Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins

1. It's time for BED. But am I there?? Obviously not.

2. My couch; it's not a bad place for relaxing a bit at the end of the night.

3. I must be tired - or overwhelmed - b/c I can't think of anything great to say to most of these tonight. My mind is just too overloaded, I think...

4. Being a mother is the best thing I have ever known. I feel it is my calling.

5. My husband is simply wonderful. He loves me more than I could have hoped.

6. The last time I laughed really loudly was earlier today. Aiden has this "fake laugh" that is hilarious. He'll laugh his loud, fake laugh, then I'll laugh, and then he'll laugh back. And we just go back and forth for a few minutes. It's a lot of fun. :)

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting in bed soon (though still too late), tomorrow my plans include ordering Aiden's smash cake for his party next week and then going to an outlet mall to do some serious shopping and Sunday, I want to finally finish mulching the front flower bed - the constant rain keeps stopping me from getting the last little bit finished! Then I can show the before and after pictures from the flower bed - what a difference! (And a lot of work...)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Signing - Can someone clarify?

We use a few signs with Aiden and are adding a little more now that he's really starting to catch on. While we aren't doing a whole lot (mostly signs having to do with eating/nursing), the few we do use really are helping. It's so nice to have Aiden be able to tell us what he wants sometimes!! BUT...I'm wanting to try to fit in "please" and "thank you" now....and I'm having a hard time with the difference between "thank you" and "good." We just have a book that has drawings of babies/toddlers (My First Signs board book). For "thank you," it says "hand touches lips then moves forwards." For "good," it says "fingertips touch lips then move away." But the pictures look identical. So...can someone clarify what the difference exactly is for us?

Also - Becky, turns out we have been doing "all done" a little wrong, but the correct way is different from how you do it. The book says to have hands open, palms up, and then flip them down quickly. We were just doing the palms up part (and add in a little twisting of the hands b/c it's cute and hard not to do it). I guess we forgot to look and check to see if we were doing it right. ;) The book states the signs are "based on" ASL...

Thanks to anyone that can help with the "thank you" and "good" confusion!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

gDiapers deal ends soon!!

I posted about the "sweet deal" on gdiapers earlier this month (check it out here if you haven't read it). Well, the coupon code is good for less than one week now!! So, if you've been putting off putting your order in...you had better get a move on! Start here.

I've already passed the ten uses to get my gdiaper gift certificate (thanks everyone!!!), and there is no way I could get to the top to get the trip to gdiapers HQ in Portland (the two ladies at the top were at 130 uses or so each a few days ago!!! Can you imagine?!). So.....if anyone else has a code and are still trying to get to their ten and earn that gift certifcate - post your code in the comments section!! And others wanting to order, check those codes before using mine. Let's help each other out here! :)

Code is good through JULY 31st - next Friday! Which means...order NOW. ;) Some of you already have - let us know what you think of the gs so far, if you so please.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Photos from KY Visit

I'm just today getting to even put one of the memory cards in the computer to view some of these pics myself.... (If you know me, you know that means I am SUPER busy b/c that's always the FIRST thing I do!!) Anyway, here are the pics from our visit to KY last week/weekend. We were in town for three days (and two days on the road with lots of stops here and there). We fit a LOT in - got to see a lot of family members and friends.

Enjoy the pics!
Visit to KY - Visiting friends & the boys' birthday party!

PS - For those of you that use gmail...You can subscribe to our pics. Whenever we upload new albums, you'll get an email. When you view the album, look near the top of the column on the right - just click "Add to favorites." We don't upload all that often, so you won't be overwhelmed with tons of emails, so go ahead and subscribe already! ;)

Heads Up

If you're one of my beloved readers - I'm sorry for the lack of posts lately! I have lots of things to post about but am seriously lacking the TIME needed to do so. We're soooo incredibly busy lately, more so than we want to be. To be honest, we (Ryan and I) are feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything we have going on. And to be even more honest, things aren't going to let up until August is over, or nearly over, at least. Many of the things are great things that we are excited to be doing or participating in (in some way), such as so many family members coming to visit us, finishing projects at the new house, Aiden's birthday party, many other baby birthday parties, wedding events out of town (state), and the list goes on...great things that we look forward to - but we are BUSY for sure. And with Aiden as active as he is, I get practically no down time during the day anymore. Usually his naptime is "me" time, but we're struggling with naps lately, and when he DOES sleep, I have too many projects that I can only do while he's napping, so...there goes "me" time, right?

