Monday, October 31, 2011

Who's ready for another roller coaster ride?

Jump on and hold on tight... Alli is going to be a big sister in about six more months!!

We are overly excited and thrilled. Dad-E and I had always discussed wanting babies close together... we thought it would be an easier transition for Alli as she grows up, maybe not being as "aware" of what's going on as if she would be had she been older when the next baby came along, so hopefully the jealousy and regressing won't be as bad. We thought getting over the diaper stage with one baby, then starting over with another would just make it seem like we're in diapers forever, so why not have two in diapers at the same time instead?! We thought with the two being close in age, hopefully they'll play together well and end up being great friends someday.

Yes of course, we realize there will be quite a few challenges along the way and it won't be easy. Two under two. Babies eighteen months apart. We'll have our hands full, that's for sure. But, it's yet another ride we're excited to try out.

We've had many people ask us the customary questions...
What's your official due date? April 29th is what the doctor's claim, however, I think it's more like May 5th, but what do I know, they know my body better than I do after all right? Seeing as they use a little wheel calendar to calculate every one's due date like every person is exactly the same and has exactly the same cycle. Pshh.
So that makes you how far along? 14 weeks as of yesterday, so we're already into the 2nd trimester.
How are you feeling? Great! Just tired. I realized this pregnancy would be much different seeing as I'll be chasing a 1 yr old around, not being able to lounge around and nap all day. But, it's been good. It actually seems to be flying by a lot faster too.
And, the biggest question yet... are you going to find out the sex this time? Probably not. As most/all of you know, we chose not to find out with Alli, and it was seriously the best feeling/surprise of our lives. That moment when you're near the end of the labor, ready to just have that baby here, and not knowing what that baby's sex is, just makes it even more thrilling. Eric and I have gone back and forth... I kind of do want to know, he doesn't... so we'll see. We still have 6 weeks to figure it out.

So here's the shirt we opened as a gift for Alli from us at her birthday party to announce it to our family and friends..

And the back, giving away the big surprise :)

12 Month Stats

We made it! A whole year old. 365 days. Our toddler visited Dr. Kelly for her one year check up on the Friday after her birthday, and we were informed she had a raging ear infection in her left ear, and one starting in the right ear. What? We would've had no idea had we not had an appointment today.. she shows no symptoms at all. So, we started on the Amoxicillin regimen for a 10 day treatment and we'll go back in 4 weeks to get checked again, get the other 1/2 of the flu shot, and another shot we skipped that day so she didn't have to get 4 shots. They checked her iron and lead levels with a finger stick too and said everything looked great from that standpoint.

So, Alli Ru, you've accomplished a ton in a year: lifting your head, rolling over, sitting, standing, army crawl, crawling, walking, learning a few words, gained your unique personality and eating from "mommy milk" to solid soft foods and regular milk. (I'm sure I'm leaving out a bunch of milestones, but it happened so fast!) Hopefully, this blog will be there (in book form, or on the Internet still!) for you to read someday and see all the fun we've gone through this first year with you. You've changed our lives forever, and we couldn't be happier.

The Stats:
Weight: 20 lbs 1 oz (33rd percentile)
Length: 29.5 inches (64th percentile)
Head: 17 1/4" inches (16th percentile)
Diaper Size: 3's
Clothing Size: 9-12 month, depending on the brand
Shoe Size: 4's - 5's depending on the brand too
Food: We started the whole milk on her actual birthday last Thursday, and she could have cared less about the difference.. so, no problems there, she's downing whole milk like a champ! And any and all food still... the only thing we've heard she's refused twice now at daycare are English muffins. Weird?
Naps: One 2 hour nap while at daycare, still 2 during the day when she's home with us
Sleep: Bed by 6:45-7ish, up by 6ish
Teeth: Eight still.. no sign of those molars yet!
Sounds: Dada, mama, baba, ga, "daaww" (dog), "uh oh", nana, yeah, nah, ball, "tank tu" (I think it's thank you.. she does it every time she hands me something after I say thank you to her... haha)
Play: WALKING! everywhere, loves riding in her new wagon, still mimicks about everything we do, all her new toys from her birthday will keep her occupied for awhile now, showing us where her belly is, stacking objects or putting them from one place to another container, or best of all, handing us everything until we run out of hands to hold onto everything,
New buddies: No one new, just seeing a bunch of her old buddies at her party... Anneliese, Lily, Porter, Simon, Austyn and Zane!
Now, the countdown is really on for that 1st birthday party.... our little lady is turning one, who said that was allowed to happen?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Happy birthday, Alli

