Thursday, October 24, 2013

16 Months already!

Our little munchkin turned 16 months on Monday, and boy is she a lot of fun!  Here are a few of the things going on with Adley right now…

  • She is full of personality, smiles & sweet little "hi's" for everyone she meets!  We were eating dinner last night before church, and she took off walking around the restaurant waving & saying "hi" to everyone she saw!  She has certainly never met a stranger!
  • She loves to go visit Daddy at work & eat lunch with him, but I think her favorite part is going up to his office afterward and walking around to talk to everyone.  She loves all the attention, and peeking through the glass walls to "spy" on people while they're working.
  • When I'm teaching, she gets to play in the nursery with the school director's sons.  They have taught her to "fist bump" and they always run to give her a hug and high five before she leaves.  She always makes sure all 3 of them tell her goodbye before we can go.
  • Her favorite words right now: hi, bye, dada, cheese, shoes, "ooce" for Lucy, "cacka" for cracker
  • If we leave our shoes out in the floor, she will pick them up & bring them to us & try to put them on our feet…and if we don't put them on, she tries to wear them instead.
  • She's always on the move…climbing the stairs, making laps around the kitchen, climbing up in our laps & then right back down.  She's a bundle of energy all the time!
  • In the evenings when it's almost bath time, I can say "are you ready for a bath?" and she says "yes" and heads for the stairs.  She usually wants her Daddy to carry her up for her bath.
  • She still loves to eat…pretty much anything we give her.  Although she did cry for 30 minutes one night because she didn't want the potatoes and carrots I gave her.  She ended up drinking some milk & never eating dinner!  Her favorite foods: bananas, cheese, bread, grapes, crackers, yogurt, and nutri-grain bars.
  • She has started throwing a few little tantrums when she doesn't get what she wants…I think the terrible 2's have started early around here!  She usually stops pretty quickly when she realizes that I'm not paying attention & it's not going to get her what she wants, and then goes back to playing like nothing happened.
  • Playing in the laundry basket & pushing it around the house is one of her favorite forms of entertainment.  She will spend the longest time moving her toys from one basket to another and back again.  She usually prefers to get in the basket & sit with them awhile as well.
  • She loves the fall decorations I've put up around the house, especially the Jack-O-Lantern that lights up.  He's on the counter near her hi-chair, so I have to turn him on as soon as she sits down for breakfast.
  • Reading books is still one of her favorite things to do, so often during the day she will stop playing & bring me a book to read.  It's one of the few times she will sit still (although it's usually only for a minute or two before she's off & running again).  Books will keep her from going crazy while I change her diaper (usually).
  • When she hears the garage door going up when Daddy gets home, she can't get to the back door fast enough!  She always wants me to take her out to the garage to meet Daddy as soon as he gets out of the car!

She definitely keeps me busy during the day & it is so much fun to watch her grow & learn new things.  I'm amazed all the time at how much she understands what we are saying!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Teaching Again...

Well, I recently started a new teaching job.  We are about 4 weeks in, and so far it is going great!  I am teaching part time, Monday and Wednesday, for 3 hours each day.  I have 7 students-6th & 7th grade-for Math, Science, and Bible.  The school is Covenant Preparatory Academy (although it will soon change names) and it is a school for home schooled kids.  They just started last year, so it is still pretty small.

You might ask, "shouldn't home schooled kids be learning at home?"  And the answer is, "yes...and no."  Although most of their studying and work is done at home, these kids come to classes 2 days a week.  They have the 3 classes with me in the morning, and 2 classes (English & History) in the afternoon.  We do the lecturing, experiments, "teaching" and then give them studying & assignments to do at home.  If it sounds like college to you, you're on the right's a university model school.  So the class set-up is a lot like college.  The other interesting thing is that the kids aren't required to take all 5 classes...their parents can choose which classes they want them to take, & which ones they would rather teach them at home.  So, although there are 7 students, I only have 3 in Math.  The other students are either below level in Math or have another reason that their parent chose to teach them this subject at home.