Sorry for all the excuses - you'll just have to bear with me for the next month or so. Then I hope to get back to the parenting discussions, recipes, and all the other things I like to blog about!! So many posts are already in my head...I just need to find some time to actually write them out.

Thanks for reading and understanding! :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins

Doesn't feel like Friday to me... We've been in KY since Wednesday evening, so it feels like the end of the weekend already! I haven't done the Friday Fill-Ins in quite a while, but thought I could fit one in today. :)

Answers are in bold.

1. Salmon and asparagus make a quick and easy dinner. That is seriously my favorite quick meal - can be on the table in about 15 minutes, is delicious, and is so good for you, too. Can't get better than that! That or a burger and fries from Five Guys...

2. No Other Gods by Kelly Minter (The Living Room Series) is the book I'm reading right now. I recently joined some other Mamas that do a weekly Bible study / playdate, and this is what we are using right now. Pretty interesting. Not really a BOOK that you sit down and just read, but it's about the closest I can get to reading a book right now - unless you count Guess How Much I Love You and The Very Hungry Caterpillar...

3. July brings back memories of camping out at Blue Licks, like we used to do every summer after Mom and Gene got married. That and swimming.

4. The fact that Aiden should have been put back to sleep when he woke up early was obvious to me. Not so much to Daddy, who was the one that went in to get him. Mommy never got him back to sleep after that...

5. They say if you tell your dreams...I don't know what they say. I say, why keep them a secret?? Say them out loud and you might be more likely to make them come true.

6. Give me time to think it over, and I will think and think and think. I'm rather indecisive. One reason why I research things to no end.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to visiting one of my best friends, Sonia, and her kids and seeing her new house in Lexington, tomorrow my plans include seeing a lot of loved ones and having a big birthday bash for both boys since we're here in KY near a bunch of family and close friends, and Sunday, I want to have a quick and cry-free drive back home to NC, with a stop to see Ryan's dad and stepmom along the way! You can never be too sure how Aiden will do with the long car ride, and we're always crossing our fingers for the least amount of crying.
Happy weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Babe!

No time for sappy sentiment at the moment. We've been on the road for 12 hours (with stops here and there along the way) and are with family in KY. But today is our wedding anniversary, and I wanted to at least take a moment to say how blessed I am to have Ryan as my partner in life. He is awesome and so much more than I deserve. He treats me better than I could have ever hoped, and I am constantly amazed by the love he gives me.

Just a few wedding faves. This is all I have with me to share at the moment, too (we're at my mom's - on her computer).

I was going for the naked-on-my-wedding-day look here...that's really why Ryan's smiling. ;)

One of our favorites. Love this one.

By the way, ALL day on the road + motion sickness is not my preferred way to celebrate our anniversary. But, hey, at least we were together all day!
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, BABE. LOVE YOU BUNCHES!! Thanks for three wonderful years!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

ELEVEN Months!

I can no longer deny that Aiden is "almost one year old" now... The next month will be it, so there's no more putting it off with "he's almost ten months" or "he's almost eleven months" and you can't say "he's almost twelve months" because...that's the same as a year. So....he's officially almost a year old. (Turned 11 months on July 6th - hence the 4th shirt...it says "I'm a little Firecracker"!!)

Gotta give him a book to sit still.
There were just a few good pics this time around b/c even with the book, he was a MOVER!

This past month we've seen a lot of development with Aiden's personality, especially him learning to express his likes...and even more so, his dislikes. He started out learning to whine and quickly learned to screech and scream when he didn't like something. But there have been many other things he's picked up on that are even more fun than that, so.....

