Monday, December 27, 2010

She amazes me...

Every.Single.Day. Be warned, this is a blog post for me to put down some of the things I don't want to forget that Bridget is doing at 18 months. 

Bridget is amazing to me. I can't believe that she's a part of Mike and me some days. She's so smart and seems to learn something new every day. Some of her newest developments:

*She is really grasping ASL now.
*Her favorite show is Signing Time on PBS.  We have all learned so much from it. Animals, family members, manners, food, toys.  It's great!
*She recognizes any letter in sign or print. 
*Same with her numbers to 10. 
*She can count out loud to 13.
*A few days ago, she put together words in sign to make a sentence using no voice.  She said, "Please Daddy cheese" asking Mike to cut her off some cheese.  We were so proud of her!
*She knows most of her body parts and LOVES to sing "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes."
*She builds block towers and then laughs maniacally when she knocks them down.
*She still loves to read.
*She helps clean up and put things away.  Her favorite "game" is to get something from Mommy and bring it to Daddy to put away.  We do this often when emptying the dishwasher (Mommy's least favorite chore).
*She repeats pretty much any new word she hears.  Daddy has had to start being REALLY careful with his words.  It has also really made me realize how often I say some things as I now hear them out of her mouth.  Most often heard: "Oh boy!" when she's excited, "mm hmm" (with a higher pitch at the end) in confirmation of anything, and yelling the names of the animals (oops).
*Dancing, singing, laughing, coloring, puzzles, and just learning about life.

There's so much more but I'll leave it at that for now.  I can't believe how much she's grown.  She's such a little girl now and not a baby anymore.  I love it but it's a little bittersweet.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Coming clean

Alright, this here blog has been neglected long enough. It's time for me to just get the big stuff out in the open so I don't feel like I'm hiding things and can get back to my regular posts with random bits of crappiness thrown in. I'm going to work in bullet points because it seems the best way to keep from the total crazy ramblings going on in my head.

*First and foremost, know that we are all healthy. Aside from the random cough/cold/flu type stuff, we're all good.

*Biggest stress right now: our home. We're losing it. There are many, many reasons for this and it's extremely stressful and heartbreaking. Adding to this stress is the fact that we're so up in the air about it all right now. We don't know how long we'll be able to stay in the house before they foreclose on us. We also don't know where we're going to go after they do. HUGE STRESS!

*A very close second stress: money. Isn't it always? As of right now, Mike is the only one in our home working. I resigned from the school district last year as we were planning to move this past summer. That fell through and so I am without a job. *sigh* So now, were in the position of me needing to find a job that makes it worth it for me to go back to work and put Bridget in daycare again. This is NOT easy in today's economy.

Ok, so that's out. There are several other stresses going on but they fall far behind after these two. I'm not posting this for any kind of pity or fix-it solutions, but just to get it out there so that I can move on and start spending my brain power on something a bit more productive than constant worry. *sigh*

And now, just to end on a positive note and because I never did post about Bridget's first trick or treating, here's the best shot I got of her in her costume. Isn't she the cutest butterfly?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

An autumn update...with VIDEOS!

We've been having fun so far this Fall. This is my favorite type of year and I'm having so many new and exciting adventures around here. Tonight, I'm posting a few videos that make me smile.

video
Some days she'll count all the way from 0 to 9. If I write them down, she'll do it every time. This absolutely amazes me! I think it's from Mike playing with the foam numbers every night at bath time.

video

Bubbles! And Grammi has a great backyard to run around and chase them in. Now if only we could get rid of the poisonous oleander bushes!

I hope you're smiling! Happy Fall everyone. Coming soon... Pumpkin patch and first Trick-or-Treating pictures!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Your science lesson for the day

Putting your iPod into the bathroom sink basin* while it's playing your favorite internet radio station makes it loud enough that you can continue to sing along while you shower.  Just thought you might want to know.














* Just make sure it's dry.  I don't think you'll get the same results if it's full of water.  :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A problem with children's books (Part 2)


I love this book.  Really, I do.  I actually love this series of books.  We found the Shapes and Numbers books at the library and have checked them out twice now.  What I love about these books is that they use real life objects to show where things appear in every day life.  This has helped me work with Bridget's vocabulary while having fun.

 "What color is the flower?"

Why yes, it's red!  And see the other great examples?  They're all labeled as well.  It's so great!

Then you go thorough blue and green and yellow.

