Sunday, July 26, 2009

Elise- 8 months!



Dear Elise,
Today you are eight months old!!! You have turned into such a fun and delightful little baby! Your days are filled with smiles, laughter, and squeals. You are in such a good mood all the time! You are a master at crawling and have gotten so quick. You go up and down the different steps in our house and you love exploring and pulling up. You have gotten really good at playing and entertaining yourself.
Some tidbits about you this month:
  • You have two bottom teeth.
  • You love all solid food but you also still love to nurse.
  • You love sitting in the grocery cart at the store.
  • You know two words. You know your name and will turn when you hear it. You also know "Jaws" and when I say, "Where's Jaws" you freeze and your eyes immediately dart around to find him. When you do find him, you get a big smile on your face.
  • You still adore Jaws though I don't think I can say the feeling is 100% mutual. You climb all over him, pull his hair, ears, and jowls. He used to not mind but now you've gotten much stronger. When he's had enough, he gets up and walks away. You also take his bone right from his mouth. He lets you though.
  • You now go to bed around 7:15 and sleep until about 7:15 the next morning. Sometimes you wake around 5:30am, but once I nurse you, you go right back to sleep and will then sleep until about 7:45 (when I let you!!)
  • You take 2 naps, about 3 hours total. Our days are still the same. We go on a walk each morning, then you have breakfast, play a bit, and down for your first nap. We go on lots of lunches and playdates with friends, often at the pool.
  • You love the pool and smile when I dunk you underwater!
  • You have just started cruising around which means you use the furniture to steady you as you walk.
  • You are babbling like crazy. You say dadadada but you don't know what it means yet. You also said Mom-meee once; but it was a fluke for sure :)
  • Just this month you started sucking your thumb. You only do this when you are very tired. Also, you have decided you actually like a pacifier. So strange that you started this late!!! I just leave one in your crib and you find it if you want it.
This month has been the most fun. Your little personality is coming out and you are just a blast! You are still wary of people you don't know. You are also SO observant. Your eyes don't miss much, no matter where we are. You really study people and what they're doing. You are turning into such a fun little girl. Daddy and I are having a blast with you, watching you grow up. We can't wait to see what next month brings!

Fun with your activity table.
You love standing at the window and watching Daddy work.

Bath time fun!
(If you look carefully, you can see her two teeth!)

Cutest little bum!!
You love crawling in the grass!

8 Month Pictures- The Rejects

I think this is the last month I'll attempt to do Elise's monthly pictures by myself. I'm calling for backup for next month!

"Uh, Mom, you forgot the dumb sign that says how old I am!"
"There ya go! But now I don't feel like looking at the camera!"
"What's on this thing anyway?"
"Sign Overboard!!!"
"No worries, I'll get it!"
And we'll just forget the pics on Grandma's quilt- she won't lay on her back for anything!

"Hey, look! The sign is back. Wonder how I can mess this up?"
"Sign messed up? Check! Mission accomplished!"


Friday, July 24, 2009

Trapped!

Oh this was fun! (please note sarcasm.) I normally try and take my showers during Elise's morning nap. But that doesn't always happen, especially if we have somewhere to be. So I usually plop her on the bathroom floor, shut the doors, and give her a few empty shoe boxes to play with. She has a great time! Except, now she is really into pulling up. And she really likes to stand, leaning against the shower door, and watch me as I shower. (Ummm... helloooo... privacy please?????) So I finish my shower, except I can't open the door, because if I do, Elise will fall backwards, smack her skull on the tile, and an ER visit will be in our future. No thank you. So I usually just throw a few things over the shower door and she'll crawl after them. Then I make my escape. Well, that didn't work so well this week. I threw everything out, shampoo, combs, feet scrubby thingies... everything we had in the shower. And Elise still stood there, with a big smile on her face. This went on for about 5 minutes. And of course, we had somewhere to be! Finally, she sat down and I was able to make my exit. I think I'm going to have to come up with a new plan for showers.

"Trapping Mommy is FUN!"
Oh, and what's that thing on her bum you ask??? That's a cloth diaper of course! How cute and fluffy is that?!?!

Elise's Introduction to Solid Food

(Disclaimer- I'm writing this down more for my records, not because I think anyone is really interested in what Elise has and/or is eating :)