As I get further into teaching in this setting, my thoughts about homeschooling are continually changing.  I have actually thought a lot about whether I would want to homeschool Adley, although this decision is a few years away still, and I tend to go back and forth.  There are pros and cons to all kinds of schooling, public, private & homeschool.  But this new idea of having some classes with other kids & some at home is starting to grow on me.  There are several schools that I know of that have adopted this model around Houston, and the people that I have talked to who's kids are in this model really seem to love it!  Perhaps it's a growing model across the US, but it is definitely an intriguing idea that I'll keep in mind for the future!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Kiddie Land

As a kid, one of my favorite places to go during the summer was Kiddieland.  Growing up, this place was like Disney World to me...Ok, maybe not quite that exciting, but I did love to go.  Kiddie Land has exactly 4 rides (Train, Airplanes, Carousel, and Tilt-a-whirl) and when I was little I could only ride 2 of them (Train & Carousel) because I'm pretty much a ride wimp.  Every summer I would give the airplanes a try again, only to realize halfway through that you don't really "outgrow" motion sickness, and spend the rest of the ride with my head down praying for it to be over.  Then I would get off the ride, and promptly walk to the bushes and puke.  Every. Summer. As I got older, I realized that I should just ride the train over and over again and then get a snow cone! 

On Friday night, we introduced Adley to the joys of Kiddieland.  Following in her mom's footsteps, she started off with just 2 rides (more because she's not big enough for the other ones more than the fear of puking!)  She rode the Carousel with my mom first, and then we all rode the train.  I think the jury is still out on the Carousel...she started out looking excited, halfway through had her arms around my mom's neck, and by the end they were sitting on one of the benches instead of the horse.  But as we walked past the ride after she got off, she acted excited like she wanted to go again.  Who knows!

I would call her first Kiddieland adventure a success...except that we passed on the snow cones at the park in lieu of getting one from the good snow cone stand down the street...and when we got there it was closed for the summer.  Bummer!  I'm sure she will enjoy more Kiddieland adventures (and snow cones!) next summer!

Monday, August 05, 2013

Adley Lynn-13 months

Well, Baby Girl is already 13 months old! A post about her first birthday party is coming soon...clearly long overdue!  Until then, here's a quick update of what our baby girl is up to these days. I know it’s cliché, but it has to be said: I can’t believe how fast this year (and one month) flew by!  It is truly amazing how quickly she changed from a tiny little newborn to a determined, energetic toddler!

Adley is quite entertaining these days.  Her personality is so cute & she’s generally a very happy baby.  She jabbers non-stop, although we can’t understand most of what she says.  She does say “Ma-ma” and “Da-Da,” “Bye-bye,” and “Ca-Ca-Ca” (for “car”-her little tykes car she got for her birthday).  She occasionally will slip in another word here or there, but we can never get her to repeat them!
She is quite dramatic with her cries these days--sometimes she even puts her hand over her mouth for added effect!

Her major accomplishment this month was taking her first steps (July 1st) to walking all over the place!!  Her first steps occurred when she was throwing a bit of a fit after I told her she couldn’t climb the stairs & stood her on the ground at the bottom.  Whether she meant to or not, she took a couple of steps amid her loud protest & tears. 

She has also mastered the art of giving sweet little kisses & has started blowing kisses, although she does that backwards.  She makes the “mmma” sound but then puts her hand over her mouth instead of “blowing” the kisses out.  She loves to give kisses, and sometimes stops in the middle of playing just to give me or her daddy a kiss.  She also likes to “kiss” Papa and Mumsie when she’s telling them goodbye on Facetime.  This generally results in a slobbery phone screen!

Although she spent the first few months of her life as what I would call a terrible sleeper, she now seems to be sleeping like a champ!  She goes to bed at 8:00, generally without fussing, and still usually takes 2 naps every day.  I nursed her for 13 months, and I was dreading the weaning process.  To my surprise, it wasn’t hard at all!  One night we just went straight from bath time to Matt reading her a story (skipping the snack in between) and that was that.  She didn’t even seem to notice that anything was missing!  She seemed to wean herself off her early morning feeding as well.  Although she still woke up around 6 for a few weeks, she quickly started falling back asleep when I didn’t get her up to feed her.  I’m thankful that it was an easy process, but it’s a little sad that this chapter in our lives (and bonding) has come to a close!  When we started the breastfeeding journey, I had serious doubts that I would be able to make it 1 month, much less an entire 13 months.

We have spent lots of time in the pool this summer, and Adley has become quite the water bug.  She loves to play with the fountain, and insists on walking on the steps of the pool by herself (with someone holding on to her, of course).  She likes to “slide” down the angled tiles in the pool & always wants all of the pool balls gathered up on her float!  We have plans to get her started in swimming lessons, but the summer seems to be flying by & we haven’t enrolled her yet!  Although the pool is lots of fun, we know that it can also be dangerous, so we definitely want to make sure that she learns to swim as soon as possible!  Well, I could talk all day about our sweet baby girl, but I think this update pretty much sums up Adley at 13 months!