Then, there's the last page.

What color is the...orange?

Well duh, it's orange!  We had to show an orange AND orange juice?  Has no one ever heard of a carrot?

So much time, so little blogging

Seriously people, I have no excuse for not blogging.  I've just been avoiding it.  We've got a lot going on here (nothing too exciting, believe me) and it's just been taking all of my energy to handle it.  Hopefully it will all be solved by the end of the month and then I can get back to blogging. 

I'm actually kinda mad at myself for not keeping up with this because really, this is how I document the things Bridget is doing.  I'm terrible at getting things written into her baby book,  I start with great intentions but, eh, it just never gets done.

So, here's a quick update on us (only the good parts):

Bridget is more and more brilliant every day.  I know all parents say that, but she amazes me with something new all the time!  She talks up a storm.  She knows most of her colors, how to count to 3 (and she can get most of the numbers through 10 with help), loves playing "in and out" with her toys, can sort her shapes into the right holes on her sorting toy, and knows about 10 signs.  And she loves to eat!  She climbs up into her highchair and sits patiently while we get her in and give her food.  Her favorites are bananas (NAAAAAANAAAAAAAAA!!!), cheerios (chee-o), cheddar bunnies (bunneee), waffles (waffu), dried fruit (which are all called apple (apoo) by Bridget), cheese (which she signs), and pasta (pa-taaa in a whispery voice). Oh, and cookies (coo-coo), which to Bridget is anything sweet that she likes. She eats tons of other stuff that she doesn't have words for like oatmeal, pickles, and PB&J sandwiches.


My big news is that I am a stay at home mom.  Woohoo!  I am loving it.  However, this is what's leading to a bunch of issues here in our home.  It was pretty unplanned for me to be a SAHM but we're making the best of the situation.  It's been great to have the time to bring Bridget to have new experiences and watch her enjoy being, well, her.

 We've gone to the park and played on the slides and in the water features.

 We went to the children's museum and played with the fruits and veggies (which I was surprised she could mostly name). (Oh, and horrible picture of her -sorry about that)

 And we played with the balls in the simple machines room.  Bridget had an absolute BLAST putting the balls into this things and watching them go through the twists and turns.

Mike is working and hoping to be up for a new position soon. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this as it will help lift the pressure off of him and I think he'll be happier working with computers again.

If you made it this far thorough my ramblings, congrats!  That's all from here for now.  I'm not making any promises, but hopefully I'll be able to get myself to post a bit more soon.  Thanks for sticking with me!  




Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A problem with children's books (Part 1)

Ok, so we're a big reading family here.  I read, Mike reads, and Bridget "reads" tons of books.  This is how she keeps herself entertained if left for longer than 5 minutes on her own.

I have found, however, that not all children's books are thought through very well.  Not to say they are bad books, but there's just something about them that shows the author/illustrator/editor wasn't really thinking that day.  I submit to you the following:

This is one of Bridget's favorite books to read on her own.  As it states, it is a book about shapes, colors, and opposite with things hidden behind flaps for her to pull up and down and all that fun stuff.*

This is what the book looks like inside.  See, all cutely labeled and simply worded.  Perfect for little ones.  But let us look behind the rock at what Mr. Bear sees, shall we?

He sees a... What?  Is that really what I think it is?
 

Why yes, Mr. Bear does see a PINK ELEPHANT.  Has he been drinking some fermented berries?  Really Mr. (or Ms.) Questionable-Author/Illustrator-Who-Is-Not-Listed-Anywhere-On-The-Book?** You couldn't have chosen anything else to show the color pink?  A flamingo maybe?  A piece of bubblegum?  No, we're going with a pink elephant.

And in case you're wondering, all the other stuff is normal.  A yellow plane.  A gray mouse.  A green cactus.  It's just the pink elephant. 

Here's a little heads up on pink elephants in case you don't know.  Or haven't seen Dumbo and weren't scared out of your wits by this scene when you were little.***



















Disney's Dumbo: Pink Elephants on Parade

What about you?  Have you guys found any weird stuff in your kids toys or books?  I have a few others I'll be sharing in a few days. 

*As an aside, I wish I could explain how thick this thing is. Seriously, it's like, the War and Peace of board books. I just counted and the thing has 40 pages! (20 turnable sheets) We've never made it past page 30, just FYI.

**Really, I just searched. The only thing listed is a publishing company in Belgium. Maybe pink elephants there mean something else?