The big day has finally arrived. Exactly one year ago today, Allison Ruah graced the world with her presence. I think back to that day with very fond memories...

Much like today, it was very warm. I think we almost set a record - somewhere in the mid-80's. Even though I was in shorts and a T-shirt that day, it felt like Christmas. Well, it felt like Christmas from my childhood - you know, back when you really had no idea what you were getting? That's how it felt when Alli was born - we both knew it was coming, but we didn't know the specifics of the "gift", if you will. And about 10 hours after we checked into the hospital, our bouncing baby girl was born - 7lbs. 2 oz., 20 inches long, with almost a full head of light brown hair. Wait... what?? The offspring of two bald-when-they-were-born babies has a full head of hair? Darn right, she did. Fast forward 365 days, and it's all been replaced by a full head of blond hair eerily similar to Dad-E's when he was that age.

Some Followers might recall this post that lists 50 Rules for Dads of Daughters. Some time today, I plan on writing Alli a letter to tell her about her first year of life. I'm not going to post it here because I want it to be personal for her when she reads it some day. I'm hoping to do this every year on her birthday until she goes off on her own. Might make a nice gift for her when she goes off to college or becomes a mom herself.

I'm sure many people are going to ask me what this first year of parenthood was like. The best analogy I can think of is riding a roller coaster for the first time. Here's why...

Like any good roller coaster, you start out by waiting. And waiting... and waiting. Lots of waiting. There are all these other people around waiting too, so you assume that it must be a good ride. You meet people while waiting that have already gone through it once or twice, so there must be something that keeps them coming back again. You can't really see what's ahead of you, but you've heard stories waiting in line about what's to come - some good, some bad.

Finally, it's your turn. You get on... and the anticipation starts building. Up you go, and you can't help but be excited for what's about to happen. And before you know it, your thrown in more directions than your body can handle. Up, down, left, right, up again, down again. Then a loop, then a corkscrew. Up again, down again. Another loop, another corkscrew. You go through so many emotions in such a short period of time, you're not really sure how you should feel. All the while, there is screaming, laughing and maybe some crying by those who can't handle the ride. The whole time you're trying to contain your jubilation and your tears... and just pray you don't get thrown up on.

Finally, the ride slows down and you settle into a groove. There are still some small hills - up again and down again - but nothing compared to what you went through at the beginning. You get off the ride, look at your significant other and say, "Damn... even though I was scared sh*tless, that was pretty fun. Let's do it again!" Others turn to each other and say, "No way, never again." As you walk away, you're still feeling so many emotions that you're not sure what just happened. It all happened so fast that all you can hope is that you got some good pictures along the way.

The next time you ride might not be quite as exciting as the first, but that's when you remember that this roller coaster changes each time you ride. So the decision then becomes: do you get in line to ride again? I say yes... but maybe in a little while after my stomach settles.

Happy birthday, Alli. Your daddy loves you more than you'll ever know... or at least until you have a child of your own.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Daycare Bloopers

Even though it's her big first birthday week, Alli has been at daycare Monday, Tuesday and today while I've been working. She has loved showing off her new walking skills, and we finally found a cup (the ones with the straws!), that she loves and will drink out of. Things are looking good! Then, yesterday happened.

