Thursday, May 29, 2014

7 Months!

I had great intentions of writing this post over a week ago, but my time got spent packing and then I was never able to sit and blog while on vacation.  However, I did take the photo before the trip, so I should get a half credit, right??

This girl still constantly amazes me at how quick she is learning and growing.  Even though she hasn't really changed much from the last update, she's still had a pretty big month.  She got to experience her first Easter (complete with egg hunt at Ahm & Abo's house), she was dedicated to the Lord, and she spoiled me on mother's day (okay, maybe daddy did more of the spoiling, but she did have a really good day that Sunday!).  

This month also marked a big milestone - her first tooth!  Seeing that little sliver of white pop up was such a validating sight! Bean had been quite the grouch and very clingy.  I was fearing her temperament was changing, but when I saw that little tooth, I realized it is just a phase and she is teething!  So nice to finally have something to show for all the fussiness!

She hit another milestone -- even though, technically it happened while on vacation after she turned 7 months, she was so close, we'll give it to her this month -- crawling!  She does a sort of army crawl involving an elbow, or sometimes it's more of a pull with her hands, but she has finally figured out she can go from point A to point B with a purpose!  And somehow, she's always wanting to go where she's not supposed to, which has entered a new phase for Momma & Daddy -- disciplining :(.  We've done a few hand slaps (not hard at all) and has upset her, yet she still does what she isn't supposed to.  She'll learn eventually!

Bean is still very active and a very happy baby.  She makes instant friends with nearly everyone she meets.  She has figured out when people are talking about her, and instantly turns into a ham.  What a goofball!  I've recently noticed that she's always keeping her hands in motion.  She loves to hold things out and shake them, or pat things, or just suck on her fingers.  And another new thing (again, technically it happened this past week, but who's keeping track?) -- she waves!  I can't get her to do it on command, but when she's really excited and someone waves to her, she'll wave back.

Along with the waving back, I've noticed she's really into mimicking.  If you blow raspberries to her, she'll do it back.  If you say "da-da-da" to her, she'll start saying it.  If you pat at the table, she'll pat at it.  This is such a fun phase to watch her learn new things and experience the world around her.

So what about sleeping??  We're in the same position if not worse than last month.  She still gets up at least once every night, and oftentimes 2x.  I had started a sleep campaign, but new vacation was coming up and it was unrealistic to keep with it.  So I got lacks and now we are both sleeping horribly.  I'm giving her through this week to recoup from being in a different environment, and then we're buckling down on a serious sleep campaign.

Bean is still trying new foods and we are starting to notice some favorites - peas, sweet potatoes, avocado, bananas, and prunes.  Tolerable foods - green beans, squash and carrots (only when the carrots are hidden in another vegetable).  She tried pears, but ended up having a reaction from them (rashy bottom and bloody diapers -  Poor little girl!).  Just because she had this reaction doesn't mean she is allergic.  Most likely the pears are too acidic for her system and we will try to introduce them again in a few months.  I also started to give her some little dried yogurt bites.  She has to suck on them and moisten them, which always makes me nervous, but she does a good job.  Only downside is the yogurt really makes her stinky (if you know what I mean!).

(I'm not sure if Daddy was showing Bean something, or if she was showing Daddy.  Either way, I love how these two interact!)

(Showing off her cupcake dress for Sara!  We were at a cookout and it was freezing!)

(Bean's Mother's Day gift to her grandparents, aunts, etc. . .)

(Chewing on them fingers and modeling her new summer outfit!)

(If you look really closely, you can see her tooth poking up - her bottom left front tooth!)

(And another big milestone - Bean has been upgraded in carseats.  She had to change seats to make it easier for us on vacation.  Even though she meets the requirements, I still like how she is more snug in the other seat.  I think we'll go back to using the carrier version, but just leaving it in the car like this new one functions.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

"Work" Trip

After 15 years of hard work, one of my sisters finally earned her college degree!  Congratulations Sara :)!! Bean and I went to Indiana to celebrate Sara's tremendous accomplishment.  Little did we know what we were getting involved in. . . 

2 weeks prior to graduation, my parents decided to remodel their house, which involved tearing up tile, laying a new Pergo floor in most of the main areas, and painting.  Oh, and to top it off, this time frame also included my grandpa moving in with my parents for a couple weeks while visiting from CA.  When Bean and I showed up Monday afternoon (24 hours prior to party time), you could barely walk through the kitchen, the living room was still tarped/torn apart from painting, and my dad was working on the floor in the foyer.  I quickly got to work helping out and didn't stop until we left Wednesday morning.  