***Please tell me I'm not the only one that was scared and confused about this scene?  Seriously, thinking back on Dumbo there are just so many things wrong there.  Don't even get me started on the whole "waiting on the stork" issue at the beginning.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

New blog

Hey all, I have a new(ish) blog that I plan to start posting on regularly. This one will still get some posts, but I plan on using this one more often. If you want, follow along on our journeys with Little Miss as she enters into toddlerhood. Hope to see you all there!

Friday, July 9, 2010

My brilliant idea

Ok, so Bridget loves toast. She also loves fruit. So, brilliant me thought, "Hey, let's give her some toast with jelly!" Um, yeah. I don't think I can even describe the sticky mess that ensued (although I'm sure most of you can imagine.) That was a few weeks ago and she hasn't had jelly since. Until today, when I had another brilliant idea.
A while ago, Baby in the Kitchen posted about "dippy eggs" and how dipping teaches hand eye coordination and strengthens the pincer grasp. I have yet to make dippy eggs for Bridget (mostly because I can't stand the smell of hard boiled eggs. Blech!). I really wanted to do this for Bridget, but due to the smell issue, I just couldn't. Then I had an idea! I could make "dippy toast."
I put some fruit preserve into a small bowl, heated it up until it was liquidy, and then let Bridget dip her toast in it. She LOVED it! She "got it" so quickly. I guided her hand once or twice and then she was all over dipping all by herself (genius I tell ya!) And although there was still some stickiness, it was much more manageable because she's a pretty dainty little eater and only got the preserves on the tips of her fingers as they dipped the toast. It was awesome! I think this may become a regular part of breakfast.

Completely unrelated: This is my 200th post! Yippie!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Oh my gosh, my baby is a year old!

Wasn't she just born yesterday?


Look how tiny she was!

And look at her now.  A walking, talking, amazing little person.





Birthday party pics to follow soon...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Bridget took her first steps!

We watched her take two steps!  Then, when I ran to grab the video camera, she sat down and crawled after me.  We haven't been able to get her to do it again.  But, I did get a picture of her standing all on her own.  She's getting so big!

5/3/10

My how things change

On Mother's Day two years ago , I posted this and started this blog.

Around this time last year, this was what was going on in my life.

This year, I woke up to the sweetest little baby yelling for "Mama!" and went downstairs to see this.


She was so happy to see me and even broke her "All-I-Want-Is-Daddy" phase for the day.  She was so sweet and Mommy-loving.  Some days I just can't believe she's mine.  She's so perfect and awesome!

Today I thought about all the mommies out there, in so many stages of mommyhood.  Those with fur-babies, those still hoping and praying, those with angel babies, those pregnant with their miracles, and those of us lucky enough to be able to spend the day with our little ones.  So, wherever you are in your journey, Happy Mother's Day to you.  I hope yours was as joyful as mine.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bridget is signing

We've been using American Sign Language for a few things with Bridget for, well, since she came home.  Our most consistant use has been at dinner time when we use, "more", "all done", and "milk."  We also use "Mommy" and "Daddy", "dog" and "cat."  In the past few weeks, it has really started clicking with her.  Breakfast March 20th was the first time she signed "more" for sure.  She's been using it every day since.  Then for lunch today, she signed "all done" and at dinner she signed "milk"  Wahoo!!!!  There have been a few times she has signed something like Daddy and then looks for Mike, but we're not positive about that one.  I'm trying to get her signing on video but my flip is missing right now.  Grrr.  She's doing so many new things now that I really hope I can find it in a few days.  I'm so excited and don't want to forget these days. She's growing up so fast.

First time on the swings, April 1st, 2010.  She's so happy!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Volunteering

So, I have always enjoyed volunteering.  I like to spend my time doing something that benefits other in some way.  For the past few years, my volunteer time has been with Southern Nevada Pug Rescue, whom I adore.  Since getting pregnant I have not been able to help nearly as much as I would like to.  And since Bridget arrived, we haven't been available to foster or help at all it seems.  *sigh*  So, I really wanted to get into volunteering again.  It was one of the things on my 101 in 1001  list (which I really should update).
So today, I volunteered at Three Square, which is a non-profit organization that helps get food to people that need it here in Vegas.  They are an amazing organization and their new facility is beautiful.
I spent the morning with a few teachers from school organizing and repairing packaging for items that had been donated.  Holy cow it was a lot of stuff.  Apparently, Three Square doesn't just give food.  We were sorting everything you can think of: boxes and boxes of paper towels and TP, zipper plastic bags, dog food, blankets, area rugs, kitchen items, and some things I didn't even know about, like the Nana Saver which, now that I type out, seems like an even more stupid name than I originally thought.  (Is anyone else picturing a floaty for grannies?  No?  Just me?  Okay then.)
Anyway, it was a great time and I hope that I'll be able to go back again soon.  Volunteering is definitely more fun when you go as a group. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day


Hope you had a great day being green!


