Friday, December 19, 2008

a memory verse, a boa, a burp and a bite

Lydia moved up from the infants' Bible class to the 2 yr old class this month, since she is 2 now, and they have memory verses even that young. Her verse this month is Jeremiah 31:33, and I've been working with her on it, by saying 3 or so words and then she'll repeat those words (or just continue on w/ the next 3 or so words, depending what mood she's in, lol). This morning, she got the farthest in her verse that she's ever gotten by herself. I started her off and said, "I will put," and then she said, "I will put... my law... in their minds... and write it... on their hearts." I would get it on video but I have to catch her at just the right mood or she'll either not repeat me at all or just repeat "I will put" and then stop, lol.

But speaking of videos, here's one to enjoy. She got a feather boa for her birthday, but can't quite say it. And yesterday, hubby taught her how to say "bite" in a funny way, so that is on there, too. And in the middle of it all is a big burp, just to show how dainty and feminine she is not. LOL

Monday, December 15, 2008

my first blog award

Yay, my friend Stephanie has given my blog its first award!

But this prize doesn't come without rules. This time, it's that "When you receive the prize, you must write a post showing it, together with the name of who has given it to you, and link them back. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs that you find brilliant in their content or design. Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing that they were prized with 'Honest Weblog'. List [if you can and/or dare] at least ten honest things about yourself. Then, pass it on!" I don't have a ton of blogging friends, so the 7 became my maximum instead of my minimum. But here they are, in no particular order.

1. Sarah has a blog called Mommy of Faith, where she talks about her various feelings as life happens. My heart goes out to her on the recent loss of her father.

2. Leah is blogging about the ups and downs of going through IVF as she tries for baby #2, in Desperately Seeking Womb Mate,

3. Heather lets you journey into her life in Simply Living Naturally. I love all the pictures in her blog and the crafts.

4. Mariana writes about interesting things in her life in Asi es mi vida! which is a mostly English blog despite the Spanish title.

5. Ashley is newly pregnant with #2 and writes about life with her daughter and life in general in A Perfect World.

6. Margaret and I have known each other in real life (unlike most of my other award recipients, who I only know online so far) for a long time now, before either of us were married. We were pregnant with our daughters at nearly the same time, and now she's gone on ahead of me to have #2 in the early spring. She writes about her life in World of Welch.

7. I met Tishia only once in person, I think, at a babywearing meeting in Missouri. She writes Tishia's Thoughts about being Deaf, and her life in general. I wish I had been able to get to know her in person better when I still lived in MO.

There, those are my award recipients. Even if they're not able to pass it on, I hope they come and comment here. :) Now for my 10 honest things about me. I've been thinking about this for several days, ever since I got the award, and am really not sure what to put here. But we'll try it out with these:

1. Sometimes I wonder if I'm really and truly "bonded" to my daughter. She was planned, I had a drug-free birth, I breastfed, I babywore. All those are supposed to help "enhance" bonding, but even today, I'm still waiting for it to really "sink in" that I'm a mom.

2. I'm a habitual worrier, usually about finances, but the months go on and everything ends up OK anyway despite my worries.

3. I wish I'd taken more pictures of Lydia within her first few days of life, and more videos overall.

4. I am extremely introverted in real life and do best when I'm in a "crowd" of less than 4-5 people.

5. Our current residence isn't in the greatest condition, but we're not really able to move right now. We'll likely be here for at least 3 more years, so I am trying to make the best of it.

6. I grew up as a "cat person", but in the past few years, dogs have started growing on me as well.

7. I don't make New Year's resolutions because they usually end up broken by January 2nd. Instead, if there's an area of my life that needs improving, I try to take steps right then to make changes rather than waiting until January.

8. I can still hula hoop, and even did so once while 7 months pg w/ Lydia.

9. I am a terrible procrastinator.

10. I'm picky about what water I will drink. The flavor of it varies greatly from region to region. Texas water needs heavy filtering when it's drinkable at all. Oklahoma water is delicious. Missouri water was fine as is.

Friday, December 5, 2008

and then she was two

Last year:


Another year has come and gone, much more quickly than her first year. She continued with her firsts this year, with her first steps and her first word. Now she's talking in a few sentences and nearly running.