So not even an hour into being there, she got bit. The incident report stated that she had put her finger in another kids mouth "accidentally" and they bit her finger. She was treated with ice, lots of love and hugs. Good, crisis over. Then, they always record her diapers, wet or soiled, so we know how often she went while she was there. Around the 9ish mark, they marked "soiled" and wrote in all capital letters "BLOWOUT", beside it. Go Alli! Way to have a blowout at school and not on mommy or daddy's watch. =) She proceeded to have at least 3 more dirty diapers that day, all that were loose, so we're thinking she must have ate something her stomach did not agree with. Needless to say, she ruined the outfit she was wearing, along with the 3 others she has as "extras" at school. Eric gets there to pick her up, and she's wearing a pink onesie and her socks and big shoes. That's all. He said she was quite the hilarious site to see. What he didn't mention and I found out later while folding the clothes is that she was wearing a size 3 months onesie. I'm not sure how her teachers squeezed her into this, but I'm sure she was just incredible to see.

Lesson learned: Update your child's extra clothes at daycare. Don't forget that they get bigger, and their extra clothes don't.

Monday, October 24, 2011

No turning back

Well Followers, it finally happened. Mommy B and I have been saying it for what feels like weeks - that li'l Alli would be walking on her own any day now. Yesterday was that day. My mom told me that walking would be just like crawling, that one day she would just up and do it. And she was right... yesterday Alli decided that she'd had enough of us helping her out and decided she was good enough on her own. Up she stood and off she went - anywhere and everywhere - without any assistance.

She was walking around the living room and kitchen so much that I had to pull out the video camera and capture the moment. I even made a comment to the camera that just a couple days ago we were filming her walking with assistance, and now she was on her own. It was such a huge milestone for her that we just marveled at it all morning. She still stumbles around like a drunken sailor sometimes, but most of the time she's full steam ahead. The funniest part about it is that she's still getting her balance and will walk around with her arms either out front like a zombie or straight up in the air like she's listening to a sermon at a Baptist church. "Hallelujah! Alli can walk! Praise Jesus!" But not in the she-was-crippled-but-now-she-can-walk-again sense. She walked around so much all morning that she passed out about 5 minutes into her stroller ride on the family walk around the neighborhood. So we brought her back to the house and she napped for almost three hours.

This is it... there's no turning back now. For over eleven months, my baby girl has needed my help getting to where she wanted to go. And now, four days before her first birthday my little angel got up and got there on her own. I know we raise them to leave, but I couldn't help being in awe of her accomplishment. (Hopefully) never again will she need me to carry her somewhere, although there will be plenty of times still to come when she'll want me to.

As I drove her to daycare this morning, I knew what was coming and I had to fight the tears back as I pulled in. I couldn't help but remember her first day there... she was barely three months old and I carried her in the door still in her baby carrier. I took her into her classroom and set her down, then had to turn around and walk away. It was one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do in my entire life. It chokes me up right now just thinking about it. But this morning was different... much different. This morning, she walked herself from the car, across the parking lot and to the door - barely holding onto my hand. Once inside, I let go of her and she walked directly into her classroom without any help.

I was so proud of her, and I wish Mommy B could have been there to see it too. I know this means that Mommy B and I have now "graduated" into the stage every parent talks about - where all their kid does is run around and get into stuff. I'm sure Alli will be like that too, given how curious she is about the world around her.

But there's no turning back now... long gone are the days of my infant lying on her back on a mat in the living room, barely coordinated enough to reach the toys hanging right in front of her. Long gone are the rolling over celebrations, endless babbling and army-crawling across the floor. Now, you have to watch your toes because she might run them over with the car she's pushing across the living room. There's no more tightrope-walking across the edge of the couch... it's been replaced by normal-walking with arms in the air, giggling incessantly across the length of the house.

This has already started off being a special week for Alli and it's only going to get better with her birthday bash coming up. I know she won't really remember these days, but I sure will. My daughter can walk, and there's no turning back. Things are only going to get more interesting from here.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cartoon of the Week

Yesterday, Dad-E, Ru & I hit the road to Columbia and met the Koehler's as they drove down from Charlotte for Ru & Fi's first trip to the zoo! We all had a great time... and the zoo was actually a very good one, we were impressed! We're so glad that we have these wonderful friends close enough that we can do day trips like this... I know I had complained in a previous post about living far away from friends and family and how hard it is, but knowing we have Rob, Gena & Anneliese a reasonable drive away is more reassuring than anyone could imagine. Good news too! We'll get to see them again this Friday when they come down for the weekend for Alli's birthday. This is going to be a busy week... but we're so excited (and a million other emotions) about our little girl's first birthday this Thursday and her party on Saturday.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Less than a week...