From our family to yours. 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I love food.

Not that this should come as any surprise. Really, who doesn't love food? I also love cooking. I rarely do it for lack of time, but I love to cook meals at home. What I don't like is the prep work before and the cleaning after. Seriously, I need to be a chef so I can have people to do those parts for me. I tell you all of this because I have been cooking all of Bridget's food since she started eating solids. At first, it was a breeze! Steam some veggies, puree them in the food processor, freeze, and you're good to go. Woohoo! Supermom!

However, now that she's eating things that are more complex than mashed peas and carrots, it's starting to take its toll on my time and my kitchen. Truly, making one or two meals for her takes the better part of 3 hours start to finish. And that's not counting in the time to make the stocks or whatever is needed prior to making said meal. A few weekends ago, I took on two meals: Chicken with Sweet Potatoes and Apples and Mini-Minestrone (recipes from Top 100 Baby Purees which I borrowed from the library and absolutely love). Both sounded appetizing to me so I figured Bridget would like them too. She's an awesome eater and the only thing we've found so far that she doesn't like is avocado (I know, crazy right?).

Anyway, I set to work around noon last Saturday. I had make the stock needed for both recipes the day before (because holy cow, have you seen how much sodium is in store bought stock?). Cleaning, chopping, prepping, etc took about 45 minutes and then cooking and pureeing was another hour or so.

This is the chicken, sweet potato and apple cooking. Yum!


This is the minestrone. I think the potatoes sucked up more liquid than expected but eh, it still smelled delicious.

After cooking and pureeing, you pour everything into ice cube trays and let them freeze. Then, you pop them out and store them in baggies. This is the awesome part about homemade baby food. I have individual little portions of many different meals available to me at all times. No feeling bad about opening a jar that she only eats a little from. No disgusting smells that don't seem to fit the food you are serving (which for the record is why I started doing homemade food in the first place).

Bridget's shelf in the freezer. From left to right: Chicken w/ sweet potato and apple, Minestrone, greens mix, sweet potato and carrot, strawberry and apple, cauliflower w/ cheese sauce, peas, and plain carrots. (and yes, that is a sock in the freezer at the bottom. We fill it with rice and use it as a cold pack.)

So I suppose in the end, for all my whining and complaining, I still love making Bridget food. I know exactly what's in it and it makes me feel good to know that I'm giving her a good start with good foods. Because I make her food, she's been exposed to several foods even I haven't had much experience with (parsnips anyone?). It has also expanded my comfort level with cooking. I'm no longer afraid of leeks. Bridget loves them. And I'm learning to love them too. Bell peppers on the other hand...blech.

Now, the next big step is to get her to eat finger foods. She's really not a fan of anything whole except her puffs.

How/what have you all been eating?

Friday, February 19, 2010

A walk through time

Here's a very brief walk through the last few monthly birthday pictures of Bridget.

Before she learned to sit up on her own. We had to keep propping her up and catching her as she tipped to the side.


Her 7 month pictures which I didn't get around to taking until she was 7 and a half months. Oops. But she was sitting on her own!


Her current 8 month picture. It was so hard to get a good shot because she's so mobile now! She kept crawling around the couch and trying to get down.



So I just let her crawl/stand/walk and tried to get some good shots. She's such a happy baby. I'm so blessed to have her in my life.

Peek-a-boo!

Bridget can play it! (please ignore the obnoxious parent voices.)

video

My child is clearly a genius! ;)

Monday, February 15, 2010

I'm still here.

Sorry guys, just can't seem to find time to post. I promise we're all doing well and we're all pretty happy. Bridget has reached some major milestones (hello crawling!) and I promise I'll update soon. Maybe I'll upload some pics tonight and at least put something up. I've been following everyone and have just been a quiet observer for awhile. I'll get back into things soon. Just gotta figure out where to start...