Monday, August 31, 2009

breakfast

I've decided to try to up Abby's food intake a little bit. Not because she is underweight or anything, but because she's growing and I need to remember that her appetite is going to grow too. She has this habit of being happy with what we give her. If I only feed her an ounce of food, she won't really complain about it. So, that kinda makes it hard for us to tell how much food is too little or too much.

Anyway, I'm very excited about giving her more and more real food and trying new things. This morning, in addition to her first tastes of juice - she had these baby breakfast bars I made. Toast, yogurt, and berries.

Aren't they cute? I think they kinda look like cookie monster - but with the colors inverted. ...hmm? You don't see it? Well, all right. They were still yummy.

baby breakfast bars

Dear Aunt Jennifer,

Dear Jennifer,

Thank you for the new books you sent me! I think they are completely awesome. Mom was really excited too. She went on and on about how that word book really is the best word book ever. I tried to prove her wrong, but, nope - it had every word I could think of in it. I was sure that "Xiphias" "disc harrow" or "sandpiper" would be stumpers, but I was wrong.

Thought you might like some action shots

And the star book is pretty cool too. I think that the pictures are really really mesmorizing - like I could just stare at them forever. Usually, though, I just stare at them long enough to make me want to eat them and then mom turns the page before I can devour the pretty colors. But anyway, she said something about how you must really know her because it was like the
perfect book. I think she likes stars, and eric carle, and books, and you. So, perfect!


So, thank you Aunt Jen for the reading material - I promise to study and become a more literate infant because of them. Love you!

~ Abbykat.

Friday, August 28, 2009

ashes, ashes, and we all...

As previously blogged, Abby has been slowly readjusting to her sleep schedule again.  Tonight, Kyle offered to put her down so I could work on dinner.  I was kinda hoping that she would go down easier for him than for me - then we would have a solution for the tears we get to hear every night as we lay her in the crib.  

But, just as with me, she was content and sleepy while in his arms, but as soon as he started to lower her into the crib, she started screaming.  So, he tucked her in, shut the door, and we sat and watched the clock.  I was hoping that it would last under 30 mins tonight. 

So, we're sitting there talking and going about making dinner.  Abby is crying.  After about 20 mins, I can tell that she is no longer laying on her back tucked in.  Her crying is louder - she's obviously on her belly, facing the end of her crib looking at the door.  Every once in a while her cries would get muffled as, I'm sure, she rested her head on her mattress.  Then, they would get louder as she lifted her head to cry some more.  I told this to Kyle - how I could tell that her cries sounded different - louder, closer.  I told him I wanted to go in an tuck her in again, but that I knew that it wouldn't help teach her either.  

Kyle says that he'd go tuck her in again - he couldn't remember if he pulled up the crib rail or not, so he went to go check on that and tuck her in while he was in there.  

So I go to the kitchen to start making the salad for dinner and I hear "Laura!"  I asked, "what?" and Kyle says in a rather rushed but urgent tone "she - she's at the door!"

Oh my.  

I ran to the nursery, and turned on the hall light so I could see in, and sure enough, there was Abby - on her belly in front of the door - on the floor, crying at us.  I scanned her - she didn't appear to be hurt.  She was propping her self up on her arms.  I picked her up and continued to check her over.  I brought her out into the light of the living room and sat on the couch with her.  At this point - she was not crying anymore and, honestly, looked quite pleased with herself.  She had managed to escape the crib and find us.  Mission accomplished.  

Kyle wasn't there - he had gone to our room - he was pacing back and forth and tugging at his face saying "I'm so sorry" over and over  He. felt. Awful.  When he came over to where we are, Abby looked up at him and gave him the biggest smile.  

She was fine.  Much better off than Kyle was. 

I've often wondered if I would panic in just such a situation - when Abby fell from...something.  I mean, it's inevitable - kids fall.  That crib has never looked so high to me before though .  As I rocked her back to sleep, I kept looking at the crib trying to imagine how she fell and how she managed not to hurt herself and how I could not have noticed.  I mean, I could tell her cries were louder when she was at the door - but before then, we never noticed a break or a noise in her cries that would have indicated that something was amiss.  I kind of surprised myself too, actually, once I saw that she was ok (and really even before that) - I wasn't worried at all.  Not mad at Kyle or anything, just calm.  I just needed to comfort her, that's all.  Simple.