Elise has been eating solid foods for just about 2 months now. She is still very much into purees and hasn't figured out "finger foods" yet. I have been making everything from "scratch," but I hardly even think I can call it cooking since it's so easy! I'm making her food for a few reasons. First of all, it is sooooo much cheaper to make your own vs. buy. Secondly, I can control exactly what goes into her little body. Plus cooking it myself helps to retain tons of the nutrients from the fruits and veggies bc when they're mass produced and jarred, they lose so many nutrients due to the high cooking heat. Sometimes the jarred baby food is a little scary to me. Why do the bananas have a pink hue to them? Fresh peas and green beans are bright green; jarred are swampy looking to me. And finally, it's fun. It takes about 1 hour total each week and I feel really good and productive when I'm finished.
We started with avocado and sweet potato. She loved both. From there, she enjoyed bananas, yellow and green squash, applesauce, peas, and peaches. We were just doing 1 solid meal each day until she was 7 months old. When she turned 7 months, we moved to two meals each day, breakfast and dinner. She had carrots, plums, butternut squash, pears, and blueberries. I use oatmeal to thicken up the really runny purees. This week we have started yogurt which she loves. I just buy plain, whole milk yogurt and mix in my own fruit. The store bought baby yogurt has added sugar which just isn't necessary in my opinion. The only thing Elise did not like was asparagus. She gagged and her eyes watered!!! I mixed it with some summer squash and she liked it more that way. We'll probably stick with two meals each day until she's 9 months. I'm still nursing her and she gets everything she needs from breastmilk anyway. Solids are basically for "fun" until they're 1 year old.
Besides purees, Elise has had tiny chunks of watermelon (that was a huge hit!) different breads, avocado, and cooked apples. I don't give her too many chunks just yet because she still doesn't handle them all that well and I have a fear of her choking.
Elise is super interested in everything Matt and I eat and drink. I don't know who begs more for food, her or Jaws! As soon as Matt or I sit down to eat, Elise will crawl over, sit up, and start chewing, even though there is nothing in her mouth! I let her take bites off my empty fork and that pacifies her, for now at least. She also loves the beer can and crawls all over Matt trying to get to it. It must be the color... not the beer inside!!!!!
All in all, we're having a lot of fun with solids. With the exception of asparagus, she's loved everything at the first bite and hasn't had an averse reaction to anything. I do look forward to getting away from purees and more to finger foods, especially when she can feed herself!

Two websites that I really like are: Wholesome Baby Food and Nurture Baby. As far as gear, you don't need anything fancy. Just a steamer, (I use one of those cheap metal ones that go in a pot) and either an immersion blender or a food processor. They both work great. I put the purees into ice cube trays, freeze them, and then pop them into freezer bags. Voila! It's that easy.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Down She Goes!

Down the stairs that is. Elise has figured out how to get down the many steps in our house, no problem at all! She really hasn't discovered the staircase yet and I am so thankful! I'm sure it won't be long though.

video

And for those of you reading this through Facebook, you'll actually have to visit our blog to see the videos I post.
I have our blog linked to FB, so when I update the blog, it updates on FB. However, videos don't come though. :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fireplace is completed!

Hallelujah! Our Craigslist guy with no references turned out to be a great find! If anyone needs a master mason in the SA area, let me know; he's great! We are thrilled!
So the fireplace, retaining wall, and all mason work is finished. Now Matt's part begins. First we're (errr... Matt's...) extending the patio with flagstone. Then we'll (um, yea.. Matt) have to re-lay some sod and redo some landscaping. Totally awesome timing with our 104* temps. and severe drought. :)
The end is in sight!!!!!!!!




Lori and Adam tied the knot!!!

Ahhh.... back in Ft. Worth for the weekend. I'm not going to lie, it was wonderful! As soon as I exited Hulen, I felt like I had never left! Matt couldn't get off work, so I was flying solo this weekend. I had such a nice time! Friday night we hit Joe T's. I knew I was missed when a long time waiter asked where I had been!!!
Saturday was the wedding. Lori was seriously stunning!
The reception was at Colonial- so much fun!


It was so good to be back. Ft. Worth will always be my second home; I mean, I spent a third of my life living there. I can't wait to get back this fall!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

Ours was spent just as the 4th of July should be spent, bar-b-queing in the backyard with friends! Unfortunately, Matt had to work, but Elise and I (and Jaws!) still managed to have a great time. Hope you had a wonderful 4th as well!
Mmmm... watermelon.



Friday, July 3, 2009

Landscaping- In Progress

And actually, I don't even think I can call this "landscaping" because that's not the direction we took. This is more of a "Patio Redo" or "Outdoor Living Space Creation." I don't know... and I guess it doesn't matter what we call it, I'm just happy to report progress!!!!!!!! We decided to "do it once and do it right." Therefore, we went ahead with the outdoor fireplace and retaining wall. I found a great guy on Craigslist. He is very skilled and I just really like him and his ideas. The only problem is he works for a school district full time and only works on this Friday and Saturday. So it's been a sloooooooow process to say the least. Here are some pics so you know what I look at every morning.

The actual fireplace.
Steps that will be in the middle of the retaining wall.
The back view.
Needless to say, our backyard is a disaster right now! However, it's coming together and will be really neat once it's completed. So as of now, the divorce proceedings have been put on hold, pending completion of course!!!! ;)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Day in the Life of Elise

Just a Random Wednesday...

We went for a nice long walk before it got too hot.


Then we came home and got the house straightened up. Elise was a huge help with the laundry! I just may let her take over this job in a year or two.

Torturing Jaws is an everyday activity.
Chillin' in the grass while I water. Elise would sit and crawl in the grass all day long if I would let her!

Pulling up on everything!
Waking up from her afternoon nap.
video

Swinging at our neighborhood park.
Of course, Jaws had to have some fun at the park too!!!

video