Saturday, April 28, 2012

Audrey - 16 months


The high fever that we thought was from your shots at the end of last month turned out to be roseola. So that's how we started off this month. High fever, rash, fatigue and fussiness made you a very cuddly girl! But the rest of this month has been a lot of fun!

We've spent a lot of time outside, enjoying the sunshine and exploring nature. You run around the yard picking up leaves, pine cones, dandelions, rocks and just about anything else you can get your hands on, and put them all in your bucket. Then you're so excited to show all your treasures off to anyone you can.

You're also perfectly happy to help with yard work, kick around a ball in the grass, play on the playground, color with sidewalk chalk, or take a trip to a farm with a little petting zoo - as along as it means you can be outside!

Mama always tells you, "I love you thiiiiiis much!" while holding her arms out as far as they can reach. You have started to imitate it and if anyone asks you how much you love someone or something, you hold your arms out wide and say, "Much!" I melt inside every time. You're also trying to repeat more and more of the words and sounds you hear. They don't always come out intelligible, but you're trying and do very well with some words! You love to sing and dance, and you especially like to sing the "ott dawg" (hot dog) song on Mickey Mouse.

You are so expressive and making all kinds of faces now. My favorite is the "stink eye." If you're not happy with someone, you let them know! You tilt your head down and look up at them with just your eyes and the most serious expressions. It's so completely adorable. But you also have pretty cute shy/flirt face too. It's similar to the "stink eye," but instead of being serious, you smile the sweetest little smile. You don't tilt your head down quite so harshly and you bat your eyelashes. You already know how to get exactly what you want my sweet little girly girl!

Your top two canine teeth have just started to pop through and are really bothering you. This hasn't helped the biting stage we've been dealing with either. But you are way ahead of the game starting to think about potty training. You are so interested when Mama goes to the bathroom. You even say "pee pee" when you are going in your diaper. So we let you pick out a toilet seat and step stool of your own. You picked princess, of course! We aren't forcing anything or even taking it very seriously. We just sit you on it at least once a day, sometimes with your diaper still on and sometimes without. You did actually pee while on the toilet once, but I think it was just a coincidence. It's a start and you're so proud of yourself! I think you'll be potty trained by 2!

You are such a little girly girl already! You love jewelry and have to put your bracelets on as soon as you get up in the morning. You're also a sweet little mommy to your baby doll. You rock her and put her down for naps, and push her all around the house in her stroller. But on the other hand, you love rocks, riding your cousin's dino or on the kubota with Pa, too. So I guess you're not too girly!

Girly or not, you continue to be my world! Daddy is back into the swing of the season, working at least 50 hours a week, so you and I have lots of time together. You help me so much to just be present and enjoy right now, without thinking too far ahead of myself. I was never really able to do that before you were born, and for that, I am extremely grateful to you. You are sweet as pie and a little spit-fire who keeps me on my toes, but I wouldn't trade you or the experience of being your mama for anything in the world!

I love you to the moon and back, sweetheart!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pinterest Pet Peeves

Like a lot of people, I love Pinterest! It is a source of inspiration for anything from crafts, to parenting, to photography and so much more. It is a way to keep the things I love organized and usable. It is also an escape to browse mindlessly at the end of a hard day. But not everyone uses this tool to its full potential. Two of my biggest Pinterest Pet Peeves have fairly simple solutions that make it so much more valuable to the user. So here goes:

Pinterest Pet Peeve #1: Not changing the caption!

Okay, so if the pin goes to a recipe for banana bread and the caption says "banana bread recipe," you obviously don't need to change the caption if you don't want to. But if the pin is a picture of a kitchen and the caption says "our kitchen cabinet remodel" and you pinned it because you like the light fixtures, change the caption! It will benefit you to change it so that you remember why you pinned it and you can actually make use of it!

As another example, I have some of my photography on Pinterest, including photos of my daughter that have captions like, "My sweet baby girl!" I'm flattered if you like my photos and want to repin them, but please change the caption as it pertains to you and how it inspires you, or why you repinned it. Last time I checked, I was the only one in labor with her for 2 whole days, so "my sweet baby girl!" doesn't really apply to you! ;)

Pinterest Pet Peeve #2: Not linking a pin to its original source.

Always give credit where credit is due. This applies to Pinterest, too. If you are the original pinner, pin to the original source. And if it is in a blog post, pin to the actual post and not the blog so you (and other pinners) don't have to search the whole blog to find what you pinned.

If you are repinning, check that the pin goes where it should. I know, it doesn't always. And sometimes you don't have a lot of time and pin it just because you don't want to lose it. But try to go back and do a little research when you have time. Try to find the original source. It will help someone else find where they can buy it/get the tutorial/learn how to do it etc. and also give the appropriate credit to the creator.

