Thursday, July 31, 2008

Things I Love Thursday - Better than Baby Einstein

We received a set of Baby DVDs from a friend at church recently. He works in the Christian music industry and is always passing new stuff on to us.

I'll be completely honest, Praise Baby had me super skeptical at first. I imagined that it would be the usual cheesy song production with the usual 12 year old girls singing along.

(For the record, this type of production and vocal tracking drives me insane. To the point that, when we record a kids album, we tend to specifically include a few tracks of kids who are not on pitch just so that it sounds like real children.) /end rant

The vocals were exactly what I expected them to be but the visuals were stunning. This, for me, made it all ok. If I'm going to plop my kiddo in front of the tv for 5 minutes so I can go to the bathroom, it had better be in front of something good. There is great footage of babies and toddlers and kids playing, interacting and laughing. There are stimulating images of black & white and other high-contrst colors that babies just love to look at. Intriguing, even for a grownup...

The other bonus is that in the menu you can completely turn off the vocals and have just instrumental tracks playing. Ahhh, now that's better.

Before you worry that I am allowing my tv to babysit my infant, know that she is only amused for about two songs worth anyway and then we'll play again. This was, however, very good for a distraction last week when she was sick and not feeling up to much of anything other than snuggling.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Did Someone Shout Giveaways?

I hear around the bloggy blogosphere that this week is a big ol' giveaway week.

This means I had better get in on the action. This also means I might be up late tonight. Grab your coffee, ladies, it's time for some fun!

I'm going to be giving away one of my proven hard-working grocery bags. You may not yet have joined the cloth grocery bag craze, but you should. Get rid of those yucky plastics and reduce, reuse, recycle! Plus, lots of stores give you $$ back for using your own bags.

My bags are patterned after a plastic bag but I have made them a little bigger to hold even more. They are also lined to be approximately 10 times stronger than plastic.

At the end of this week, one of you who have commented & linked will be chosen at random for one of these fabulous bags, and you will even be able to choose your own from a fabulous selection!

Happy Shopping & Blogging, friends!

*Note: if you don't win and are interested in a bag, email me and we'll set up a lil' ol' sale.

Worst Morning Ever (note: hint of sarcasm)

Mornings always make me especially lazy.

Especially lazy after a night spent trying to train Baby not to wake up for a 4 am feeding. She did pretty well for her first night at this. The crying is sadder just because of the fact that it's not loud and wailing. Just sad. And a little hungry. Hopefully, she'll get the idea soon enough.

Anyway, this morning we all had a hard time pulling ourselves out of bed. After Baby finally went down for her morning nap, we flopped onto the couch with our laptops (Dad has Mondays off--hooray!) and whined about how I had to plug in my computer and his was across the room and had to be fetched. What a pain...worst morning ever...until I knocked my entire cup of fresh yummy coffee off the table and onto the floor. Now it was official.

We console ourselves with this pile of cuteness. It will all be ok. Plus, my second cup of coffee is safely in a to-go mug.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

In the Quiet

In the stillness I wait.

I take a sip of my coffee and wait.

I look out at the trees and my hammock and the flowers and I wait.

I heave a relaxed sigh. Maybe I'm not really waiting. Waiting indicates forward action in a sense, a moving ahead. Or at least, a wanting to move ahead.

These quiet moments when everyone in the house is napping. Rather than scurry about to finish cleaning or a project, I sit and enjoy the quietude. I check my email, read my blogs, play a game on Facebook.

Later I'll worry about the laundry or the sewing or the garden. There's plenty of time in the day for it all. Right now it's all about the quiet.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My Little Helper

At the advice of a friend, I signed up yesterday for The Grocery Game. The past few months I have been more diligent about clipping coupons and looking for deals as prices for everything has been rising.

With a free month to try it out, I'm loving this site after only one day. It matches up your local grocery store's sales with weekly coupons to find you the best deals. All from sitting on your couch with your feet up. The thing I love best is that it even tells you the percentage you are saving. So if three different brands of the same thing (usually toilet paper) are on sale, you can easily see which one is cheaper without pulling out your calculator.

