Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

EZ Blocks

This entry is to showcase both Sarah's current favorite toy and her ability to sit up. That being the case, I've edited out the many times she fell over.

I got these blocks with my starter kit a few weeks ago when I started to sell Discovery Toys. DT puts these toys in the 18+ months category and I'm sure that she will need to be that old before she can start building castles and such with them. But she can sure knock them down with the best of them.

I read somewhere that a 6 month skill is being able to put things into a container and dump them out. So I went looking for something that we could practice that with and hit upon the EZ Blocks. I also liked that she sat up straighter in order to knock over the tall towers I make for her. Before using this toy she would not really sit up, but more bend in half and play with things on the ground. She loves to shake the blocks since they rattle and is just starting to bang them together (although, I couldn't capture that on the video). She likes to dump out the bucket, but hasn't shown much interest in putting the blocks back in. She does like to throw the blocks, though, so I'm thinking that will come soon.

The video shows her using her left hand most of the time. I don't think that is an accurate indicator of her handedness, however. She sucks her left thumb but she switched to it when we had to mitt her right hand to prevent her from scratching at her exzema. Now she often plays with things with her right hand WHILE sucking on her left thumb. In this video, I think she is using her left hand so much because (1) the toys are on that side of her and (2) her right hand is being held out for balance.

I'd love to hear back from people as to what their baby's favorite toy was at 5 or 6 months old. And, I feel compelled to add, if you are interested in seeing a catalog for Discovery Toys, please let me know. August is kind of a crucial month for me since it is my first full month with the company. So if I hit the company's sales goal for this month I receive a cash bonus plus a credit towards next season's catalog items. I thought I had a big order coming from the library, but they had to back out at the last minute.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

How does your Garden Grow?

I picked my first heirloom tomatoes today. Yummy! I've been able to eat the cherry tomatoes for several weeks now and there are tons more ripening on the plant. So I think we can say the tomatoes were a success.

The local rabbits would tell you that the snow peas and green beans were a success as well. But, they would be wrong. These plants were mowed down by the bunnies the moment they reared their stems out of the soil. We kept trying to tell the rabbits that if they would allow the plants to grow just a little bit then there would be plenty for all of us. I really only wanted the vegetables off of one of each type of plant. I would have been happy to give the rabbits the rest. But it seems rabbits are an impatient breed. Who knew?

My pepper plants look like bonzai . They look perfectly healthy except that they never got bigger than about 8 inches and they never flowered. I guess they don't get enough sun. My leeks never took off either.

I have some very oddly shaped cucumbers and butternut squash growing. So we will see what comes of that in the next few weeks. And my herb garden has done really well. All except the cilantro that flowered while we were on vacation. I meant to see if I could get another plant but never quite got around to it. I thought the parsley was gone (also thanks to the resident bunnies) but even though it was down to stalk nubs with no leaves, it came back nicely. I have a huge crop of basil going that I am going to harvest and freeze so that I have it all winter. I'm thinking of digging up the rosemary and thyme and keeping them indoors this winter. I don't think the cats will bother them as they smell so strongly.

I had a few strawberries right at the beginning of the season. The plants have completely disappeared. I don't know if they will come back next year or not.

I had lots of lettuce but I never picked it. We had plenty of lettuce in our CSA box and so I never got around to it. Did you know that lettuce flowered? I'm not sure if that means new lettuce plants will grow up on their own or not. I need to get out there and pull them up. I have more seeds so I will plant them for a second harvest.

As for the flowers I planted ... the Dahlia plants are really healthy. They have no blooms but they are really healthy. Why don't they have any floweres? Well, because the rabbits like them. They ate the portaluca immediately. Every now and then they will allow a cosmo to bloom. The rabbits seem to have no interest whatsoever in the snapdragons. So I've had a great time with them. These last few thunderstorms have done their fair share of dammage though. My sunflowers never even sprouted (I think some critter ate the seeds in the ground. I'd blame the bunnies but they can't have done ALL of the damage. This one might be the fault of the squirrels). I got sprouts of sweetpeas, but they never blossomed, nor did they climb the fence as I hoped they would.

For those of you that don't know, this garden was my first Mother's Day present. Arlo, who absolutely HATES gardening, cleared out my patch of waist high weeds that were growing after the snow melt. Cleared it down to dirt. Weeds came out by their roots. Then he went to two different garden centers and helped me plant all of my pretties.

When I was recovering from my deep depressive episode a few years ago, one of the things I did each day was "inspect the troops." Each morning I took my coffee out in the morning and checked my garden for new growth. It really helped me. Arlo pictured me taking Sarah outside this summer in order to help me inspect the troops. We have been outside some this summer. But not as much as I thought.

