Sunday, September 28, 2008

Summer's Last Hurrah

A final sign of summer ending... enjoying ice cream at Bruster's, where we redeemed Caroline's free ice cream coupon she got from the library's summer reading program

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Pulling Up

So apparently, interesting things like cats and running water motivate this baby (tonight she heard Chris using the electric mixer in the kitchen and crawled right in to investigate!). This is her first time pulling up to a stand. She can also do it on the edge of the fireplace. Not yet on the couch... it's a bit too high. And judging by the look on her face, she can't figure out what the big deal is!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Little Engineer

That's what I call Cecilia sometimes. My dad and two of my brothers majored in engineering, and Cecilia may have inherited those genes. She is a "figure-it-out" kind of baby, for sure. Caroline was much more skilled in the communications department than the how-things-work department, so this is new to me. A baby who gets into things??? Today, she started going for that cap thingie at the base of the toilet (guess I need to clean down there now, and maybe tape that cap on too). Crawling under the toilet didn't even register on Caroline's radar. Maybe this time I have a baby who will actually climb inside the Tupperware cabinet...

The knob on the bottom drawer in the kitchen is of great interest to Cecilia. It also happens to be loose. She has unscrewed it completely - twice now. And today I caught her with it about to go into her mouth - yikes! I need to superglue it or something.

"Hiya, Mom... no, I'm not up to anything!"
Such concentration...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Laid back...

...or just stupid?

1 newly-mobile baby + 1 laid back (read: stupid) cat = a mouth full of fur and a wet tail.

The cat didn't even move or object in any way as her tail was chewed on. Adding "lazy" to the list of adjectives...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

And She's Off!

Cecilia is crawling! She was on the brink for a while - getting on her hands, lunging and reaching forward, getting first on one knee and then on both, rocking... and then she was able to go about one stride. She finally put it all together at my parents' house today. I think the cats motivated her - she began crawling after them immediately! At one point, she followed Gabby from the kitchen all the way across the dining room in just about two minutes flat. Wow! We need to go home and baby proof!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Nursey Rhyme/Creed Medley

Caroline was playing with her farm animal toys this morning. As she made the sheep walk around on a stool in the kitchen, she began chanting, "Mary had a little lamb, that was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate..."

Monday, September 15, 2008

A fun, quick activity

Making a big pile of bubbles in the sink...

Fill the sink with water and a squirt of dish soap. Get a plastic drinking straw and instruct child to blow (BLOW, not suck!!) through the straw. Child will inevitably suck in some of the soapy water in the process of making bubbles.

Caroline is taking Spanish!

A friend of mine who graduated from Berry a year ahead of me and goes to my church is offering preschool Spanish classes once a week in her home. She is an Education major with a minor in Spanish. She has four children, two girls close in ge to Caroline. We sing Spanish songs, listen to Spanish books, and do crafts and activities. It's a nice way to do something semi-formal in the way of learning, and of course it is nice just to get together with some other moms. Today we talked about animals, Caroline was pretty shy, but excitedly shouted, "Monkey!" when Beth asked the kids if they knew which animal was a "mono." She's been singing one of the songs and asking me to count to ten with her in Spanish. Hopefully just a little exposure to another language will be helpful to my child who already expresses great interest in the English language!
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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Life: the core issue

I found this video thanks to Mel... it is quite moving and straight to the point:

To all those who think that "one-issue voters" aren't using their full intellect in order to reach a decision... I say, what more important issue is there than the basic right to life for the weakest and most innocent human beings? Without the right to life being protected across the board with no exceptions, then what other rights are important? One cannot have any rights without the most basic - the right to life. We have to start at the beginning, with the most basic of rights, before we can tackle other issues.