Well, I rocked her back to sleep, she cried when I put her down, but after a few mins of my hand resting on her chest, she was fast asleep and I snuck out successfully...after pulling up the crib rail of course. Y'know - you never realize how loud bare feet walking on carpet can be until you've tried to sneak out of a nursery.  Anyway.  We'll be lowering the crib tomorrow.  

oh my child. 

catch up

It's been a busy week.  Let's see, where to start?

I guess first thing is that I think Abby is finally starting to readjust back to east coast time - thank goodness.  It's been much harder adjusting back than it was adjusting on the trip.  The first night she woke up several times all night, the next night she cried/screamed for 3 hours - yes 3.  She. is. persistent.  The next night, however, she only cried for one hour, and it was more whiney, less screaming.  Last night she cried for 30 mins.  AND she woke up on time and just went down for her first nap with no fight at all.  So - crossing my fingers that soon I have my easy sleeper back.  :)  

Of course, in addition to the time changes, we've also started putting her to bed without her swaddle.  It's bittersweet.  She was busting out of it every night anyway, so it was really just a comfort thing for us and a cue for her - and we knew we wanted to transition out of it soon.  Poor thing, though.  Now, when I give her her bedtime bottle, when she finishes it and starts to fall asleep, she always takes one hand and grabs a fist full of my shirt or my necklace - as if to say "don't you let me go"  (sigh)  Of course when I do put her down in the crib, she cries.  Hopefully, that part will get better soon too. 

In other Abby news - we took her to the doctor the other day because she was so out of sorts and not her usual bubbly self.  We figured it was mostly to do with the time stuff again, but we wanted to rule out any actual illness.  She was fine.  Cranky and emotional and clingy and lethargic - but fine.  We did find out that she weighs 17 lbs now. :)  

She's also re-discovered her wave.  She waves at everybody now.  She waves at her reflection.  She waves at Kyle whenever he re-enters the room.  It's cute.  It's still that "I'm the queen of England" wave.  

She's really close to crawling.  While on our trip, she started getting her knees under and sitting in crawling position.  She'll often rock back and forth like that now.  She'll pull up on things, but usually only to her knees.  She can climb over things no problem and is enjoying her new freedom to explore.  Sometimes its nice that our apartment is small.  

Next.  House stuff.  Long long story short - we were trying to decide if we wanted to put house hunting on hold to move into a rental this weekend because our current place offered to pay us 3 months rent to move out.  It was a good deal.  We found a really awesome place - a single family house (can you say rare?) in a really good location for us.  Completely updated, it was huge, the kitchen was amazing.  It was perfect and had everything we wanted.  BUT.  It wouldn't have saved us any money to move - it would have been slightly more expensive each month.  We made the (we hope responsible) decision to stay put for now and keep house hunting.  If we're going to be paying the same money - we'd rather invest it into something we own.  ....But it would have been really nice to have a place for a kitchen table.  

What else?  I have phone again.  We re-activated my old phone.  It's the original iphone and it now feels like a big clunker compared to the new one I had.  While I still think the phrase "ancient iPhone" is a bit oxymoronic - that is exactly what it is.  I'm not complaining though - I'm happy to have contact with people again.  I just can't take videos anymore.  life goes on.

Oh, another Abby thing I've been meaning to document.  She's getting really good at feeding herself.  Her pincer grasp is about 80% accurate now.  Sometimes she still grabs things with her fists and then can't figure out how to get it in her mouth - but usually she gets it.  She's also showing more interest in "real" food and less enthusiasm about pureed things.  She'll eat it, but not with the gusto she has for a fresh peach or something. 

OK.  I know that was a lot of random catch up stuff.  I promise I have more interesting things to write about, but I had to get all of that out first.  I have a completely open Friday in front of me.  It's very exciting...so many possibilities for what to do today :)  Hope you all have a great day too. 

Monday, August 24, 2009

Australia

We're back!