In less than a week, we'll have a one year old. When people ask me how old my daughter is, I won't be able to say it in months. I can't exactly say "my baby" when I'm talking about her anymore, because she's pretty much a toddler now. Today, she walked all the way down the hall, walked from Dad-E to I in the backyard with at least 10 steps or more. She's officially walking. I can't help but have a million emotions thinking about this... it's all so monumental, and it's going by so fast. Last year at this time, I wanted the next week to go faster. My due date was October 23rd, and that day came and went. On this October 23rd, I'll reflect on the fact that I still have 4 more days to enjoy my 11 month old. Seriously, I know we've said it before, but, don't blink.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

On your mark... get set...

GO! Damn, false start. All Alli wants to do these days is walk. She can't quite do it on her own 100% yet, but she's taking lots of steps on her own before she plops down or falls over. Each day she manages to add another step on her own and is getting better at balancing herself without assistance. She's getting sooo close, it's not even funny.

I spent my entire Sunday with Alli while Mommy B was at work, and I think she's finally figured out that walking is much better than crawling. The funny part about is that she doesn't get up and walk somewhere because she's necessarily trying to reach a specific destination like she does when she crawls. You can tell that when she crawls, she's just trying to get to something or someone. Walking is so new to her that she just wants to explore... and walking gets her there faster than crawling.

All day long, she would stand up on her own and kind of hold her hands out to me as she began leaning forward. I would let her take her first few steps on her own and right as she was about to fall down, I would grab her arms and keep her upright. With this added security, off she would go... not even walking, almost running. Round and round we went - from the couch to the back door, around the dining room table, through the kitchen, around the corner to the back door again. Lap after lap we'd go - not trying to get somewhere, just walking to walk.

Finally, I took her outside to romp around in the open yard. And boy did she have fun! Now that the obstacles were out of her way, she was able to wander aimlessly without hesitation. As I've mentioned before, our backyard slants down away from the house, so gravity has helped out as well. I would just offer my two index fingers to hang on to, and off we'd go down the yard all the way to the fence at the back at what felt like a full sprint... giggling all the way. Not sure if it was Alli giggling or me, but either way it was entertaining to say the least. She then turned and headed back up the yard towards her swing like she'd been doing it for months. I have to say, it was a pretty fun afternoon - even though my back didn't agree later that evening.

Mommy B got to spend the entire day with her yesterday, and took things to the next level. Again, all Alli wanted to do was walk all day long. So, Mommy B would let her take as many steps as she could on her own, then grab her right before impact. Only this time, she would only offer one hand/finger for Alli to hang onto if needed. When I got home from work, I realized that we hadn't recorded any of Alli's "walking" yet, so I busted out the video camera and we took Alli to the backyard to show of her moves. I had to be light on my feet because the little girl just wanted to go, go, go!

I know these are the moments we're going to cherish when she gets older, so I wanted to make sure we got it on film. Ok, no one uses film anymore, but you get the point. When we came back inside, she walked a good six to eight steps in between Mommy B and I. At this rate, it could literally be any day now that she let's go of our hands and walks on her own for good. Quite the metaphor for things to come...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cartoon of the Week

It's amazing how big of a mess one little person can make. I'm not quite sure why I spend her nap time cleaning it all up too... putting away all the books she's thrown around, putting the stuffed animals back in their places, etc. etc... only to have her wake up and be our little destruction queen again. Oh well, at least she has fun while she's doing it.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Last of the baby proofing

To be honest, I've kind of held out on installing the final items necessary to properly baby-proof our house. For example: we've owned a baby gate since Alli was born - but for obvious reasons haven't needed to install it until recently. I probably should have installed it the day she started crawling, but I must admit the thought of unlocking a swinging gate every time I want to go upstairs made me less than thrilled to break it out of the closet.

