked under Emily's arm along with Mr. Bear. It was safe from her meddling because a) the battery was dead and b) it has a password lock on the touchscreen, but we're going to have to keep a closer eye and ear on our little mischievous elf--especially since she has discovered our basket of spare keys!
In addition to sharing a cold, neither Emily nor I have really adjusted to the time change at all. We have pretty much just run the same schedule as normal only an hour later. My own sleep schedule has been chaotic if non-existent lately. Thankfully, Emily has been taking longer, solid naps in the afternoon that have allowed me to catch up here and there.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Today the library put on a program to celebrate Dr. Suess' birthday, so we decided to check it out as family. Here is our morning in pictures:
Coloring a Cat in the Hat hat and other pictures
Emily modeling her hat at home
Not sure what to think of the Cat in the Hat
Decked out in full rain gear (can you tell she loves her new umbrella?!?)
They were showing the movie Horton Hears a Who and had other older/messier crafts in another room, but we had fun doing our own thing. Since it was such a rainy, dreary day we went home and all caught up on some much needed rest after lunch. Yay for relaxing weekends!