I've been putting off blogging a little bit because I have not been able to figure out how to chronicle our trip. It was only a week long, yet we did so many things that I want to remember - I feel like I could probably write for hours and not get it all in. And besides, nobody would want to read all of that.

So, I think I'll just start from the beginning and summarize. It's gonna be long either way - I don't blame you if you skip around. ;-)

As written previously, our trip to Australia was more than stressful. It was awful. All I can say is that I'm really glad I overpacked Abby's diapers and formula or we wouldn't have had enough for the trip. We did eventually get there, after 60 hours of traveling and a day later than we had planned.

There was this one really low point - we were all exhausted, about 20 hours after we left our apartment and we were still only in New York. Awful. I mean, it's like 3 hours from our house. Anyway, I needed to make Abby a bottle, but we had run out of water. Since we had left security, there were no stores still open. I asked somebody where I could get water, and they told me there was a vending machine downstairs. Well, I only had aussie cash at this point. Kyle, luckily, had 2 dollars. So off I went to get water. I find the machine, and sure enough, it costs 2 dollars for a bottle of water. The whole top shelf of the vending machine is water, so I insert my money and push "D9" and what happens? Out come a bottle of black tea. But I didn't need tea - I needed water for my baby's bottle. And now I was out of money. Sigh. Y'know that point when you're just done? That was my point. Since there was nobody else in the hallway, I just sat down and cried and cried. Awful. Next thing I know, I hear a flight crew coming down the hall, so I hop up and head to the elevators. I couldn't beat them, so we end up in the elevator together. Of course, they notice that I'm not well. They all make a big fuss over asking me what's wrong. All I could get out was "I needed water for my baby and I got tea by mistake and it was my last 2 dollars" Looking back - I'm sure they thought I was insane. Turns out, one of the flight guys had a small 5 oz bottle of water with him and he happily let me have it. He then pointed to his little wings pin and said "see? I must be your guardian angel today!" Maybe he was.

In the end, we all got to Sydney and to Melbourne. As I wrote earlier, Kelsay and Ernie were just the nicest people ever. I'm so sorry that we hadn't met before now, but I look forward to seeing them again someday. They were simply amazing. We had a great time with them in Melbourne. We did some sightseeing and shopping. Kyle was brave enough to order a Kangaroo steak (yeah, I know. I told Kyle that the worst thing that could possibly happen is that it would be good, and it was) We went to a wildlife park and saw the koalas and the dingos and the Tasmanian devils (turns out that the loony toons "Taz" is not so well known down under and all our impressions were somewhat loss on the Aussies). Our time with Kels and Ern was all too short. Next thing we know, we're back at the airport and headed to Sydney.

Sydney was great. It's such a city, and in a lot of ways, we felt right at home. I mean, Boston and Sydney were kinda settled by the same folks so lots of street names and such had the same names. The first thing we did, of course, was walk from our hotel to the opera house. That's when you really feel like you're "there" I mean, it's so iconic. We took some pictures, but my camera died shortly after getting there. Kyle and I ended up going back the last day and got some better pictures at that point. :)

Of course, the Aussies have their own words and phrases for things. We all enjoyed hearing those. I'm thinking about adopting a few of my favorites. Instead of stroller, it's "the pusher" Said with an accent, more like, "pusha' " Instead of liquor stores, they're "bottle shops" Now, doesn't that sound nicer? Carseats are capsules. Diapers are Nappies (or napkins - which can lead to much confusion at a restaurant) I think hearing the lingo was part of what I enjoyed most.

Anyway, The next day we all hit up the Sydney Aquarium. It was really cool - definitely the best one I've been to. They had several different tunnel rooms and lots of cool animals. Sharks are always cool, and stingrays. Abby seemed to be pretty taken with the surroundings - lots to see.