Well, Alli has taken a real fancy to the stairs lately. Her bedroom is basically at the top of the stairs as it is - you walk out of her bedroom door, turn 180-degrees to your left, take four (adult) steps and you're at the top of the staircase. Needless to say, she can get there pretty quick now that she's mastered her Mowgli-crawl. She takes off towards her bedroom door and stops right as she rounding the corner - only to look back and see if Mommy B or I are chasing after her. I'm not sure why she does this because after about a second or two, she takes off for the stairs anyway. Mommy B and I got tired of running after her to scoop her up before she reaches the top step, so this week I broke down and install the baby gate at the top of the stairs.

She was right there "helping" me the whole time, but naturally she didn't understand what was happening. After I finished, we took her downstairs to have some dinner then off to her bath. After her bath and bottle, she decided that she wanted to romp around her room a little bit, so Mommy B and I let her crawl around. And what did she do? Head for the stairs, of course. Mommy B and I followed close behind so we could see her reaction when she realized that she was no longer able to reach the staircase.

You should have seen her face when she went flying around the corner only to find three-foot-high prison bars blocking her path. At first she was a little confused, but she then proceeded to pull herself up on the gate to see how sturdy it was. Thanks to Dad-E's craftsmanship, it didn't budge. Once she realized that it wasn't moving, she began pulling on it like a convicted felon attempting a jail break. You know, the half-temper-tantrum, half-brute-force-will-fix-anything type of yanking that you'd expect from a toddler. I'm not sure if she's technically classified as a toddler, but you get the idea. After realizing that nothing was working she looked back over her shoulder while she stood there as if to say "Really guys? You're soooo lame."

Alli has also taken a fancy to opening the cabinets that are at her level. The cabinets in the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, everywhere. She enjoys discovering their contents and throwing them on the floor. Well, just like every other homeowner on the planet, we have a cabinet full of chemical-laden cleaners under the sink. I didn't really enjoy the thought of her downing half a bottle of 409 by accident, so Mommy B picked up a handful of baby cabinet locks that I got to install all over the house. We're not really excited about these, because I'm in the kitchen cabinets all the time and Mommy B is in her bathroom cabinet all the time too. I may sound lazy, but it just means that I have to have both hands free to get something out of the cabinets. And this doesn't bode well for a hungry child - and the last thing she wants at that moment is to be put down.

I'm sure there are plenty of other things that need baby-proofing, but I think these additions will suffice for the time being. I have to say, while its a pain to have to unlock the gate each trip through, it's wonderful just being able to put Alli down anywhere on the second floor and know that she's not going to end up tumbling down the stairs if I don't get to her in time. It's made my morning routine (alone) with her much more pleasant, that's for sure. Hopefully we won't have to make too many more changes, but after all, she's only going to get taller...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The latest tricks and trades of lil Ru...

It seems like each and every day, Alli learns something new. The other day, she started saying "yea" and "nah" with meaning. We'll try to give her the sippy cup, and she pushes it away with the flip of a wrist and says "nah". It's like we're just offering it and she has a choice, and she's saying "nah, not right now thanks". It's quite funny, but then again, it's not... we'd like her to know that we are telling her she needs to drink, not that she has an option. But, we have learned fast that she's going to do what she's going to do... and forcing her to do something would only make it worse and cause a bigger meltdown. She's also been so adorable in showing us where her belly is. We say, Alli where's your belly, and she pats it with both hands... and laughs and laughs. It's so precious. We've learned to take the good, funny things (as in, the belly and her "yea!" when we ask if she's hungry or wants something in particular), and the bad, frustrating things ("nah", don't bother me with that mom!) all in stride. She's just learning her boundaries... and so are we!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cartoon of the Week