Favorite Things
  • Anything other than his toys. You can set the basket of toys in front of him, and, yeah, he'll take some things out and play for about ten seconds (if you're lucky) and then move right onto every single thing he shouldn't be playing with. It's like as soon as they become mobile, their eyes open up to the rest of the world, and they just HAVE to check it all out.
  • My fig tree - or the dirt in the pot. I can turn him away from it over 50 times a day, easily - and he immediately goes right back to it! It's a large pot, so I can't just put it up out of his reach. (Anyone know of good ways to babyproof a plant?? One that you can't just put up on a table/shelf?)
  • Screeching. He realized he can make noise just for the fun of it, and he often does. Doesn't bother me. Does it bother folks in the grocery store when he realizes his voice can be REALLY loud there? I don't know. Don't care, either - he's happy and entertained while I get things done. He also likes to grab things from the cart just to drop them over the side. I do care about that.
  • The camera. It's very hard to get a picture of him looking at me because he immediately charges toward the camera. So we have quite a few pictures of him crawling at the lens. He's still cute, whatever the viewpoint. I think so, at least.
  • Pulling up onto anything he can. The kid is everywhere and into everything. He does NOT sit still or understand the concept.
  • Mommy's belly button. When he's done nursing - or taking a break to look around (he's quite nosy!), Aiden will sit up and look down at my belly button and poke at it. He even tries to say "belly button" - you can tell a slight difference between when he's trying to say it and his typical "ba ba ba"s. I try to get him to notice his own belly button, too, but he's more interested in mine. He has even tried to blow raspberries on it - very funny!
  • Getting up at 6am. Good times. He used to sleep regularly until past 8 (waking up lots, of course, but not up for the day until then - or later), but now he's up by 6. There are pros, though. He is more consistent and predictable with his morning nap now, and it makes me get up and actually accomplish more.
  • Shoes - he thinks they're for chewing, not for wearing.

  • Door stoppers - you know, the kind that stick out from the wall and have that white soft tip at the end...We've had to remove all the white tips b/c he immediately learned how to get them off within a second - and would put them straight into his mouth. Guess we'll have to get out the superglue.
  • Electrical outlets, even with the protective covers... Friends and people that have reviewed different ones online have said, once the covers are on, the babies don't even pay any attention to the outlets... Not so here. Aiden is intent on figuring out how to get those things off!
  • Doors, drawers, bags - anything that can somehow be opened and might have something in it.
  • Cheerios - those are like little magic circles that he loves to eat up. Those or his puffs. They are necessary.
  • Pointing. He points at everything he wants or likes or sees...
  • Paper - loves to tear it up. We have paper parties every now and then where we let him have at it with the magazines, ads, papers we are ready to put in the recycling. It's a blast!!
  • Teething tablets - I think he's addicted. He sees the bottle; he must have it. He even shakes out of the excitement (seriously, I think he's addicted to these babies!) Once he has the bottle, he does not let go!
  • Opening and closing doors (not all the way - just sitting there and opening and almost closing it. Over and over.)
  • The vacuum. He CHASES after it when we use it. Cute - but I wish he was a little more hesitant because I have to really try not to get his fingers!
  • The fans, now that we have some. One time, I put my arm up and moved my hand in small circles and said, "Round and round and round it goes..." - He immediately did the same, and now whenever he sees the fan, he sticks his hand way up high and makes the circles. Babies are so smart!!
  • Kissing noises. He'll purse his lips and smack them like he's kissing. He will do this on his own and sometimes right before he kisses you. WHEN he kisses you, he doesn't do it, though. You might get a closed- or open-mouthed kiss. You never know. He'll also do a "mmmm" sound when he kisses (because we always go "mmmmmwah!").