Sara's graduation was supposed to be outside Tuesday morning, but due to weather, it was delayed until Tuesday afternoon.  Her graduation started 30 minutes prior to her party starting.  So when the party started, it was just me, my aunt, and grandpa at the house.  People started showing up and I was still finishing up cleaning/decorating and hadn't even started to set out all the food.  I had a frenzy of stress during the beginning, but people jumped in and helped and it all worked out.  Oh, and Bean took an awesome 2 hr nap during all the frenzy which allowed me to focus on hosting.  And when she did wake up, she was a trooper as she was passed around to people she doesn't know.  Sara had a great turnout and loved her luau themed party.  Of course, I got no pictures :-/.

(Bean finally got to meet her Great Grandpa Monkey!  He was supposed to visit sooner, but the trip kept getting delayed due to him having bad health and then the crazy winter weather.  Grandpa is doing great and we had great weather during his visit. Grandpa especially enjoyed watching Bean play!)

(My mom holding Savannah - an "add-on" grandchild & one of her good friends Diane holding Bean! Oh, and check out that brand new floor!)

(My niece Emily got to feed Bean for the first time while my sister Amber held her.  Bean enjoyed eating some avocado & bananas from Em - Yummy!!)

(Saying bye to Grandpa.  Until next time!)

Bean and I got home Wednesday afternoon and I had to buckle down and get us ready for vacation!  Our flight to California was that Saturday.  I didn't even start packing until Friday afternoon!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Zoo Day

Bean and I got the chance to meet up with Amber & Gabbie for a trip to the zoo earlier this week.  Gabbie had a preschool field trip to the Ft Wayne Zoo, which is just over an hour away.  We couldn't miss the opportunity to spend the day with them!

Bean and I got up, loaded up the car and headed north to the zoo.  Bean "talked" the whole way, even though she should have been sleeping.  Oh well.  She fell asleep for the last 15 min.  I tried to keep her asleep as I transferred her to her stroller, but she was too excited about what was going on.  It was quite cold and drizzling when we got to the zoo.  We feared a miserable cold day ahead of us, but halfway through the day, the sun came out and it warmed up!  Bean was quite warm and bundled in her stroller, but I was sure excited for the sun!

Even though it was a preschool field trip, we got to do whatever we wanted at the zoo.  We didn't have to stick with any group or do certain things.  We kept calling it "Gabbie Day", because she got to pick whatever we did.  The zoo is set up in "loops".  So we'd let her pick what animal she wanted to see, and we'd do the loop with it. 

We started with the sea lion show, then headed to the orangutans (rain forest loop).  After completing that loop, we were hungry and decided it was time for lunch.  However, we went ahead and let Gabbie "check" off her Pony ride.  She picked the biggest pony and held on as Amber walked her around the path.  But first, the pony was thirsty and stepped on Amber's foot to get to the water- ha!  Good thing it was just a pony and didn't put its full weight on her foot.  That wouldn't have made for a fun day!

After eating a cold lunch (it was windy and the sun was still hiding), we headed back to the animals.  Gabbie chose to go check out the bats and fish (Australia loop).  After completing the loop, we had just one more loop left - Africa.  Gabbie was begging to feed the giraffes, and could barely wait to get there.  When we got up to the feeding patio, it was closed.  Gabbie was crushed.  We sort of meandered around the giraffes (mainly because the male giraffe was getting frisky and Amber and I were like little kids watching what was going on).  Our curiosity worked out to Gabbie's advantage, because we noticed that people were on the patio feeding the giraffes!  Gabbie got to "check off" another item on her zoo list.  

The sun had come out and we decided it was time to take a little break and eat some ice cream.  We had to walk all the way across the zoo to find our snack.  After recharging our batteries, we went to the little petting zoo/farmyard.  Gabbie loved brushing the goats.  The barnyard area was the last area to walk through in the zoo.  It happened to be feeding time for Bean, so I fed her while Amber and Gabbie scoped out the gift shop (her last "check off").  We all finished up at the same time, and decided we just weren't ready to leave.  We decided to go check out the orangutans one last time before heading home.