Friday, September 12, 2008


picking berries for a necklace, wearing berries on her dress

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


on my back, hanging out in the backpack carrier

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Foray into Food

Cecilia seems to be ready to begin experimenting with solid foods. She had all the readiness signs before six months: sitting up unsupported, grabbing and mouthing things, her first teeth had come through, she was able to bring things to her mouth... I wasn't in any rush to get her started - breastmilk should make up the bulk of her diet for at least the first year. She still seemed content to sit and watch us eat, playing with toys and spoons at the table... but lately she's not. She is always trying to snitch things from my hand. Here she is at about 6.5 months with her first-ever solid food - a little chunk of banana that she smushed and dropped in her lap. Ah, well... that's what solids are for at this point, learning and experimenting, not nutrition.

Here is the second thing she tried: avocado. I thought this slice might be easier for her to pick up than a tiny chunk. It wasn't though... too slippery.

Here she brings it to her mouth for a taste. She didn't end up swallowing bites of it, but she got an idea of how it tasted. After smashing it up on the tray, she sucked some of the residue off her hands.

Aerial shot of the avocado. These pictures were all taken at the beach in August, by the way. She also enjoyed gnawing on a thick slice of cucumber while I prepared a salad one evening. It probably feels nice and cool on her gums.

And now, more recently, she has tried pear and plum, which she gnaws on until she makes a mess of the fruit and gets down to the skin... and then mean ol' mommy takes the skin away. She also tried a little sweet potato. Since it was so mushy, I put it in a spoon, which she shoved into her own mouth, but only a couple times... one simply cannot experience one's food when it is mooshed up on a spoon! She had fun grabbing it off the spoon after that.

Here she is a few days ago with some banana. I broke off a large chunk for her and she went to town with it... she took some really big bites, then self-regulated by oozing most of it out of her mouth. That's why it's all over her bib. She chewed a lot of it pretty well this time. Most of it is on her bib and tray, of course!

This is what happens when you let a baby with two bottom teeth hold the whole banana:

And her she is this evening after her first broccoli experience. I wasn't planning to give her any, but she was being grabby and clingy, so she was in my lap while I ate. I gave her a piece to keep her busy while I ate. She brought it to her mouth several times, smushed it up, and got all the little bits (what are those things called, anyway?) all over her hands and then sucked them off. I found that while broccoli makes a mess, it is not a sticky mess - it can just be brushed off. That's a plus!

Enjoy this new learning experience, Cecilia! Happy experimenting!

Playing in the Rain

Well, sort of... by the time we cleaned up some toys and got the raincoat on, it had stopped raining. This raincoat actually belonged to me when I was a kid!

Maybe next time we'll get outside faster...

Saturday, September 06, 2008

La Leche League Family Cookout

Our LLL family cookout was a success! We had seven families come to our house for the event, which was our group's way of celebrating World Breastfeeding Week (which was in August, but schedules and illness moved us into September). We had a Mexican-themed lunch cookout: fajitas cooked on the grill! We did beef and chicken, and I got tortillas from Trader Joe's, one of my all-time favorite stores. Everyone brought sides and toppings: cheese, mushrooms, peppers, sour cream, guacamole... yum!!

I tried to come up with a variety of activities for the kids outside, who ranged from 18 months to four years old (not counting the babies under one year):

an easel and markers, which these siblings enjoyed together

a large inflatable pool for swimming and splashing

a baby pool, which Cecilia and an eight month old baby enjoyed thoroughly

Caroline's sandbox and a bunch of shovels, buckets, and other sand toys

the Cozy Coupe car, especially enjoyed by this little guy.

We also had the bubble mower, Caroline's swing, and various balls and frisbees. I had considered getting out sidewalk chalk and bubbles as well, but they really didn't seem to be needed. The kids all seemed to have a great time playing outside together. Too bad Caroline doesn't have this kind of entertainment every day ;) She really had a great time - her favorite was pouring and splashing water from the pool with the two four year old girls. They liked watering the neighbor's plants with cups of water.

