Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Prayers and Babies

On my prayer list are half a dozen pregnant mamas and their babies. Half of those have gone through nerve-wracking or stressful or difficult pregnancies. My heart has hurt for these friends. But I have noticed something so special in the past week. All three of these babies have arrived or are in the process of arriving right NOW! In the same week. What a neat testament to God's hand in this whole process - He has blessed each of these mamas with full-term pregnancies, healthy babies, and they have come through a grieving and healing process all at the same time. Please continue to pray that the deliveries of the next two this week would be swift and safe, with healthy babies in the end.

What a mighty God we serve!

"...for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name." Luke 1:49, from Mary's prayer and song of praise, during her own pregnancy and time of uncertainty

Update 9:15 pm: Baby no. 2 is here and healthy!!
Update 8:00 pm the next day: Baby no. 3 is here and healthy, plus another baby from the prayer list!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

This Girl

She has a new pool, although I wouldn't call it a swimming pool. She can't even really wade in it. It's more of a splash pool. Or a crawl-in-and-out-of pool. Some days we just don't want to fight the crowds at the big pool.

She also signed "eat" for the first time on Tuesday. Victory!

We were listening to the radio yesterday morning on the way to Bible study, and the dj kept saying the word "Wow". From the backseat came this little voice repeating it. I looked back and she was grinning, like she was just so tickled with herself. So that is this week's word.

I love that we have new words showing up every few days.

Little things like this always make me feel so blessed to have her, so thankful to God for this gift, and a reminder that I should always cherish it.

Monday, July 12, 2010

15 Months

We had Avery's 15 month check up today - 10 days late.

21 lbs 11 oz (25-50%)
31.25" tall (75%)
10 teeth, with a couple more popping through on the bottom
Says: daddy, mommy, nonnie or na-nonnie (Grandmommy), doggie woof woof, banana, eye, keys (her latest word and she says it all the time so we will give her our keys to play with), mow (meow, and only sometimes)

She loves balls, keys, her toothbrush, unrolling the toilet paper, lifting the toilet lid, tampons (recent discovery - they are now locked up), paper of any kind, books, shoes (she'll sit and try to put them on, or she'll carry them all over the house still), cookie cutters because they fit on her arms like bracelets, chip clips...the list goes on.

She is eating - not much of anything it seems. Thankfully her pediatrician said that toddlers tend to subsist on a diet much like that of a bird, so phew! But, she is currently loving milk, strawberries, blueberries, sometimes grapes, cheese, scrambled eggs and toast, yogurt, homemade turkey burgers, quesadillas, goldfish and graham crackers, anything with tomato sauce. We try new foods all the time, but it's a gamble - never know when she's going to stick with something.

She is still becoming more cuddly as the days go by, which we are loving. She will walk up to us and pat our backs or lean her head on us for a few seconds before running off to play again. Kisses are rare, but once in awhile we are graced with one.

We read Goodnight Moon every night before bed - it's her very favorite book, and the only one she will sit still for until the very end. She likes to point at the pictures as I read them.

She runs around with this monster laugh that sometimes sounds like Pee Wee Herman.

She knows the meaning of no, and she will shake her head no to us and then continue on with the forbidden action. There is a lot of redirecting going on these days!

We've been working on our signs; I am teaching myself more and then using them with Avery. She consistently signs "more" when she wants something and "all done", and she still will sign "milk" on occasion. She recognizes "eat" and "drink" and "water" but has yet to sign those back to us. We're also working on "please" and "thank you" to teach this gal some manners. I tried "sleep" for awhile, but she is telling us "nigh-nigh" when she's tired so I moved on past that one.

We love this girl so much and are so blessed to have her!

Children's Museum

Avery and I met up with some of the gals from our church playgroup today at the Austin Children's Museum. This was our first time to go inside, though I've passed by it dozens of times when I worked downtown. On Monday mornings they open it up to toddlers and babies only - 3 and under. I thought Avery might get a little overwhelmed with all of the people running around, but she loved it. She took right off and I spent the next two hours chasing her.

