Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sophia @ 9 months

Nine months.
Wow! It is going by so fast. I know I've said this before, but it's amazing how fast they grow up before your eyes. So is it just me, or does she get cuter with every month? I just want to eat her up.

Nine months has brought with it the start of Spring. Well maybe. The weather can't seem to make up it's mind. And warm Spring days mean trips to the park and not so cranky kids or Mom because we are cooped up inside. Much to my surprise Sophie had her first experience with the swing March 9th and LOVED it! It got the official stamp of Proud Mom moment. Especially since Mason didn't enjoy the swings until he was two. She continues loving the swing each time we take her and I really enjoy pushing her. Gives us something to do while Mason runs amuck. *Isn't that head band so damn cute? Loving this 60-70 degree weather!

So I know two months ago I was screaming about how she isn't crawling yet and thinking to myself just do it already! If I have ever needed to put my foot in my mouth, that moment would be now. SHE IS GETTING INTO EVERYTHING, and moving with excellent speed. I can't sit down for a moment. Constantly running after her, steering her away from the stairs, bathroom, tiny pieces of Mason's toys and any other no-no things lying on the floor or within her ever expanding reach. It was easy to baby proof with one kid but with two; it's a losing battle.

Her explorations have given new life to old toys or should I say toys my husband was not happy about having been purchased. Such as my tweet on March 11th:


Nine months and a second child has given me a new role to add to the many I currently play. Referee. It never occurred to me that my daughter would prefer my sons toys (seeing as they are in abundance and constantly littering the floor) over her hand me down baby toys. But this is our reality. Thomas trains, matchbox cars, plastic food in a toy kitchen, whatever Mason happens to be playing with. Because really if her big brother is playing with it, it must be cool right? Mason, is not so down with this. Pushing her, dragging her, knocking her over, screaming, whining anything to get her away from his precious toys. Sharing is another ongoing battle. This usually results in either Sophie crying, us putting Mason in time out, or just a lot of yelling on our end to get it all to stop. Redirect Sophie to some other toy but she usually finds her way back. But despite this sibling rivalry (I mean who hasn't picked on their younger brother/sister it's a right of passage in childhood) they have the most adorable relationship.
One that has him racing up the stairs when he hears she is awake happily saying, "is that my girly?" or "there's my girl!" LOVE IT!! One that has Sophie smiling, giggling, and bouncing up and down, just generally happy when Mason walks into the room. One that has Mason wanting to hug and kiss her all the time. One that has her still calming down when he sings to her. One that has him running up to me in Walmart with a t-shirt or dress or outfit for Sophie and saying, "how about this one Mommy? This one is sooooo cute!" One that has Sophie getting especially excited on the swing when Mason insists he can push her all by himself. One where I look in the rearview mirror to see two small hands reaching out from their respective car seats searching for each other and holding tight.
*a close up of their adorable hand holding that has become a ritual when riding in the car these last few days.

Their relationship reiterates why I became a parent. It's also a helpful reminder when times are tough and I want to give up.

Nine months and she has developed quite a personality.
I can't help but smile when I look at her. From her funny faces to her developing flirtatious character I am totally loving the girl. Lately she has been in what I call Mommy mode. It started the other night when I handed her off to Fred to help Mason with something and she broke down into screams. And I mean SCREAMS! Reaching for me and crying till I held her again. Of course I had to tweet it and update my status on facebook.
Because with all the time I spend at home with the two of them, they both said "da-da" first and always want to go to daddy instead of me. It really makes me feel good that she only wants me now. Especially when she teases Fred. Like the other night. I was holding her then she leaned out reaching for Fred and when he reached out for her to take her, she shot around like a flash grabbing on to me giggling and smiling. I couldn't help but laugh. Even after the fourth time.
At her nine month check up she weighed 22lbs. and I was happy to learn she is back on the chart with a 92 percentile. Height, she is like 85th percentile and her head shot up to the 75th percentile! Her brain is growing. Our awesome pediatrician, have I mentioned before how lucky we are to have a pediatrician who is also our friend (well his wife and I and our kids are). Anyway, he mentioned that we could start giving her those puffies. You know the Gerber puffs that dissolve in your mouth and introduce your baby to more solid foods without the risk of them choking. After all she does have two teeth now! Yay! Excited to get her eating more solids I happily went to the grocery store and bought the veggie puffs and proceeded to feed one to her. What transpired next I have never seen or experienced before. My daughter got the most disgusted look on her face, started to gag and choke and proceeded to throw up all over me and herself. I sat their totally shocked at what just happened. In disbelief that my daughter just choked on dissolvable puffs! She since has not done much better with the dissolvable foods, but we are working on it. Note that toddlers when reintroduced to these puffs are instantly hooked for a second time. I don't know what it is about them. I've tried them and quite honestly don't blame Sophie for getting her diapers in a twist. They are pretty bland. But hey they are veggies so I let Mason indulge every once in a while. It's not like miss princess choke on dissolvable foods is gonna eat them, might as well not waste 'em.