Did you know that using Google you can search by image instead of text?! It is amazing! Go to Google. Click Images. Click the camera icon in the search bar. Then search by the image you're looking for. It is, surprisingly, really accurate! And it often helps me find an original source. I use this to pin directly from the original source and then go back and delete the one I repinned that went somewhere else.

Okay, I'm off my soapbox now. Go on! Get pinning and use Pinterest to its full potential! Give credit where credit is due! And while you're at it, come find me! :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

L L F M D: We all have our own path to follow in life. Don't compare and don't judge.

3. We all have our own path to follow in life. Don't compare and don't judge.

In this life, we all have our own lessons to learn and obstacles to face. Even if we face similar problems to others, the circumstances are always different. There's nothing wrong with that, sweetheart. We grow and evolve and change in our own way and in our own time. The key is not to compare your path to anyone else's. It is yours and yours alone. It was specifically designed for you. It will shape you and mold you into the person you are supposed to be.

You may learn a particular lesson at 20 years old, that someone else doesn't learn until they are 40. That doesn't mean that your life is harder at 20 than theirs was. You are just facing different obstacles at different times in your lives.

Which brings me to another important point: As easy as it is, we shouldn't judge others for how they face their obstacles and travel their own path. Again, their problems may seem similar to something we've faced, but the circumstances are always different and the lesson they are supposed to learn may very well be different from the lesson you were supposed to learn. The right thing to do for them at that particular moment in their life, may not be the thing that would be right for you. That doesn't make it any less right for them. Let them follow their own path.

Saturday, April 21, 2012


This is the first thing I've really struggled with in parenthood: Audrey is biting.

It isn't a lot, but it is often enough that it worries me and I'm frustrated. It started out that she would do it when she was frustrated. She couldn't express her frustration, so she would just bite the closest thing to her (a pillow, herself or even me.) We would tell her "ta-ta" in a serious voice and then explain, "We don't bite Mama. We bite bananas, and we bite carrots, but we don't bite Mama."

This worked for a little while. We were able to tell when she was about to bite and start the explanation before she actually bit something. We even did 1-2 minute time-outs if she did bite. She had been doing really well, and hadn't bitten or tried to bite anything in several weeks. Then I noticed her canine teeth were coming in on the top, and the biting started again. But this time, the frustration hasn't been there, so I'm having trouble detecting it preemptively.

Up until now, the only people she has bitten have been me and herself. This morning she bit her 8 1/2 year old cousin. And it made me mad and sad all at the same time. It's so frustrating and I don't want her hurting herself or someone else. I talked to her doctor about it at her 15 month well-child visit and she basically said it is just the age and is very common. The things we are doing are the things to do and we just have to watch her and wait out this stage.

But I hate that. She is such a sweet little girl. I hate to see her doing this. I hate to have to put her in time-out.

It's funny how before you have kids, you picture yourself as a certain kind of parent. You picture your child as a certain kind of child. You think kids misbehaving is a result of parenting. But it isn't always. Sometimes it's just kids being kids, learning about life and this world, testing their limits.

My sweet little almost 16 month old is certainly testing her limits. And she's testing her Mama's limits too. So have any of you had to deal with biting at this age? How did you handle prevention and discipline?

Monday, April 16, 2012


God bless her future husband...the girl loves jewelry already!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

L L F M D: Take care of your body!

2. Take care of your body. You only get one!

You won't get a second chance, so really try to take care of yourself. Fuel your body with whole, natural, nutritious foods. Wash your make-up off at night. Moisturize your skin and wear sunscreen. Get some kind of exercise and enjoy yourself while doing it. Don't smoke. Make these things a habit so you don't have to think about them!

If you take care of yourself, you will feel better. You will have more energy. You will have more to give to the people you love.

Please also take notice that I said nothing here about being a certain weight or dieting. Everything in moderation, sweetheart. Take care of yourself. Be good to your body - it is the only one you'll get.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


We had a really wonderful Easter this year. Last year was very special because Audrey was baptized, but this year was SO MUCH FUN! My mom had to work the weekend (oh, the life of a nurse) so we had a little Easter egg hunt at Mimi & Pa's house on Friday. We didn't even explain to Audrey what to do. We gave her a basket, took her outside, and she pretty much got it right away! It was so much fun to watch her and she had a blast!

Sunday, we went to church in the morning. I bought Audrey the cutest little Easter dress at TJMaxx for only $11, but she wore my Easter jacket from when I was a little girl. I'm so glad my mom saved it because it was adorable on her and it was so special and meaningful to me to see her wear it.

After church, Audrey took a nap and while she was napping, the Easter Bunny came!

Then we went to my gram's house for an Easter egg hunt with the other great-grandkids, and dinner with the family! Again, it was so much fun to watch Audrey and the other kids, and to really experience this childhood tradition through her eyes.