Friday, April 19, 2013

A little crafty...

A few weeks ago I got tired of digging through Adley's bows to try & find one for her to wear.  So, I decided to make a cute little bow holder display so that I could easily find what I was looking for.  I'm not sure why I bother with bows because she generally yanks them off her head in 2.5 seconds, but she just looks so cute in them I can't resist!  Anyway, here's how I did it in case you would like a bow holder of your own...this project was super easy!

Supplies: a staple gun, fabric, ribbon, and canvas

I decided to use an 11x14 canvas, although I'll probably need several more this size to hold all of the "big girl bows" that Adley already has for when she actually has longer hair!  But for now, just one works.  Thanks to Hobby Lobby sales & coupons, I was able to get the necessary supplies for pretty cheap!

1. Cut your fabric to extend a couple of inches beyond each side of your canvas.

2. Wrap your fabric around the canvas and secure on the back with a staple.  Start in the middle of one side & work to the corners, then move to the opposite side.  At the corner, fold the fabric like you would when wrapping a present.  Secure with a staple.

3. Decide on the spacing you want for your ribbons & cut ribbon to extend a couple of inches past each end of the canvas.

 4. Secure the ribbons on the back of the canvas with a staple.  Check the front as you go to ensure that your ribbons are straight.

5. Add the bows to the front & you have a cute bow storage!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A prayer...

I was perusing Pinterest (in lieu of picking up toys or doing the dishes) and I found this picture, with a great prayer for parents.  I feel like it's a great reminder to ask God to guide us as we strive to raise Godly children.   Just wanted to share a little inspiration today.  Love to all!  

Friday, April 05, 2013

Adley's First Easter

Well, in spite of the moving chaos around here, we managed to get dressed up in our Easter best for worship on Sunday.  Adley was absolutely adorable in her floral dress and she thought the little hat that matched the dress was absolutely hilarious!  She wore it almost all morning without trying to rip it off her head, which is a rare occurrence considering the bows I put on her last all of 2 minutes!  There was a little Easter egg hunt on the playground after church.  Matt helped Baby Girl "find" two eggs...and she has had so much fun with them since then.  Who knew two plastic eggs could be so entertaining?

I also missed posting her 8 month and 9 month pictures.  These monthly pictures are becoming more of a challenge because that little rascal just won't sit still.  For her 9 month pics, I was able to use a singing bear to distract her long enough to snap a couple of pics.

She has been a busy little bee over the last month.  She is pulling up on anything and everything these days, and she finally mastered the art of crawling without her head on the ground!  She loves to eat, and prefers to eat whatever we are eating more than baby food.  Some of her favorite foods are avocado, green beans, chicken, mushrooms, and cheese.

At her 9 month check-up, she had lost some weight, so she had to have some blood tests done just to make sure everything was OK.  We went to the Texas Children's Hospital, and they took 5 vials of blood from her tiny little arms!  They had to use both arms because she squirmed too much and pulled the needle out of the first arm.  It was absolutely heart breaking to have to hold her down and listen to her cry so hard while she was staring at me with this "why are you letting them do this?" look.  All I could think was how thankful and blessed we are that she is not one of the children that have a constant place at the Children's Hospital.  Thankfully, all of her blood tests came back fine, so the doctor said she is just small for her age.  We went back to the doctor yesterday and she had gained 11 ounces in 2 weeks, so she is back on track with her weight gain!

Meanwhile, on the moving front, the unpacking and organizing is moving along at a snail's pace!  I had papers to grade this week, so that put me behind.  Adley loves to "help" unpack, which generally involves her undoing everything that I have just done, so it's one step forward and two steps back on the organizing.  Oh well...I'm sure that it will get done eventually!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Moving Again...

Don't worry.  We aren't changing cities again, just moving out of our apartment and into a house!  Woo hoo!  I think this is move #1568, give or take a few! Sorry to be is actually only move #10 for us since we got married.  Thankfully, most of our stuff is already packed up & in a storage building.  We only brought the "bare essentials" to the apartment, in hopes that we would be able to sell our house in Dallas & buy a house here in Houston quickly.  Thankfully, our house in Dallas sold in February & we closed on the house in Houston a couple of weeks ago! we go again with another move: packing, moving trucks, and eating off paper plates for a few days!  We are praying that we will stay put for awhile, but you just never know what God has in store!

Monday, January 28, 2013

7 Months...

I can't believe Baby Girl is already 7 months old!  I've decided that she's growing up a little too fast!