We had a great time providing a time for all our breastfeeding families to get together, relax, eat, have the kids play and the dads meet... although it was a bit stressful getting the meat prepped and the food all organized, the results were worth it. We thoroughly enjoyed spending time with all these wonderful families. Being a LLL Leader has been a blessing for me in that I get to know several wonderful families in this area.

Definitions by Caroline

Caroline, holding up a piece of styrofoam: "Look, Mommy, it's a firestone!"

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Thoughts on Heaven

Caroline seems to be a deep thinker for a three year old... lately, she's been exploring her feelings on Heaven. Apparently, she understands that it's where we go when we die and that Jesus and God are there. She has asked:
*if she can take her toys and stuffed animals to Heaven with her.
*if she can bring her bed, or if God will have one there for her.
*if I can go with her when she goes to Heaven, because she'll miss me.
*if her grandparents will go to Heaven soon (and they aren't even old as far as grandparents go - only in their early-mid 50's!).

Tough questions, huh? So far, I have told her that she'll have to ask God about bringing things with her once she gets there. God grant me the grace to be able to provide appropriate answers for her!

Fish Art

Caroline created this in spurts... first, she asked me to make her a fish with purple Do-A-Dots. I outlined a fish shape for her and then gave her the purple and said she could fill it in. She did some dotting, and, typical of her style, said she was done after about 30 seconds. So, the fish outline with some dots in it rermained on the easel for several days, and then I noticed that she'd done some more work on it at some point. I don't know when, but she got her purple marker and colored in the tail, and then she outlined around the inside of the fish several times. This is the first time she's actually colored in a shape... and it was all on her own.

It's really interesting to watch the development of fine motor abilities with regard to drawing.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Labor Day

For Labor Day Weekend, we headed to Atlanta to visit my parents. Our main reason for the trip was because Karen, my high school friend and Caroline's godmother, was in town with her husband, Jason. Karen's family lives in the Atlanta area. They had planned to go to Stone Mountain for the Laser Show, and they invited us to go with them. I hadn't been in several years. We planned to go up the mountain - hike up and ride down on the cable car - but we ended up not having enough time. The place was a ZOO!! It was packed for the holiday weekend - jacked up parking prices and people EVERYWHERE! We barely found a spot on the lawn for our blanket. I have never seen it so jam-packed before!

We set up our stuff and then went to walk around the food area - we had intended on sending one person back out to Subway or Mrs. Winner's, but the line to get into the parking lot, which was over a mile from the lawn, was too intimidating, so we decided to buy food in the park. And that took an hour - no joking. We waited a long time for our food. Caroline and one of Karen's nieces wanted cheeseburgers, but the wait there was over an hour, once I finally found a place with take-out cheeseburgers! So, they ended up with hot dogs instead. The rest of us ate chicken tenders from Colonel Adair's inside the train depot. Karen, Jason, and I braved the lines and brought the food back to our hungry crew just before it got dark. We had just enough time to eat, take a potty break, and then get back to our spot for the show.

Now, I have been coming to the Laser Show since I was tiny, and they have a few signature songs - Dixie/Battle Hymn of the Republic medley (the Elvis version), Georgia on my Mind (Ray Charles version), and God Bless the USA (Lee Greenwood version). Well, they have ALWAYS done these, and they have ALWAYS ended with the Elvis medley and then God Bless the USA. This time, they did the Elvis song at the beginning, which was weird... and then they only did part of GA on my Mind - they cut it off and went into a medley of songs about other states - I guess paying tribute to the fact that people from TN, AL, and the Carolinas come to the Laser Show as well. But that was very disappointing to me - the GA on my Mind segment is just a part of the Laser Show traditionally. And then, even worse - no God Bless the USA at all!!! i was really let down. The Laser Show had become somewhat sentimental to me. I am really hoping this was just done because it's the 25th Anniversary year show and that they will bring back the old classics in the future. For now, here are some links to youtube clips of these memorable parts of the old show:

And here's the Elvis American Trilogy, just for fun:

Can't find Georgia on my Mind footage :( Will keep looking.