It was a wonderful day and I was definitely grateful and counting my blessings!
The granddaughters with the great-grandkids!
My beautiful little family 
The sweet, sweet baby girl 
Audrey is at such an exciting, fun age now and it makes me so excited for everything that lays ahead of us this year! I hope you all had as beautiful an Easter as we did!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Life Lessons for my Daughter

I'm starting a new blog series today called Life Lessons for my Daughter: Tips, advice and little things I've picked up along the way. There is so much I want to teach my daughter. I try to do so by example, but I have also been wanting to make something more lasting for some time now.

So that's where this new blog series comes in! I won't post on a specific day, or a specific number of times a month. I'll post them when I have time or when they come to me. But my hope is to eventually put them all in a book to give to Audrey on her 18th birthday. I hope I have taught her them all through example by that time, but I also hope that it will serve as a reminder, make her life a little easier, and help her be a compassionate, loving, independent, productive member of society.

So here we go, Audrey! Let's get right into it with lesson number one!

1. Always write Thank You cards!

Yes, when you receive gifts you should write Thank You cards, but that's not all I mean. When someone does something really nice for you or goes out of their way for you, write a Thank You card. When you appreciate someone in your life (a teacher, a friend etc.), write a Thank You card. When you have a job interview, write a Thank You card. 

You don't have to write a lot, but write something personal and meaningful. Show your gratitude. They may seem tedious to write, especially if you have a bunch to do all at once. You may think they'll just get thrown away. But people appreciate gratitude. It makes them feel good. It reminds them that their efforts are appreciated and worthwhile. It also shows your character.

Mama was once offered a job because she wrote a Thank You note. She wasn't completely qualified for the position and there were other, more experienced applicants. But the owners appreciated her expression of gratitude for them taking the time to meet with her and give her the opportunity to show that she could and would learn quickly, and that she had a lot to bring to their company.

Always write Thank You cards, sweetheart! Always, always! It will not only benefit others, but it will benefit you as well.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Audrey - 15 months


Mommy is later than usual with your letter this month, but I have good reason this time! We went on vacation! We all had fun, but you had a blast! You LOVED swimming in the pool and we took you to the beach for the first time! Mommy and Daddy both love the beach and the ocean, so we weren't surprised that you frolicked in the 62 degree water and had so much fun playing in the sand!

You are no longer Mama's baby. You are her little girl now. Your baby features are fading away and you're a cute little toddler! Your hair is finally starting to get longer, and you have the cutest little curls in the back! Mama and Dada have curly hair too, so this was no surprise.

You are so independent and have no fear! You love animals, you will climb anything that can be climbed, and you want to do things your way and by yourself. Mama coined the phrase, "own self!" when she was a little girl, so it seems you get more than just your looks from me.

You've also started to be a little fresh. You do things you know you're not supposed to do just to see what Mama will do. We have started using "time-out" and it breaks Mama's heart to see that little lip stick out and the tears form in your eyes, but when your minute is up and Mama tells you she loves you, you give me the biggest, sweetest hug. I know this is just a phase and you are just learning your limits, but you keep your Mama on her toes my dear!

We have had lots of beautiful, unseasonably warm days this month and we have definitely taken advantage of them! You love being outside, running around and playing with your ball! You love it so much that you sometimes cry when it's time to come inside.

You are really starting to master stairs, both up and down. You hold on to the railing and climb with your feet instead of crawling up. Your favorite toy this month is probably your car. We've spent a lot of time in the car this month, so you must like it and want to be in the car inside too. You will sit in the car and sit perfectly quiet like you're trying to hide from us, or you'll sit in it and watch cartoons like you're at the drive-in!

Speaking of hiding, you love to hide! We'll call out your name and you'll stand wherever you are perfectly quiet and serious until we find you, then you break out in smiles and giggles. You've scared Mama a few times, but I think I've figured out your favorite places now.

You continue to challenge Mama in this world of motherhood. But I am learning and growing right along with you every day. I am looking forward to the nice weather and all the fun we'll have outside exploring this spring! You inspire me my sweet girl. You make me look at the world with a new perspective. Your adventurous spirit is infectious and your love fills my heart!

I love you thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much sweetie!
Love always,

**Update 4/6** You finally had your 15 month appointment yesterday. You weighed in at 25 pounds, 12 ounces (93rd percentile) and you were 32.5 inches tall (95th percentile)! You had to have 2 shots and you didn't even cry! You were such a good girl! Unfortunately, around midnight last night you were burning up with a fever of 103.2 degrees. You've never had a fever from your shots before and Mama was up all night cuddling you and making sure you were okay. We gave you some children's ibuprofen and it has brought your fever down to 101.4 at least, so I hope you feeling better soon.