So what about Bean??  Bean did great!  Amber held her a lot and would point out the animals to her.  She'd get excited, blow raspberries, smile big, and bounce up and down.  She took a nap after lunch in the stroller, but other than that, she was just watching everything going on.  I think her favorite part was playing on drums.  There was an area with drums in the Africa loop, that we let her play with, and she loved it! 

We had such a good time!  Bean was asleep before I even got out of the parking lot, I guess that means she had a lot of fun.  She slept almost the whole way home.  We just barely got home before Steve!  He noticed that her cheeks were pretty pink.  Not sure if it was from the wind or sun, but they stayed pretty pink through the next day.  I made sure to keep an ointment on it just in case ;-).

(Brrrr.  Bean had the best spot -- snuggled under blankets in her stroller.)

(Checking out the python.  Bean did a lot of bouncing watching the snake. eeeks!)

(Too excited to stay still!  Checking out the Komodo Dragon.  Gabbie loved the "dinosaur" so much, that she got its picture on a penny press.)

(Orangutan!  The male orangutan loves to put things on his head.  Today's "hat" was a grocery bag.  We even saw him move later, by swinging on the ropes to move to a different spot.  He held the bag in his hand as he did it, and once he sat back down, he swung it back up on his head.  So strange!)

(Bean sitting in an orangutan hand print.)

(Gabbie waiting for her pony ride.  This was before it veered off the trail, stepped on/over Amber, and got a drink of water - ha!)

(Playing the drum and having a good old time!)

(Look at those cute chicks hatching out of the eggs!)

(Bean petting a goat! We gave up on the sock fight by this point.  She got to just put her bare feet on the goat and thought that was funny.)

(Momma & Bean -- look I really was there!  Ahhhh, sunshine!)

(Gabbie said it was the best day ever.  She got to do everything she wanted, and didn't have to fight for turns.  By afternoon, the zoo was pretty cleared out.  These goats were loving all the attention.)

(And back at the orangutans - complete with gift shop Owl purchase.  While look at the orangutans, one of the females came up close and "sat next to Gabbie".)

(Look at those rosy cheeks!  Bean loved the zoo and can't wait to go again!)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

My New Toy

After years of dreaming and ogling over mixers, I finally pulled the trigger and got "the cadillac". Haha.  I am now the owner of a 5 qt Artisan KitchenAid stand mixer in my favorite color - tangerine orange! Steve tried to convince me to pick out a more neutral color, but since it's my toy, I got what I wanted. Plus, it matches all the other orange items in the kitchen like utensils, pot handles, and dishes.  I finally pulled the trigger on it, because I got a FANTASTIC deal on it.  I got a refurbished model for just a little over $200.  The deal is running for a few more days from KitchenAid via Ebay.  I don't understand it, but I got my mixer for the best deal and I'm happy :).

In its inaugural use, I made cloverleaf rolls from scratch.  I've only attempted to use yeast one other time, and it didn't work the best.  This time, I followed the recipe verbatim, and was very successful!  I see much more bread and rolls in our house in the future.  Yum-o!

(I was on a time crunch and needing to get the dough rising.  Bean decided to be difficult and not lay down like she was supposed to.  So instead, I strapped on my other new toy - ergo baby carrier - and got to work with her hanging on.  I even let her "help" by holding onto a measuring cup.  Once I got the dough started, I gave up on my plight to make her nap and let her play instead.)

(Who needs to nap when you can just play?!)

(I had dreams of having fresh hot rolls when Steve got home; however, I was still in the proofing phase.  He walked in the house and immediately smelled the bread and saw the mayhem in the kitchen.  I had a stressful time trying to get the rolls going, make dinner, attempt to get Bean to nap, and clean up the mess in an hour.  I didn't make my time but in the end, everything got semi- accomplished.)

(I got fancy with the rolls and made "cloverleaves".  You take a ball of dough, cut it in half, cut those in half, and place the four pieces in a greased muffin tin.  I followed the recipe that came with the mixer.  I wanted to make sure if they turned out bad, it was because of me and not because of the recipe!)

(Steve wanted to document the mixer.)

(Yum-o!  The recipe made 24 rolls. I put a cap on how many rolls Steve was allowed to eat that evening- no more than 6!  That way, I was able to divide it into 3rds and freeze the remaining 16 rolls to be eaten at other times.  He laughed at my cap, saying that they were filling rolls and he wouldn't eat too many.  He ate 5. I guess that means they are good!)

Now. . . what to make next?!