They have story time and singing time - we tried both but Avery wasn't a fan of sitting still. She loved the huge chess game and moved the pieces all over the place. The toddler area had a ton of balls, and it was fenced in, which meant I could contain her safely and still visit with the other moms for a bit.

It was a nice change of pace from our usual mornings, and she was a champ skipping her nap today. We even ended the morning with her 15 month checkup and shots and she survived with minimal whining.

Finley and Avery playing chess

Finley sharing with Hadley

We had a great time, but it is definitely exhausting chasing after them!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Berry Pickin' Time!

There is this great little orchard down the road from my parents' house, owned by the Renaissance Festival guy, and we try to make it out there during the blueberry season. It's easy to go overboard and spend $20 or 30 on blueberries, but they are so plump and delicious and they all get devoured so quickly that it's worth it.

Avery had a blast walking all over the orchard, and once I gave her one blueberry, she recognized it and helped herself to them all along the way. And no, she didn't figure out to pull the plump ripe ones off the bushes...she shoveled the squished and sandy berries into her mouth like they were going out of style. She may have eaten an ant or two. I just try not to think about it.

You'll also notice a common theme in the photos - she is always holding keys. They are her new favorite toy. And she knows where I keep them, so she'll go up to the basket and bounce and say "keys, keys". So cute! But I wish she didn't know how to push the panic button on the clicker. My car alarm keeps going off. I'm sure the neighbors are thrilled about this.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Food Fight

It's been a war around here, a war between me and the food Avery eats. Or maybe between me and Avery's eating habits. She likes to toss her food on the floor if she doesn't like it or is done eating it. This is a habit we're trying to break, but you can't reason with her - she's 15 months old. The wall often gets splattered in the process of tossing food, and it's a nice matte finished paint. Not the best choice for a dining area, or for kids. But since we're renting, we didn't choose this, so I had to come up with another option to protect my walls, or at least minimize the amount of times I pulled out my handy Magic Eraser to clean it.

I found a gorgeous laminated fabric that coordinated well with the rest of our home and stretched it over DIY canvas stretchers. The stretchers were just a few dollars each at the art supply store, and I ordered the fabric here.

Assemble the stretcher bars - I asked the gal at the art supply for a demo, and she was kind enough to oblige. They just interlock at the corners, and she suggested I seal them with a bit of wood glue before pushing them together. You can let it dry overnight, but it should be good to go after an hour or two - the glue dried quickly.
(I also failed to get pics of this part of the process...oops!)

Iron your fabric - on the WRONG side of the fabric, with a dry iron, on low heat. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!!! You will melt the plastic if the heat touches it directly. I found that the wrinkles were nearly impossible to eliminate completely, but this did help. Ask if they can roll the fabric instead of folding it; since I ordered mine online, I didn't think to specify this.

Lay your fabric face down on the floor (don't mind my ugly rental carpet).

Center the frame on the fabric - you want the side of the frame with the lip to be face down. Leave 3" around all sides to ensure enough fabric for stretching. I found this to be a bit much at the end, but better safe than sorry.
I even got out the straight pins and marked 3".

I borrowed from these two tutorials for the rest, found here and here. The first tutorial is excellent for how to finish the corners.
Stretching the fabric, getting ready to staple it in the center of one side of the frame.
 A finished corner

I had some extra fabric overhang, so I trimmed it flush with the frame, just to make it feel more finished even though no one will see the backside.

And voila! I now have a surface that is easy to wipe clean, and it adds some visual interest in our all brown and beige kitchen area. Now that it's done, I should have bought the fabric with the pink flowers, to tie in with her chairs. But, she won't throw food forever (I hope!), so I'll reuse this in another room where it looks nice with our other home decor. I think it'd make a lovely headboard one day.
I didn't hang this, just to ensure that the entire wall that she had access to would be covered. Even the floorboards. It is simply propped against the wall, and it is SO lightweight that if she knocked it over, it wouldn't hurt her.

Now we just give this a quick wipe after meals if she was particularly messy, and our wall is saved (as is our deposit).

Inspiration Files

I've started a Tumblr blog of favorite home design finds - I know some of you who read this love design as much as I do, so check it out. Button to the left.