Kissy face

Least Favorite Things
  • Being changed. I don't know if it's that he really dislikes the changing (diapers or clothes) as much as he dislikes being expected to lie there patiently while you do it. I let him sit for as much as I possibly can, so he's only lying down for a moment to actually do the diaper part, but man he is wiggly! And try to change him when he's expecting to nurse - oh no, he will not have that. And he is much worse with Ryan - either that, or I am better at handling it. ;)
  • Hearing the word or seeing the sign for "milk" and then not getting it right away. You have to be careful what you say around him.
  • Having something taken away from him. He gets a tad angry. And lets you know it.
  • Going to sleep with blankets over his feet. He will kick and kick until the blankets are off of him - especially if he's on his back or side. If he's falling asleep on his tummy, he might tolerate it. And if he's almost asleep and you try to sneak the covers on - he might be fine or he might wake up because it annoys him. It can be very frustrating when he's in our bed and I'm trying to sleep, too - not only because I want the blankets on me but also because I know he'll get cold after he's asleep, so I want the blankets on him.
  • The ocean...he was not a big fan. I told Ryan we need to go back before the summer is over to get him used to it. ;)
  • His activity bouncer. Sometimes when I'm making dinner, I can put him in that if I give him some puffs/cheerios on the tray. I'm trying not to do it often b/c I don't want to create that habit... But he's not too fond of being in it these days. Can you blame him??
  • Standing. He does not want you to try to get him to stand and just hold your hands - or to try to get him to hold your hands and walk. He CAN do it. Just doesn't want to. At all.

New developments this past month
  • PULLING UP - he figured this out right at the beginning of June. I knew he was on the verge.
  • Signing!! It's like something clicked! He already could sign "milk" - but now he's doing "all done/gone," "more," and sometimes I think he's trying to sign "drink" (but that's uncertain). It is adorable when he signs "all done" b/c...well, he's just cute! (Picture putting up your hands close to your shoulder, palms up - he does it really quickly and shakes his hands a bit.) "More" looks like he's clapping almost, but Mama can tell the difference. His claps are more like a smack while his "more" sign is more like he's kind of grabbing his hands together for a second pulling them apart, and then doing it repeatedly - and he does it when he wants more to eat, so... (The sign for more is bunching your fingertips together and then bringing each set together, back and forth - does that make sense??) He hasn't signed "eat" yet, either, but he understands it. ("Eat" is bunching your fingertips on one hand together and bringing the tips to your lips.)
Aiden signing "all done"
  • He is taking longer naps. I think being in the house and napping farther away from the noise helps. He regularly naps for more than an hour, almost two. He typically sleeps for three hours before waking after going down from the night.
  • Eighth tooth is in. And two more are on the verge of cutting through (they have been a big pain lately). So, Aiden has all four on the top and all four on the bottom now.
  • When he comes to our bed at night, usually around 11 or so, I nurse him and when he's done - he rolls over towards his Daddy and goes to sleep. It is so cute! Sometimes he has a hard time falling asleep, but often he just rolls right over onto his side and then his belly and goes to sleep, sometimes with his hand reaching out to Ryan's back.
  • He's a little mischievous and sneaky. ALREADY. If you give him more than a few bites of food on his tray at a time, he'll take them and drop him over the side of his chair. But what's sneaky about it....he looks at you to see if you're watching while he reaches over the side...he keeps watching and if he's getting a reaction or you're looking, he'll drop it. If you're not looking, he will often put it back on the tray or eat it. See...sneaky! He's started doing this with putting the food into the seat next to his leg, too. And he does it when we're outside next to grass - he'll watch you while reaching over to pull up grass to try to eat! He knows he's not supposed to, and he doesn't even look at what he's doing - but keeps his eye on you the entire time. I'm wondering how much we're in for in a few more years.... (Are you laughing at me yet, Mom? Saying...payback's a..... Hmmmm?) And boy is he persistent. You can move him away from something ten times in a row and get him distracted with something each time - and he pushes to go right back!
  • When he has something he shouldn't and we come over to him, he looks up at us and holds out whatever it is - and lets go when we take it! It's like he knows he's caught and is surrendering.
  • He thinks "no" is a funny word. We really try to not say it often, but even if we say it in our meanest voice possible - he just looks at us and might even actually laugh. Then he'll proceed to do whatever it is he was doing to begin with. We might be in trouble.
  • He was throwing his cup/water bottle whenever he was in his high chair and done drinking for the moment (like he didn't realize he could just set it down). We've been working on that, and while he still doesn't think he can just set it down on the tray, he will hand it over to me so I can put it on the table. (If I'm not there to take it, he will drop it over the side.) It's an improvement!
  • He will try to feed us bites of his food sometimes. He actually let go of some cheerios while trying to feed us the other day.
  • When he hands something over as if to share it, he'll actually let go sometimes and let you have it - but he expects it to be given right back. Hopefully we're on the road to learning to share.
  • Just something I find kind of funny - When we're out, he watches people like a hawk. When they try to talk to him, like you do with babies, he will just stare at them. They'll try to get him to smile or laugh or...ANYthing. He'll just stare. I almost can't help but laugh. You can NOT MAKE this child smile. He doesn't fuss at them or get upset. He just looks at them with a straight face!! Cracks me up. That's just AIDEN for you.
  • He FINALLY decided he would drink from a SIPPY cup or a sippy with a straw. It's funny that he hasn't wanted to do the sippy thing but wanted a water bottle like the rest of us. It is helpful that he will use a sippy, though, in case he is going to drink anything other than water b/c only water goes in the water bottles.
  • Camden has been in KY for two weeks. When Aiden sees his picture, he points and points at it. There is a picture of the two of them over the changing table. If I ask where Camden is, he points to it and gets excited!