This is me. I don't know if it's just because I was tired all the time to begin with, even before we had Alli, or if it's the lack of sleep, lack of energy, and lack of help all rolled into one. I know we have no room to complain because we are the ones that chose to live down here, far away from all of our family... but now, after having Alli, I realize just how amazing it must be to have family close by and able to help once in awhile. I'd just like to be able to have one night a week, heck, let's be honest, one night a month, to go out to dinner with Eric, or just relax and be able to sleep in the next day. If we had a grandparent or aunt or uncle or anyone close by that could watch her just one night every once in awhile, I feel like I'd be able to feel refreshed and energized from time to time. But, like I said, we chose this, and so while it would be lovely, we do cherish the time we get to spend with her, (ALL the time, ha!), and realize there are many families in similar situations going through the same thing... living away from their families and any help too. I find some comfort if knowing we aren't alone out there...

Monday, October 10, 2011

You guys are boring... wait, just kidding

As Alli closes in on the day when she can walk completely on her own, Mommy B and I have noticed a bit of a personality change as well. And frankly, it's contrary to what I thought it would be at this age. We've noted in the last few blog posts that she's standing on her own and cruising around anything she can hold herself up on - which means we have to hold her less and less. This is fine by us, as we're trying to ween her off holding onto things so she'll learn to take steps on her own.

Being so close to walking out the door without our assistance, you would think that she'd want to be left to her own devices more. However, it seems now more than ever she keeps wanting to be picked up and held. And when I say "held", I don't mean cuddled. I mean she wants us to pick her up so she can look around and see things from our height. It's like she can't wait long enough to walk around on her own, so she just wants us to do it for her. But then as soon as we walk her around for a minute, she wants back down again to go exploring.

The issue with this is that Mommy B and I don't always have an arm immediately available when the little princess wants to be picked up. So, we sometimes have to walk past her or around her to put something down... or we just ignore her requests all together. This, in turn, has led to her whining a lot lately. Sometimes she'll whine even when we're down on the ground playing with her. At first, we thought she might have been teething because it was more of a cry than a whine... but since no teeth have appeared and she's turned it into more of a whine sound, we've caught on to her methods.

Mommy B and I have decided that she's just plain being a brat most times. She's been spoiled for the last eleven months getting everything she wants, so we've been trying to be more disciplined with her so she can start learning about boundaries. Case in point, Mommy and Daddy aren't going to pick you up every 15 seconds. So just deal with it, k?

We've been able to decipher her whining over the last week or so, and have been able to pick out when she's whining for what. This past weekend, she was whining for no good reason. We would pick her up, nothing. We would try to feed her, nothing. We tried playing around with her, nothing. Nothing seemed to work... until we saw our neighbors (and their kids) playing out in the cul-de-sac. We were out the door so fast I don't think Scarlett even realized we left. The neighbors' kids were pulling around a wagon with seats in it, so in Alli went. Their two-year-old boy began pulling around his 13-month-old sister and Alli... and guess who was having a blast? Yeah, our little whiner. Not sure if she enjoyed the attention from an older boy or the wagon riding more, but she was having a ball. That's when Mommy B and I realized that she was whining because she's bored. Bored with her same old toys, same old house and most of all, same old parents.

Another funny example... Sunday night Mommy B and I had a wedding to go to and we didn't feel like carting the kiddo along. So, one of my coworkers came over to babysit for the evening while her husband was at work. The second Mommy B and I tried to head out the door, the flood gates opened. Alli started bawling the second I handed her over and we started walking away. And of course, five minutes later we got a text message stating that she cried one more tear then was ready to play. That allowed Mommy B and I to relax the rest of the evening, knowing that she was perfectly entertained with a total stranger (to her).

Same thing happened again this morning when I dropped her off at daycare. She whined almost the whole car ride to school because she was bored and wanted to play. We get to school and she's great... playing with the toys, saying hi to an infant in the jumperoo, standing up on the cabinet, etc. Even though I was still there, she could have cared less about me. But the second I go to leave, the flood gates opened. It's like she's thinking "Yeah, you and Mom are boring most of the time. I'm going to go play on my own. Wait... you're leaving? No, don't go!" So her teacher stepped in and distracted her so I could make my escape. And I'm sure just like Sunday night, she forgot all about me and was playing with toys by the time I made it out the front door. It still doesn't make it any easier for me to leave, but I know this is just another step in the parenting process.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

From pumpkin belly, to pumpkin butt, to big girl in the pumpkin patch...