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Later that night, Kyra and Tony babysat so Kyle and I could have a date. We went out and found a nice restuarant on the water. We had a view of the Sydney bridge and the opera house at sunset. We ate outside and it was lovely. I had the best steak of my life and we spluged on a bottle of aussie wine with dinner that was also nice. Afterwards, we caught the bus back to our hotel and was glad to find that Abby hadn't made a peep for her sitters. Of course, that didn't last long and she was up several times the rest of the night.

kyle showing off our aussie wine
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On that note - I couldn't have asked for a better baby. Abby did so so so well with the terribly difficult time changes. Most nights, she woke up a few times but went down easily. I usually brought her to bed with us - which is something I've never allowed here at home - but it seemed to work for most of the night. She thought her day should start at around 5am. once she was up, she was great the whole day though. She was great on the flights too. She only really melted twice - both on the last legs of the trip both ways. I couldn't blame her a bit.

Back to Sydney. The third day we took a ferry out to Manly Beach. We spent the day browsing shops, pubs, and beach views. At some point in the day, I reached in my pocket to grab my phone and it wasn't there. We looked and looked, and no luck. I sent the phone a message in case anybody found it, but after a day, we cancelled the service and wiped the phone clean. So, now I'm phoneless. Weird. I think we'll end up reactivating one of our old iphones since we'd have to pay top dollar to buy a new one now. No fun. But - Manly beach was great. Very pretty.

The last day we split from Kyra and Tony most of the day. Kyle and I had a nice breakfast and hit up several markets around town. We went back to the opera house for more pictures and headed back to pack for the trip home.

I have so many pictures. I can't even begin to figure out how to share them. I've tried to pick a few of the better ones, but I have so many that I'll never get them all on here. Nevertheless, here are a few from our adventure. I'll post more in another blog. Abby's crying again - poor thing. It's hard readjusting! I'll write later.

Melbourne
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Ernie & Abs
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Abby with Kilo the Koala
(Kels & Ernie completely spoiled Abby with gifts the whole time!)
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bottoms up!
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Kyle and his kangaroo steak
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at the wildlife park
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"mom, can I keep him?"
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me and my baby
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Abby loves having giant lizards behind her
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Ernie & Kelsay
(Kelsay had about 20 plans for stealing Abby before we left, lol)
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"another airport???"
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abbyfuzz!
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looking at the fish at the aquarium
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Manly Beach
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Apple Store in Sydney
(Abby had ruined her other outfit, so all we had to put her in was this jazzercise ensemble)
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world traveler baby!
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Sydney
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the opera house
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Kyra & Tony
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Kels & Abs
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Monday, August 17, 2009

down unda'

Well, we made it!

It's probably a very good thing that I have neither the energy nor the time to explain the full details of our trip to get here. It probably suffices to say that I hate JFK airport, we spent 59.5 hours traveling, and got here a day late. If you add to that scenario that for over 3 days, we didn't sleep for more than 10 mins at a time lived out of our backpacks (thank goodness I packed extra diapers and formula!), and couldn't shower - well, you can imagine that it wasn't the most pleasant time ever. I'm suprised anybody could stand to hug us when we got here - even I could smell me. And you know its bad when you can smell yourself. ;-)

However, we did get here, and Abby did fabulously. On the 5 hour flight to LA and on the 15 hour flight to Sydney (which followed a 10.5 hour layover...) Abby did wonderfully. She didn't cry on the planes, she went through her normal sleep and waking and eating routines and was just great. I couldn't have asked for things to go more smoothly for her. Now, after we got here, we had to take one more flight to Melbourne. A quick hour flight. And, at that point, Abby was Done. D.O.N.E - done. She cried as soon as we sat in our seats, continued to scream during the pre-take off time, during take off and for few mins after. Yeah. We got to be "those parents" Eventually, though, she conked out and slept for the entire flight and de-boarding. But, what can you do - she had totally earned her right to melt. And, honestly, we were too tired to care what anybody thought at that point. I am so glad it happened on that flight and not the one across the Pacific.

We met Kyle's realitives Kelsay and Ernie at the airport (as well as Kyra and Tony) and they have proven themselves to be the most generous, hospitable, and purly wonderful people on earth. If you think that's an exaggeration, you just haven't met them. They have gone above and beyond to make us feel so comfortable. They're absolutly perfect and I'm so so thankful that we were able to come meet them - and to let them meet Abby too. We've been nothing but spoiled rotton since we arrived.