Mama can get him to smile!

Weighing in...no change since last month (20lbs, 29 inches). But that's kind of to be expected, especially now that he's moving around so much!

Long post!!! (Ryan says, "As opposed to your usual short ones?" Ha. Yes, it's longer than usual, even.) I could go on. This has been a big month for Aiden!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Snapfish Steal

If you're like me and barely ever print up your digital pics....go over to snapfish.com to get in on their promotion they just extended. It was supposed to end tonight and is now going on until the 13th. 50 4x6 prints for just 50 cents (plus tax and s&h, of course). Use coupon code PENNY to get the savings. Pretty good deal!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

May Photos?

Apparently I forgot to post the May photo album.... This past month has been pretty crazy with the move, family & friends in town, and vacation - on top of everyday life. So, here it is!

2009 May

June Photos

Here's our June photo album online. Enjoy!

2009 June

I'll be posting Aiden's 11-month update soon. I think I have to finally admit that he is almost a year old now...especially after taking photos for his birthday invitations! I hope this month goes by reeaaaaalllllyyyyyy slowly, but something tells me it won't.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Crib Teething Solution!

Aiden has one of the convertible cribs that have the wider crib rails, as I'm sure MANY of you other Mamas do, as well. You can't just get that plastic (or whatever it's made of) rail that fits over the crib rail to prevent those little chompers from making teeth marks once they can pull up and bite into the wood - which they WILL do. We found the rubber strips you can apply by sticking on, but we weren't all that crazy with that idea. You have to worry about it being able to come off cleanly later on, and then some reviews mention babies being able to bite chunks of the rubber off (!!!) or the stuff actually not sticking, which defeats the purpose.

So....we were very happy to find these cloth crib rail covers. They are adorable and match his nursery colors perfectly!! And they WORK! (That is even more important!) It fits just perfectly over the wide railing, and you tie it down in three places. There is a waterproof layer underneath it so the drool doesn't go through and harm the wood. We found these at Babies R Us - online so we had to order, but we ordered at a time when we could get free shipping. I've seen them other places, too - in other colors and materials (I would expect amazon.com would have them, too). And they have a set for the side rails, as well - which we might have to get once Aiden figures out he can reach that part, too. I noticed him making his way to one side rail - walking along the front to get to it - just earlier today. Hmmm... The front cover is about $21 and the set of side rails is also $21. So, no, it's not cheap - especially compared to the rubber sticky strips you can get. But I like not having to worry about what he can bite off and get in his mouth. And this covers the whole rail (not just the edge) without the possibility of ruining any of it (you just untie to take it off). And it's not like the crib was cheap, so I'd rather dish out another $40 to save that $500 crib...

He woke up to discover this on his bed - he really liked it and started playing and chewing on it right away!