Baby Girl has been helping me sort and clip coupons so I'm all ready to go shopping. Granted, her method of sorting involves a lot more crumpling and chewing on the coupons, but she's really trying to be helpful, I'm sure.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Month Six: Happy Half Birthday!

This month was packed full of firsts. I can't believe how big and how grown up you became this month. You found and chewed on your toes--with your brand new teeth! I haven't really been looking for teeth but last week you were a little fussier than usual and I thought I'd just check. Lo and behold there were pokies in your mouth. You currently have two good-sized teeth and hopefully we are past the worst of your pain. At least until the next few decide to work their way up. You've been a tough little cookie and I've only put on the orajel for you a couple times. Cheerios, anyone?

I've been hesitant to start you on solids because, well, I just don't want you to grow up so fast doggone-it. But I've been able to tell that you are still hungry at night before bed so I figured it was time to break open the box of rice cereal. You gobbled up the whole bowl with no problem at all with probably only 30
percent on your face. Ok, maybe more.

You've been sitting up great for at least a month now and can play all by yourself with a basket of toys until you've pulled every one out. Nothing better than a good game of "Take the Toys out of the Basket." We just got a box of blocks so you can start learning your letters...we'll have you writing within the year. Right? After that we'll hit philosophy and the meaning of life.

And of course, we are pretty sure you're already a virtuoso. You can pound in what we like to call "artistic harmony." You usually stop to listen to daddy pound a little more gracefully, but as soon as he's done, you add in your own melody to his. It's lovely.

We went to two birthday parties of your friends. Of course, you don't really know yet that they're your friends, but that's ok. You like getting all dressed up, meeting new people and we like all the food, friends, cupcakes and party favors, aka bottles of bubbles. You are now a big fan of watching us blow bubbles into the wind. Summer is the best time for bubble blowing.

Ah, the crib bed head look. It's totally all the rage right now.

Some days you seem to keep every sip of milk down and other days you barf up half of it all. You are such a mess sometimes. But darn it, you're adorable. Let's just get a washcloth before any kisses, m'kay?

This month we finally got a bike trailer to pull along and go for bike rides with you. You had your shades, some fun rings and after being strapped into your car seat you held on for dear life. However, I was the one driving, so we couldn't really go too fast. Next time we're going to make Dad pull.

You can't pull yourself up or get into a sitting position from lying down, but you want to stand up all day long. You're starting to take steps with us holding you up. It's exciting, but at the same time it sure is handy to be able to leave you in the saucer while I make dinner or plunk you down with your basket of toys and a pillow and know you're not going anywhere. Oh the mischief you will get into when you're mobile! Stay little and stationary, my sweet.

We're still working on finding a way to make you like tummy time. We try new tricks every day in hopes that something will make you happy. Propping you up on a boppy pillow in front of an activity center and helping you play with all the wheels and knobs. Lying you on one of our chests and making faces. Flying you up above our heads or hovering you over the floor. The pool was the newest one--you had to hold your heavy little head up or it would get all wet! Fortunately, you did really well with that one. And you do love your pool.

We're starting to discover a few of your favorite things. A couple favorite books, your bunny blankie and, of course, your kitty. She is getting more patient with your hands grabbing for her soft fluffy fur and pulling her ears.

It was a good month, baby girl. There's a lot of junk in this world. A lot of frustration and heartache and pain for a lot of people. But when you put your tiny little arms around my neck for a hug it's all a bit better for a while. At least it is after I pry my hair out from between your fingers.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Gross-out Moment of the Week

After feeding the baby at six in the morning, I'm about to put her in her crib and stumble back to bed myself when she barfs right down into the front of my shirt.


Friday, July 04, 2008

Pics from the 3rd / 4th

Fabulous traditional party across from the fireworks. Posing for a family picture.

Having fun during the parade this morning. Baby loves to fly up in the sky.

She has been sitting up for very long periods of time the past few days. Her favorite game is "take all toys out of the basket." It's pretty fun.

We had a fun photo shoot outside in the grass today. This kid is too darn cute.