I'm already planning next year's garden to be a bit more toddler friendly. We will plant a few square feet of sod so that there will be come grass to sit on. And we'll definitely have tomatoes.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mmmmm Mmmmmm

Sarah has been showing signs of wanting to eat solid food for awhile. She watches Arlo and me intently whenever we eat. Yesterday, at the park, she watched a baby eat, opening her mouth whenever the other baby did. Arlo helped her play with a spoon today and even with just air, she knew what to do.

Since she is not yet 6 months old, our choices of what to give her were limited. She could have commercial rice cereal (but not homemade whole grain cereal), avocado, banana, or sweet potato. The rice cereal is out for us. The only ones I can find in the stores here have preservatives in them and Arlo was severely allergic to preservatives as a child. We don't want to take that chance with Sarah. I will make my own cereal eventually, but her digestive system can't handle the whole grain yet. So we went with the avocado.

I think you can see that she liked it. I guess she will be a guacamole girl. I think we will hold off on the margareitas for awhile.

Friday, August 7, 2009

20, 16, 11, 0

That's how many minutes I let her cry before falling asleep. I started two days ago with one of her naps and then at bedtime (the 20 minutes and 16 minutes respectively). Eleven minutes was for one of yesterday's naps. Arlo put her to bed last night and decided to lay with her until she fell asleep instead of letting her cry. And then we had zero minutes for her first nap of the day today. Hurray! She did cry out once, when she got her leg caught through the side of the crib. But I fixed it and she fell asleep.

Here are a few other sleeping pictures for comparison purposes:

Her first time sleeping in her crib.

She moves around quite a bit in her sleep.

Just a few weeks old. In her Pack N Play. She still sleeps on her side a lot but not with her legs crossed like this.

Nap in her swing. This was at 2.5 months. Now her feet hang out and her head is almost to the top of the swing. She will be so sad when she outgrows it. She LOVES her swing.

Sleeping at the air show in Osh Kosh Wisconsin

At the doctor Monday she was 28 inches long (99th percentile). She is only around the 75th percentile for weight at 15 lb. 12 oz. but the doctor uses a chart that has both breastfed and formula fed babies. I would expect her to weigh less than a formula fed baby. I need to do a jammies assessment though since she is not quite 5 months and she is almost out of her 6-9 month jammies. (I have a bunch of 9-12 month, but I don't know how many of them are summer weight.) She stretched her legs out fully yesterday morning and bared her shoulder.
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Saturday, January 31, 2009

End of the Month

With this post, I've done it! I've accomplished my goal of posting every day for the month of January. To those of you that slogged through the days that I really didnt' have anything to say ... Thank You!

For some reason, when I realized that today was the last day of the month, my mind started thinking about one of my favorite books as a child. It was a "little golden book." My favorite of these was "Sam the Firehouse Cat" but the book that came to mind was "The Monster at the End of this Book." It has Grover (from Sesame Street) reading along with you and when he realizes that there is a monster at the end of the book, he does everything he can think of to prevent you from reaching the end. He bricks the pages up, ties them down, and many other things I'm sure, but I can't remember exactly. But then, of course, when you reach the end of the book, the only monster is sweet, lovable, Grover.

I'm not saying that I dreaded reaching the end of the month, that there might be a monster in this post or anything. I'm thinking that this book came to mind because of the relief I feel at reaching the end and seeing that it wasn't so bad. For some reason, I write these posts right before I go to bed. This has not been good planning on my part, but there you go. So each night I had this Blog-Monster looming over my head. But I feel success at having accomplished the goal.

Have no fear, I will continue to post. Maybe, even tomorrow night, we'll see.

In other news, we are again a two-car family. I'm a little amazed that we ended up buying an SUV, but you never know where life is going to take you. It is a 1996 Ford Explorer that seems to be in really great shape. It has over 100K miles on it and I'm sure the gas mileage is atrocious but all we needed was something that Arlo could drive back and forth to work (less than 3 miles round trip) and we wanted something that could carry large purchases, when necessary, but still have a back seat so that it could accommodate a car seat. We wanted something under $3000 (we paid $2500) so that we could buy it outright and not have a car payment. Success all around.

Secondly, we saw Gran Torino tonight (great movie). It was at a neat little theater where the two of us had dinner and a movie for less than $20 ... including snacks. It was nice to have a little date with my husband.

Friday, January 30, 2009

It's a Start!

Well, we've not done much to prepare the nursery yet (I am pretty proud that I've bought AND washed some quilt fabric ... but that's it). But thanks to wonderful friends and family our little one will be able to bathe and swing. She has some clothes and burp clothes and this too cute for words bunny pillow. She even has some very nice books to read.

So lets see, we have cleanliness, clothing options other than naked, intellectual pursuits, rocking and other comforts. Now we only need small details like ... oh, I don't know, sleeping facilities, auto transportation equipment, pedestrian transportation equipment, clothes storage, diaper changing facilities, etc. So I'd say we're essentially done. What do you think? No? Not quite? Well, ... it's a start.

Thanks to everyone that is helping us out.