The first night we arrived, we went with Kyra and Tony to an Aussie Rules Football game. If you don't know what this is - maybe you should just google it, cause I'm not sure I can really explain it. But, its like football and soccer and basketball and wrestling all in one. There are very few rules and it's just crazy. We got to watch a game where the underdogs beat the undefeated team in the last second of the game. It was very exciting and it was fun watching the local underdog supporters go crazy with enthusiasm. Even with our no sleep for 3 or 4 days, even I found that I was on my feet cheering for the underdogs. Aussies love their sports.

Today, we spent some time in Melbourne looking at the city. We saw the beach, had a lovely lunch at a cafe on the water, we went up to the skywalk where you can get amazing views. They say that the tower is the highest point in the southern hemisphere. Crazy, huh? We really enjoyed seeing the city and just being with everyone.

I apologize for no pictures at the moment. My camera actually ran out of battery before our day really started, but I haven't uploaded the ones I did get yet. Kyra took plenty for me and I got a few from each spot - so I'll add them to a later post.

What else? Abby has, so far, adjusted much better than I had anticipated. It's not been easy for her - but she is such a trooper and has really done very very well.

Tomorrow we're off to a bit of shopping and then to a game reserve to see the kangaroos and koalas. :) I'll update later (hopefully with some pictures)

All in all, I can't believe we're here and that things have gone so well (minus the airplane debacles) I told Kyle that this trip opens all kinds of doors for us - because once you've traveled here - where can't you go? I mean, a flight to Rome now sounds like a quick afternoon jaunt. Hopefully later, I can write a little more details about some of the flight adventures - there are several things I'd like to document.

For now, however, I'm exhausted, and its time for bed. Thanks for all the good wishes that were sent our way, they were muchly appreciated. G'night!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

over & out

We are about to head out to the airport to start our journey to the other side of the world!

We've got our suitcases packed and Abby is ready to go - it's amazing how much stuff you bring for a baby - even when you're trying to be frugal!

I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little anxious about the flight.  More so for Abby's sake - or should I say for the other passengers' sake?  I'm hoping that everything goes as smoothly as possible, and I can't wait to report back about our adventure(s).  

Having said that - I have no idea how often I'll be able to blog.  I'm hoping we'll have internet access at both places we're staying, but we're not sure.  But, rest assured, I will be eager to chronicle the trip via blog, and will do my best to be in touch.  

Worst case scenario - you'll hear from us on Aug 23rd.  Oh, and on the very off chance that any of you get the wild urge to give me a call - hold off on that for a little while.  We get charged for calls made to our phones, so we'll be communicating through e'mail mostly.  Just FYI.  :)

Much love.  Here we go!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

quick post

Abby just woke from her nap, so I'm on borrowed time here. 

I just wanted to take a second to say how much fun we had yesterday!  As I've mentioned before, I'm part of a birth board with other women who all had babies in December (or close to it).  There are about 15 of us that talk regularly.  We talk every day, about everything.  We help each other, give advice, listen, support.  I don't know where I'd be without these ladies.  

So, how excited was I when I find out that one of the mom's was going to be in MA!  She was visiting family for a few days, and so Abby and I high-tailed it to Plymouth where we met up with Jen and James.  

Abby doesn't get to be around a lot of babies, so she spent a lot of time watching James - who is a little man who is into everything.  We had a great time meeting and I really enjoyed the day.  The weather was really hot, so we skipped the beach and let the kids play in a kid pool.  Abby was a champ with me not giving her any good naps and a late bedtime.  Jen was super nice and it wasn't weird meeting her at all.  It really does feel like we've known each other forever. 

I could probably write about the day for an hour - but mommy duty calls!  Here are a few of the 300+ pictures I took. 





Sunday, August 9, 2009

things to remember

When we put Abby in the bumbo to eat (she still doesn't fit in the high chair well) she always kicks her left foot on the counter.  Never the right.  Always the left.   She'll stop while she eats - but in between bites or while I'm prepping her food she just kicks and kicks and kicks her heel on the counter.