She slowly starting to cruise around things on occasion. But no real walking just yet. In anticipation I bought her a cute baby stroller walker (since the one Mason used was halfway to broken when he was a baby). Though if given the choice we heads towards the Tow Mater walker/rider. Figures. But I'm sure she'll be taking those steps here soon. If I can get Mason to give her some space to breathe and explore.
Till then I'll be busy planning her uber cute first birthday party, fretting over the baby gate issue, continuing my role as referee and loving my baby girl while I can. Embracing and soaking up each moment she is this small. Because in reality it won't be like this for long and I will look back missing the days of sweet two teeth smiles, baby giggles and babbles, that oh so fresh baby sent and being able to hold her so close and her actually wanting to be there.
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Monday, March 22, 2010

hello?

Dear Gods of Motherhood,

Could you possibly enlighten me on how I can get my son to leave his baby sister alone? Please?

Sincerely,
Me
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Friday, March 19, 2010

YES!

...and then she said ma-ma.

Today was THE day. While driving to soccer class this morning, Sophie was doing her usual babbling in the back seat when out popped a very distinctive, very clear "ma-ma." I screamed and started clapping right there in the car driving on waxpool road at 10:30 in the morning.

It was a great moment.


video
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'd like a grande, non-fat dose of inspiration please


We all need a little inspiration in our lives. Whether it's to be a good mother, a better wife, adding some delicious to dinner, or telling the stories of our lives so that they will be remembered.

When it took me two years to finish Mason's baby album (meaning he was about 2.5 years old) I had lost so many important details along the way. After that, I promised myself I would make a better effort to keep up to date with Sophie so not to lose the details. The little stories you forget after time. The ones you desperately want to hold on to, not just the milestones. To aid myself with this I proudly created the layout designs for the whole album before she was born, using Becky Higgins Baby Kit. I even put post it notes dictating the picture sizes and where to put them. After Sophie was born I started to blog about her little quirks, growth and milestones each month. Even picked out the pictures. The goal was that when I found time to scrapbook I only had to go back and pull the information off my blog and enter it into the layouts. Easy right?

Today I finally got around to doing some layouts. However, I didn't end up with the results or satisfied feeling I expected to. They don't feel right to me. If that makes sense. It's not as easy as I set it up to be. The design feels all wrong, and I'm kinda in an 8.5 by 11 mode lately and these are all 12x12. I want to just rip it all up and start over completely. Maybe I'm not feeling compelled to record these stories in my scrapbooks right now (I mean technically they were already told here on my blog). Maybe it's the mindset of my layouts having to be publishable. Maybe it's the beautiful weather and I just don't want to be in a room with no windows.

So once again I'm not keeping the promise of getting Sophie's album done before she turns a year old. Though, at least I am telling her story. And eventually, I'll get that inspiration to put it all on paper. If not, I'll just tell her to go read the archives of this blog.
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Thursday, March 4, 2010

It all counts, it truly does

I recently started listening to a podcast from the creator of Paperclipping, Noell Hyman. Her website is set up to help others establish confidence and skill to create their own style of scrapbooking. With a membership you can view video tutorials that teach design principles, concepts and techniques. While I am not a member and cannot view most of the tutorials, I did check out their free podcast and If you haven't listened to the Paperclipping Roundtable, I highly suggest it. Whether you are a scrapbooker or not. There are some great discussions going on.

Like episode five. Originally thinking I'd write about the topic of why I don't scrapbook. Explaining my absolute NEED for perfection and how this hinders my process and flow. Therefore the time I am allotted to actually get scrapbooking done is rendered useless. Never getting down to doing it or finishing what I started. But then I started to think about the very first episode with Stacy Julian. I feel this discussion has effected me the most.