I remember taking this picture like it was just yesterday... not a year ago already. Eric and I had so much free time on our hands back then, that he painted my pregnant belly like a pumpkin. It was a lot of fun, and we still had no idea if little Alli was going to be a boy or a girl... so the anticipation was killing us!

Then a few weeks later came little Allison Ruah... and our lives have never been dull since. And free time? That's a distant memory too... but we wouldn't trade this little face for anything.

What a difference a year makes! Now, almost a year later, we have this almost toddler on our hands! She is active, crazy, fun, and still never gives us a free moment to relax. But, we're still loving this cute little face and enjoying every minute of parenthood. We took her to the pumpkin patch out on Johns Island today (since the one at Boone Hall right by our house was closed (closed?! come on, it's a pumpkin patch, on a weekend in October, get with the program Boone Hall!), but we had a ton of fun. She loved seeing the other kids, playing around in the pumpkin patch, riding the wheelbarrow, and petting the horse, donkey, and sheep.

Maybe we'll try the one at Boone Hall next weekend and see how it compares... just another day in the not so dull life of the Meibers clan =)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Bedtime blues (for mommy)

Alli is not a cuddler. She never really has been, except when she was really small and slept all the time, but especially not now when she's on the go (go go go go...) At bedtime, we've switched up our routine so she's not used to a bottle right before bed, and she's really over the bottle anyway, maybe only taking 2 oz. before bed. So, we do her bath, get her lotioned, PJ's on, and bottle. Then, we go back into the bathroom and brush her teeth. She loves this, not sure if it's the toothpaste, the way the toothbrush feels, whatever, she loves it. Then, we go back into her room and read a book... (ha!) This is what we're supposed to do... however, she wants nothing to do with sitting still on my lap while I read. She wants down to crawl around or walk from chair to changing table to other chair to dresser to hamper to... yes, you get the idea. So tonight, I took her straight from brushing her teeth and kissed her goodnight as I laid her in her crib. She cuddled up with her favorite pal, Pooh... and when we went in to check on her 20 minutes later, she was asleep. I guess she doesn't need us to cuddle her or have wind down time with. Maybe that will change, and I guess we should be happy she can put herself to sleep so easily, but is this weird? Should she just go to sleep on her own and not need us or need anything? Mommy wants to have a little girl that wants to cuddle and read a book with before bed... not one that's so grown up she doesn't even want me. I guess I should be careful what I wish for... when she's big enough to get up out of her bed and come to our room, I could be taking that wish back real quick...

These days seem like so long ago...

The planning continues!

We're quickly approaching Alli's first birthday party (insert tears and sad face here)... and I'm excited and anxious and sad and a million other emotions, but I've got to hold it together and be the party planner and organizer for the big day! So far, we have about 10-12 adults and 5 babies/kids coming to the party. The kids range in age from 3 months to 3 years, so I'm most nervous about entertaining everyone and keeping them busy. I hope it's as nice as it was last October when we brought Alli home from the hospital... it was a near record high of the mid-80's or so! It doesn't need to be that warm, but at least nice enough the kids can play around in the backyard.

Obviously, I know she won't remember this birthday party, but I know we always will. And, I hope someday when she looks back at the pictures and videos, she'll know how much this party meant to us and how happy we are to celebrate her 1st birthday with our family and friends who can make it for the big day.