She has this one grin she does.  It's like she's trying to smile bigger than she's actually able to smile.  She wrinkles up her nose and her eyes, one side of her lip curls up and she tilts her head back as far as she can.  If she's sitting, sometimes she'll topple herself over when she's grinning that big - which only makes it that much more adorable. 

She has a few favorite games.  One of them is covering her with a blanket and playing peek-a-boo.  She laughs and laughs.  And, if you hide under the blanket with her - she can barely contain herself.  The other is something that has made her smile from the time she was able to smile.  You turn your head away from her and you say "I'm gonna....look at you!" and then you look at her.  No hiding, no blankets, just shifting eye contact.  So simple.  Kyle will often play this "game" with her while he is standing in another room, or down the hall.  I can't tell who is more amused - Abby because her dad is looking at her, or Kyle because Abby can see him and reacts when he can't see her.  :)

The one thing that can always calm her down when she's tired and fussy (besides food) is a book.  She seems to really love looking at books with us.  She can now help turn the pages and I think she's starting to recognize certain pictures in the books she likes.  This all makes me really happy. 

When she's in her carseat in the car, she often jabbers away to her monkey (Monte) that hangs above her.  She has inflections and pauses and we think she is telling him all about her day.  If we take him off and then add him later - she is always happy to see him and starts jabbering right away.  

We've discovered (while house hunting) that Abby thinks stairs are Hilarious!  Every time we would walk up or down a staircase - she would just start squealing and giggling.  It had all of us laughing.  She also loves mirrors and "has" to stop by each one in each house to say hello to that little girl that follows her around.  

The Cheesecake factory brings out a plate of banana and bread slices for babies (and kids)  Today, Abby got to sit in a high chair and eat off of her own plate.  Well, I helped her eat - but it was just another reminder that she's getting so big.  

She is scared of the vacuum.  And she's scared of the noise of public restrooms.  Sometimes the garbage disposal will scare her too.  Oh, and the hairdryer.  I guess we have an issue with loud noises.  Well, some anyway.  Trains, horns, thunder, and blenders are of course fine.  

She's such a good baby.  We've seriously lucked out.  


Saturday, August 8, 2009

food and firsts

So yesterday turned out to be a pretty good day afterall - even without a plan.  We had a lot of food firsts in one day.

For starters, We did our weekly grocery shopping with Abby and bought her chicken.  This is the first time she's ever had meat.  As I've mentioned before, we're trying to go the organic route as often as possible with her food, so we sprung the extra bucks for the hormone free meat.  Maybe its just me - but the idea of "organic" meat seems more important than organic veggies.  I feel like a lot of the meat we eat has a lot more than meat in it, y'know?  So - I felt good about getting her some of the good stuff.  Maybe its all in my head - who knows.  

Here she is looking pretty goofy.  :)  What can I say?  She's excited about the grocery shopping. 

In addition to meat, we also picked up some teething biscuits and some cereal puffs for her to try.  My hope is that she'll be able to handle them and that I can bring them as a plane food.  I think dry cereal puffs sound much cleaner than purred...anything. 

She definitely loved the teething biscuit.  It was a mess and got all over her - but she dug it.  Next I tried to see how she'd do with the puffs.  I fed her a few and she seemed to have no problem with them.  So, before dinner, I decided to let her practice her pincer grasp.  We're not quite there yet.  She traps things between her index finger and the knuckle on her thumb.  When she does get it to her mouth - it's kinda hit or miss whether it goes it on not.  Sometimes she uses her other hand to "poke" the food in her mouth.  

As you can see, it takes lots of concentration.
I was super excited about giving her chicken for dinner.  But, since she has not yet mastered the art of chewing, I decided to go ahead and puree it.  Yeah, I know, sound gross - and it doesn't look wonderful either, truthfully.  I also made her edamame for the first time.  She ate them both separately ok (the chicken was a bit dry) but she really loved them when I mixed them both together with some yogurt.  Then we were in business!  

Kyle and I decided to continue our new food exploration and mixed some yogurt, chicken, and curry powder.  Abby ate it, but didn't love it as much as the other mix.  Don't worry Abby - one day you'll appreciate the yumminess that is chicken curry.  