"Anyone can have a voice. [with blogging and twitter]...the idea of community," she said. A community that is moving online. And I totally agree. Especially in these last few years with the vast closing of local scrapbooking stores in my area. There is no longer a physical community of scrapbookers where we can mingle and share tips, tricks and ideas. Give advice, support and learn from one another. I almost gave up on scrapbooking being faced with this situation. Frustrated by the industry in that it seemed as if they were sending the message, east coasters don't scrapbook. Left with no where to buy my supplies or take classes, my husband opened my eyes to the online world of shopping. I hesitated at first. I am the type of person who likes to physically see, handle and try out products before I buy them. We've all been there. Bought something in a catalog or online and when it arrived, realized it wasn't what we thought it was and not at all what we wanted. I didn't want to go through this. Already having a room filled with scrapbook products I've hoarded and failed to use over the years. But I gave it a chance and oh am I glad I did.

This was my first true dive into everything digital. Yes I have been doing digital photos for years but never in my scrapbook layouts. At least not to this extent. It took me till recently to realize that I have always been a hybrid scrapbooker. Using photoshop to manipulate and add things to my photos, print them out and then add to my layouts. Very basic hybrid but, hybrid just the same. Now armed with the world wide web and all it's possibilities in the scrapbooking industry I have fine-tuned my process and discovered a wonderful community I never got the chance to really develop before.

With 5 online classes under my belt from Big Picture Scrapbooking and developed relationships with a handful of online stores such as Designer Digitals and Scrapbook.com, I've gained followers of my tweets, befriended classmates on facebook and received a small readership of my blog. I'm feeling inspired again. Knowing and seeing that the definition of scrapbooking is constantly changing. Stepping out of the box of traditional. Loving theme albums, mini albums, and who said just because you have a 12x12 album all your layouts have to be 12x12? Nor do you have to write paragraphs of journaling to tell a meaningful story.

Currently influenced by the ingenious talents of Ali Edwards and Cathy Zeilske, I have re-embraced the idea of simple scrapbooking. All you need to document a story is words and photos. Simple as that. Everything else is fluff. I truly feel that the most important thing is to get the memory documented. To record our past and our present. The good, the bad, the exceptional and definitely the mundane. As long as it is important to you it is a story worth telling. I've said it before in previous posts. It's these everyday moments that I want to remember. The ones that seem dull and uninteresting. Normal, everyday life. Because those are the moments, the memories we reach for 10, 20 years down the line. Sitting around the table at Christmas or chilling in the hot tub at the beach, reminiscing. We find ourselves saying, Oh my gosh. I forgot about that. But really what we are saying is, I'm so glad I got reminded of that moment.

Stacy Julian, founder of the now defunct Simple Scrapbook magazine and the ever popular Big Picture Scrapbooking online education site, said it herself. "We learn to live with our memories in different ways." By using all of the tools at our disposal such as Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc. we are reaching out in ways we never could before. We are "validating your ability to see life." I see that with my blog and my facebook and twitter status updates. I am expressing my version of events of my life. Documenting these moments for others, so they may catch a glimpse and so that I can remember what happened at this particular moment years down the line. IT ALL COUNTS. I love that concept. Mostly because it does all count. All the ways we are sharing little snippets of our lives. In the class Everyone can write a little, we turned our facebook and twitter statuses into an album. AN ALBUM! How cool is that? I learned to utilize these sites, these tools at my disposal as not just a time sucker, but as a way to quickly document my everyday. It counts. My blog. It was originally a way for me to communicate with my extended family about our family, but ended up turning into my online journal. My place to put my thoughts, my feelings, my everyday happenings and document them so that I may later go back and use those memories that I captured and physically put them onto a layout if I so chose. However, leaving them where they are, it counts. I LOVE THAT. It frees me up to feel accomplished. To relieve the pressure to be caught up because I am telling my stories through my blog, my social networking, my layouts and the photos displayed in my home. And in the process learning to let go of my need for perfection. It doesn't have to be perfect because the stories; my stories, my children's stories are being told and that is the most important thing.
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Too cute

Are these not the most freaking cutsie patootsie shoes you have ever seen?!
Can you tell that the pink/girly bug has finally bit me? And I am totally smitten. S-m-i-t-t-e-n. Love ya, baby girl! It also helps that these are THE ONLY shoes I can keep on her feet.
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