Just wanted to share b/c I know many of you have similar beds and will eventually have to find some solution to keeping that expensive crib in decent shape (especially if there will be another baby following this one - or you want to attempt to sell the crib one day). :) I was very happy to not have to resort to the sticky strips.

Oh, and Ryan mentioned the added benefit for us...when we lean over to pat Aiden, we have a little bit of cushion instead of leaning onto the edge of the rail. It's a bit more comfy than the wood digging into our sides...

Aiden taking a big bite of the cover. He likes to bite it and then pull on it with his teeth.
We like that after one tooth mark (or two) that he made while this was being shipped, we won't have any more!

And these pictures are just here for the cuteness factor...

Aiden loves to point at things he wants, especially Mommy. ;)

I LOVE this picture with those big, bright eyes!
Isn't he beautiful!
(That's not a question.)
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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Sweet Deal on DIAPERS!

Many of you know that we use gdiapers. We LOVE them. I know some of you have expressed interest in possibly trying gdiapers, and there are probably some of you that have never heard of gdiapers. I want to share this really great deal with all of you. We highly recommend gdiapers, whether you like disposables or cloth - if you want to know why, just ask, and I'll let you know. (How many people do you know that LOVE their baby's diapers and actually get excited about them, though? That's got to be a sign of how awesome these things are!) ;)

gDiapers has a new "starter" pack of gdiapers that comes with six gpants and liners (the outter part - not the flushable disposable diaper part that goes inside) for just $70 - most gpants are sold for $14 or so for just one, so this is a pretty good deal to start with. The regular starter pack comes with two gpants, liners, and ten flushables, but this "everyday g's" six-pack comes with just the pants and liners, which is great if you use the flushables but especially nice for those of us that use cloth inserts. By the way - gdiapers now has gcloth inserts, too! If you have no idea what I'm talking about with outter pants, liners, flushables, etc - just take a quick peek at gdiapers.com. :) In case you're a new follower/subscriber, I also blog about gdiapers from time to time - to find my posts and see what is so great about these diapers (and the company!), just look to the right column and click on "gdiapers" under the labels.

But what is even better about this new six-pack is that you can get $30 OFF if you use this code:


That's less than $7 per gpant - half what the typical cost is!! It's also less than what you will pay for a USED gpant! These babies have a great resale value, so used still usually costs $10 or more. So, when I say less than $7 each for NEW gpants is a great deal - I am soooo not kidding.

To use the coupon code, add one or more everyday g's six-pack(s) to your gDiapers.com cart, enter the code and click the "redeem" button. The price will automatically drop from $70 (regular price) to $40. What a sweet deal!

Please note, gDiapers.com coupon codes are case sensitive, so make sure to enter the code exactly as shown above.

This code is only good through July 31st, 2009, so don't wait to use it!

I also have paper coupons you can use in stores that carry gdiapers (all Babies R Us stores, online at Target, other local stores, Whole Foods, diapers.com.....) and some informational inserts to share if you want! I recently became a gMum, which means that I get to help spread the word - and savings! :) Just let me know if you're interested, and I'll share them.

Keeping it honest....
I do get credit if you use my code. If enough people use it, I get a gift certificate to gdiapers - and if more people use my code than anyone else's, I get a trip to Portland to the gdiapers Headquarters. There are lots of others with codes floating around, so whether you use it or not, please forward my code to anyone you know that might be interested!! :) I really appreciate it!

PS - That picture of Aiden (taken by my friend, Laura) is the one that my friend, Sharni, has on her website to show off the cuteness of gdiapers (which she is now selling). We buy her gflapper cloth inserts and love them!

I suppose the boy's gotta drink, too

After yesterday's post about Aiden grabbing the tomato and digging in while I was fixing his breakfast, I remembered about this other thing I meant to post about. One night last week, we were cleaning up from dinner. Ryan rinsed out an empty milk jug and put it by the door to set it out in the recycling bin after we were done cleaning. This is what happened next....

At one point, he actually had the jug held straight up, trying to drink from it. Guess his arm got tired - once the camera was out, he didn't go quite that high.

This kid never ceases to entertain us!