She now has 4 teeth...the top 2 middle ones are peeking through, in addition to her bottom 2 that she got back when she was 4 months old.  She can sit up on her own pretty well now, although she occasionally still topples over & gets a little irritated.  She's also still working really hard to crawl...but she still just gets on her hands & knees and rocks back and forth.  This past week she has apparently figured out that she can "talk" very loudly, so at times she will just sit and make all sorts of funny noises at the top of her lungs.  She thinks it's hilarious & it cracks me up!  It is so much fun to watch her change & learn new things!

The most exciting development (for Matt and me, at least) is her decision to start sleeping through the night!  Just after she turned 6 months old, and had not come close to sleeping through the night, this momma decided that she couldn't take it anymore!  6 months of not getting more than 3 or 4 hours of sleep at a time was really starting to take its me a wimp, but I need my sleep!  I knew that she was old enough to sleep a long stretch without eating, but with all of the traveling that we were doing, and Matt being gone so much for work, it had just been easier up to that point to feed her when she woke up because she would quickly go back to sleep without a fight.  I knew that training her to sleep through the night would possibly cause us to get less sleep at first, so that had me a little nervous, since I already felt like I never slept!  Anyway, a couple of people recommended the book The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight, so after Christmas Matt & I were both going to be in the same place for a week or two, so we thought we would give it a try.  I liked this book for a couple of reasons: 1) It was a quick read & had sleep training advice broken down into months, so you could skip to the part for the age of your baby, and 2)It was a "less tears" approach to sleep training than the strict "cry-it-out" methods.  Again, call me a wimp, but the thought of closing the door & letting her scream had my stomach in knots.  All of the nervousness and stress over the thought of "sleep training" was apparently for only took us about 3 days & she was sleeping all night.  In those 3 days she would wake up just a couple of times & Matt would go in (if I went in she would get too mad because she wanted to eat & knew I had the food) and "shh" her and pat her and she would fall back asleep in just a few minutes!  Since then we have been getting hours of uninterrupted sleep & I'm starting to feel more human and less zombie-like!  We have had a few "set-backs" in the sleeping all night realm (her recent teething episode & a trip to Colorado), but overall I am so thankful that we finally broke down & convinced her to sleep all night.  I didn't intend to ramble on & on about sleeping, but clearly it was a big deal for me!

Now for the real reason anyone reads this of that sweet baby girl!  First, some of her 7 month pictures.  I love all the cute expressions she makes these days!

Then, I thought I would give you a look back at the last 7 months of pictures, just so you can see how much she has changed!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Baby's First Christmas

I'm a little late with this post, but Adley's first Christmas was so much fun!  We had several different celebrations that stretched over a couple of weeks.  Of course, she wasn't spoiled one bit!  She just has enough new toys and presents to last her quite a long time!

Our first Christmas celebration was two weekends before Christmas in Broken Arrow with Matt's family.  We had a nice, relaxing weekend where we enjoyed finger foods, unwrapping gifts & going to see some Christmas lights.  Adley was completely mesmerized by all the lights!

Christmas in Duncan was the following weekend with my mom's side of the family, and then we celebrated on Christmas morning with my immediate family, and later in the day with my dad's family.  We certainly don't skimp on the Christmas celebrations!

Although Adley certainly enjoys playing with all of her toys & reading her new books, she was really  more interested in the bows and tissue paper while we were unwrapping presents.  I'm sure she'll be right in the middle of everything next Christmas!

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday.  I'm sure it's due to the beautiful decorations at my parents' house, and all the fun celebrations that we have with family and friends around the holidays. And I love cold weather, so that's just an added bonus!  But, celebrating Christmas this year with Adley was by far more exciting than any Christmas in the past!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Favorite Things

I get a daily email from Finding Joy that always has an encouraging thought, especially for stay at home moms.  Every Friday she posts her "Favorite Things" from the week, which is her way of recognizing the everyday things she is grateful for.  I thought I would give it a go today.

Here are a few things I'm thankful for this week:

1. This sleepy baby who slept most of the way home on our flights from Colorado on Sunday.

2. Selling our house in Dallas so we can begin the search for a house in Houston.  Although we will miss our house in Dallas, and I'm a little sad to see it go, it is a blessing to have it sold!

3. My sweet girl trying so hard to crawl and sit up on her own.

4. A nice, relaxing week at home.  After all our travels over the past few months, and moving yet again, it was a welcome change to just spend the week in one place with our little family.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend!

friday favorite things | finding joy