Also, as an aside, after Abby was in bed for the night, I made salmon for the first time.  I know, I know - for the first time?  Yeah - its usually too pricey for me to get, but I found some huge filets on sale.  I made a nice almond crust and was quite happy with the way they turned out.  Yay for new cooking too.  

So.  After all our food fun, little miss was a big mess.  Bathtime calls.  Abby got to sit in the tub the whole time without her sling chair - another first.  She really enjoyed learning to splash and *really* enjoyed her duckie.  I love how much she loves sitting up - you can just tell she feels so proud of herself. 

Mmm. duck. 
(notice her poor little rug burned knees)

She just about pulled herself up here.

Here's a short video of Abby playing with her duckie.  Kyle and I were tickled because it sounded like she was trying to say "duck" over and over.  My favorite part is towards the end when the duck squeaks at her and she looks so happy that he spoke.  :)
video

Friday, August 7, 2009

friday

Fridays are most certainly my favorite day of the week.  

Even when I'm working - there is nothing quite like the freedom you feel as you leave to go home.  You have the whole weekend in front of you and a week of work and deadlines and accomplishments behind you.  Love Fridays. 

Fridays are extra great for us because Kyle doesn't have to work (usually)  So, during the summer, it really is like an extra Saturday.  I always wake up wanting to do something "special"  like make a big breakfast or plan an outing somewhere exciting.  Sometimes we don't do anything but laundry - but, that's fine too because we're all home together...and that's nice.  

We don't have any big plans for today - not yet anyway.  So far, the day has started just like all the others.  I get Abigail up and out of bed, give her a bottle and let her inch-worm her way around the living room exploring things for about an hour.  She likes to crawl under the jumper and into other small spaces and nooks.  I like to think that this is because of me.  I loved hiding when I was little - and the smaller the space, the better.  

Abby explores all morning and pretty much entertains herself.  But, if I call her name or if she catches my eye she always stops, looks at me, and gives me this crazy big grin.  The kind that makes her scrunch up her eyes and her nose.  If I smile back (which I always do) she'll start "crawling" full throttle towards me.  Its great.  I know it'll be too soon that she doesn't want to crawl towards me anymore.  I gotta remember to love it now.  

Anyway.  During one of her big grin episodes, I noticed something.  We have a tooth coming in!  It is not all the way in yet.  You can't see it looking at her face to face, but if you look down on the top of her gum, you can see the ridge.  And you can certainly feel it.  Sharp.  I believe, she'll have another one right by it coming up soon.  Two bottom teeth.  Now, as of yet, she hasn't let us know that they're bothering her.  Either she's just super laid back, they really don't bother her, or we are just not very observant parents.  Part of me is sure, however, that she's saving the tantrums and sleeplessness and crying for our impending plane ride.

Our impending plane ride.  We leave in less than a week!  Just saying that makes my heart flutter a bit.  In 6 days, we will be taking Abby to the other side of the World.  Now, 90% of me is nothing but excited about the time we'll be spending in Melbourne and Sydney.  But, there is a very strong 10% that is extremely anxious about this plane ride.  By the time we return, Abby will have been on 8 different flights.  The longest is of course from LA to Sydney - 15 hours with an 8 month old teething, crawling, interested in the world baby.  I'm secretly hoping that I'll be so preoccupied with Abby that I'll forget that we're actually 40,000 feet in the air for basically a full day.  

This should probably be a post of its own, huh?  

I can't think about it just yet.  There's too much to plan before I let myself freak out about air time.  :)  

Ok.  Maybe I'll have something more interesting to write about later.  Maybe not.  Either way, its time for our breakfast and I just saw two little baby legs disappear down the hall towards the bedroom.  Maybe she's going to go wake up daddy.  Yeah, I think that sounds like a good idea.  

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Dear Abigail

Dear Abby, 

There was a time when we would go on outings and I would see other babies and notice how big they were.  Some of them were nearly toddlers, or at least looked like it.  Most of the time, their parents would glance at you and get that look in their eye - the look of admiring a newborn baby.  It seemed like all the other babies were bigger than you.  You were the newest. 