...she's oh so cute and so much fun, our little lady is turning one...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Livin' on the edge

That's basically how Alli's been for the past couple of weeks - livin' on the edge... on the edge of the couch, the edge of the end tables, the edge of the entertainment center, the edge of her bookshelf and the edge of her crib. It's very clear to Mommy B and I that she's pretty much done with the whole crawling thing. In fact, she has modified her standard, on-hands-and-knees crawl to what many refer to as the Mowgli crawl (from The Jungle Book):

She started doing this sparingly a couple weeks ago, and it was only when I took her outside to crawl around in the yard. I figured she did it because she didn't want the grass tickling her knees and that she was so smart for coming up with an alternative method of crawling. Well, it turns out she was really doing it to go faster. Now, she does it all the time... inside, outside, doesn't matter. If she wants to get somewhere, she'll lift her butt up in the air and be gone.

Of course, that's just when she's not walking on her own. OK, she's really not walking everywhere on her own, but she's close enough. She's livin' on the edge 90% of the time (meaning she's standing but holding onto something to steady herself), but then lets go of whatever she was clinging to to take a few steps on her own. She's been doing great the last few days - taking anywhere between two and six steps before either stopping and plopping down or falling forward into our waiting arms.

This past weekend, we took her out to the back yard (which slopes down away from the house) and let her tear loose. Mommy B held her at the top of yard and I stood a few feet away with my arms out towards her. She would let go of her mother and with the assistance of gravity, came romping towards me taking those oh-so-cute baby steps. We repeated this process until she made her way to the fence at the end of the yard. She had a blast - for a couple reasons I think: 1) she's slowly realizing that she can really walk on her own, 2) it's easier than crawling, and 3) it's faster than crawling.

She's already into everything she can reach just by crawling, and when she masters walking I know it means she'll just be able to get into everything faster. I've come to grips with the fact that it's just how babies explore and learn about the world around them, but I think I need to get back into somewhat decent shape if I'm going to try and keep up. I've been a sprinter my whole life, but chasing Alli around for a whole weekend is more like a marathon.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Photo fun

It's been a while since we've posted just some pictures of Alli Ru... so here's what she's been up to lately...

Getting into trouble I'm sure...

So big!


Daddy & his girl <3

So pretty

More trouble making...

SO big!!

She's literally growing up right before our eyes...

Cartoon of the Week

 We're definitely getting in the Halloween spirit around here... Eric and I decorated the house yesterday while Alli was taking a nap. We were watching the Bengals football game, they were losing by what, I think 14 points at halftime, so we said forget it, why waste this beautiful day inside watching football? So, we went outside, and for the first time, put Halloween decorations up outside. We usually do a few small things around the inside of the house, but this year, we got webbing to go on all the bushes out front, pumpkin and ghost lights to light up the walkway into the front door, and a skeleton hanging from the door. It looks great, we're excited, and Alli just woke up from her nap wondering why there was new stuff where there wasn't before. Like we've said, she's very observant, and wanted to check it all out. The webbing is supposed to "glow in the dark"... I don't think it does, but that's okay. It's still festive and we're getting in the Halloween spirit around here! We're trying to find a good time either this weekend or next to go to the Pumpkin Patch! Hayrides, picking out pumpkins, apple cider, oh boy! If it wasn't almost 80 degrees out, I'd have thought we were in Ohio again. =)

 Oh and speaking of Ohio, and the fact that I mentioned the Bengals game earlier in the post... they did come back and win the game... must have been because we weren't watching. Who dey!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Life Lessons Learned

This week has been a rough one for me, and all I can say is that we get stronger and grow as a person with each life experience, good and bad.

Some day, when my little girl gets her heart broken, either by a boy (let's hope her daddy never runs into that boy in a dark alley!), a bully, or a friend that has hurt her feelings, I'll have experiences to share with her and hope that she can learn something too. I want her to learn that she needs to stand up for herself, even when she's afraid to, or worried about what other people will say or think. I want her to know that her feelings are her feelings, and she's allowed to feel that way, regardless of what others may think she's supposed to feel. And most of all, I want her to surround herself with people who make her feel better about herself, not question everything and wonder if she'll ever be good enough.

I want my little girl to grow up strong and confident, so, she must learn by example. Here's to a new chapter of my life, growing stronger and more confident in who I am, and who I strive for Alli to become someday too.