Something changed, and I'm just now beginning to notice.  Now, when we go on outings, there are more and more small babies.  I look at them and think "wow, they're so small!"  There are fewer big babies.  

When did things switch?  When did you, my little tiny Abigail, become the big girl sitting up in the cart seat by herself?  When did you outgrow those little clothes?  When did you learn to grin at every passerby who tells you how blue your eyes are?

Today at the park, you were swinging next to a little boy.  He was a tiny bit smaller than you.  When his mom told me that he was almost 9 months old compared to your 7.5 - I realized that this was the first time that you had been the bigger baby.  So far - you've always been the smallest.  Perhaps this is why I'm just now seeing how much you've grown.  

I love that you're growing.  You are so much fun.  You love being with us and you love playing with us.  You're so happy - almost always.  I am very much enjoying our first summer together.  These are memories that I'll always cherish.  It is great watching you experience new things.  Today - we let you experience clovers.  You were very interested in them.  Today, you also sat in a high chair at a restaurant for the first time.  You were so very proud of yourself!  You only stopped grinning to eat (or to chew on the table) - and then you would look at me and grin so big that I could still see all of the food you hadn't yet consumed. My goodness do we love you.  I imagine that these snapshots in my head are the same ones I'll replay when you start school, go to college, get married.  Along with the millions we'll add along the way. 

Your dad and I want you to be happy.  And just in case we really mess up down the road - I want you to know that we're doing our best to give you the world.  You mean everything to us!  

People always say that kids grow up so fast.  I've always tried to remember that.  I try to enjoy each moment with you and not dwell too much on the age you're about to be.  I try to surround myself in the age that you are.  This means that this won't be the first time that I suddenly realize how much you've grown up.  Bear with me, when you're older - and I'm embarrassing you somehow.  Just remember that I probably don't realize how much you've grown.  It takes us moms a while sometimes.  

Anyway.  I just felt like writing you.  So that one day you can look back on this and know that you have made my entire world an amazing and exciting place.  We're very lucky to have you as a daughter.  Love you bunches. 

mom.

clover girl


Clover, meet Abby.  Abby, meet clover. 

Mom, what did you just do?

silly mama

Ok, I know this is a sad picture, but I absolutely love it.  
For the record, she was faking - she just wanted the camera.

don't worry - I caught her

a very happy abbykat.  By the way - when did my child get so chubby!  :o)


Monday, August 3, 2009

restless

It's Monday.

It's a lazy Monday.  We don't have any plans for the day.  I have a bit of a sore throat and a headache, so I'm laying low.

Yesterday we went to look at the house we wanted.  We called our agent to make an offer and found out that the house was sold that morning. It had been on the market over a year and it sold the morning we wanted to offer on it.  (big sigh)  

Its just a bit of a frustrating process.  We knew it would be.  And I know we might still find something else even better.  But - still, there was a lot that property had going for it that I don't think we'll be able to find again.  So, we're back on the hunt.  Right now, we're waiting for new properties to be put on the market as we've pretty much exhausted the list of what's available now.  We'll see, and we'll try to be patient.  Happy housing thoughts are appreciated. 

I think its all the house hunting that has me feeling restless lately.  I'm ready for a change - but since that change is on an undetermined timeline, I just find myself thinking about houses and homes a lot.  That usually turns into me missing Arkansas.  Y'know, thinking about my ideals.  I do miss having family and friends around.  I daydream about just running down the street to a neighbor's house to chat.  Or having friends come over for dinner or for games.  I think about having family over for holidays and just living the nice little family life.  But, then I wake up and remember that it will be a while before any of that is possible.  For now, I live here in an amazing city full of life and culture and things to do - yet, somewhat isolated in the midst of millions. 

Anyway, I don't mean to sound like debby downer.  It's just the sore throat talking & headache. I'll try to write again later when I'm feeling more chipper.  :)  Right now, Abby is holding a book and looking at me expectantly.  Duty calls. 

Sunday, August 2, 2009

some pictures

Taken on Bunker Hill.

Happykat

I pledge allegiance...

the observation look

daddy kiss









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