I am still nursing her. I never imagined "not" nursing a toddler and had set 18 months as my minimum goal. I am very happy and blessed to have reached a 2-year milestone. She of course doesn't nurse as often as a newborn, and here and there we skip a day entirely. I think that both of us would be OK if either of us wanted to quit, but it's nice to still have this relationship for now.

I haven't had her 2-year appointment yet but she is about 32 inches tall and 25 lbs. She is still rear-facing in her carseat, and loves to take her shoes off within seconds of being in the car. Then when I go to get her out, I ask her where the shoes went, and she points over the side of her chair.

She knows what she wants but doesn't always have the words to express it, and will end up hollering if she doesn't get her way. She also has learned a trick of putting her arms straight up when I pick her up around the ribs, and nearly can slip out of my grasp that way. She also runs away when I say "give mama kiss" or "let's go to bed" lol.

She has a wonderful smile and laugh and says thank you and you're welcome and sometimes shares. She eats everything you put in front of her and takes her plate to the sink by herself. She's still too short to put it up on the counter though so I have to help her do that. She loves phones and will hold them to her ear and say "anybody there?" I wouldn't trade her for anything.

What will happen this next year? Hopefully another first... potty training!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

maybe we should have just come back home on saturday morning

So the hubs and the babe and I went up to Oklahoma to meet up w/ his parents on Wednesday, then Thursday and Friday we were in Kansas. Friday afternoon through today were planned to be in Oklahoma again, to see some old friends at church here and also to visit hubby's grandfather in rural Oklahoma on Saturday, a short trip away. It was a good plan.

Saturday morning came and we got up and had breakfast and hubby and baby and hubby's dad and I all rode out to his grandfather's house. We'll call him (the grandfather who we were going to go visit) C. C has a little dog, tiny little 8-lb so thing, we'll call him P. P is getting old, and even when he was younger, you couldn't touch his tail at all or he'd turn around at you and act all vicious. And if he was sitting up in C's lap, you couldn't touch C at all, or P would start to growl. These habits continue today. We had been at C's house for an hour and a half or so, and Lydia was having fun and walking around and talking to the dog who was just looking at her and being friendly. Hubby's aunt and uncle were there too and we were all visiting, while I tried to keep an eye on Lydia. The dog was over to the side and from what I saw, Lydia sat down right in front of the dog. Then I hear a bark and see a jump and Lydia starts crying. The dog had been right up in her face. We didn't see anything at first, but then after a minute, there was some blood. There was a tiny little wound right between Lydia's eyes, on the bridge of her nose. Even today, we never found the other tooth mark, so we are thinking that the tooth just scraped her while P was barking, rather than P intending to bite. We cleaned the bite right away and C said that P has had all his shots, and Lydia's sore today is just a tiny scab w/ no redness around it or anything.

Then this morning when we were getting ready for church, I was drying Lydia's hair w/ the blow dryer, and hubby was holding her hand so she wouldn't walk out of drying range. She's picked up a bad habit where if she doesn't want to walk w/ me or stand by me and hold my hand, she will do the jelly leg thing and just lay down on the floor. She tried to do this with hubby this morning, and hubby didn't let go fast enough and felt her wrist pop. Lydia cried. She was in a lot of pain. Even when she fell on the sidewalk earlier this month and hit her head, she didn't cry like she did this morning. I have NEVER heard her cry like this before, not even through vaccinations or anything. It was absolutely heartbreaking. She did not want to move her arm or wrist or hand at all b/c it was hurting her so bad. I sent hubby out for some children's motrin, and that helped. She stopped crying and we went on to church, intending to see her doctor tomorrow.

Meanwhile, on the drive TO church, right in the middle of the highway, we suddenly hear the thumpathumpathumpathumpa of a flat tire. The thing is shredded. So much for us leaving to go back to Dallas after church. Now we had to try to find a tire place that was 1) open on Sunday afternoon and 2) had the tire we needed in stock. We finally found that place at Walmart. We dropped the car off and hubby's mom took us to get some lunch and then we were finally on our way after that, and arrived home w/o further incident.

But back to Lydia's arm. I took Lydia to the little 2 and 3 yr olds' class and sat in there w/ her to watch her. She just let her left arm dangle, completely unused and motionless, to her side, and used her right hand to touch the stuff they passed out and took back up, as the teacher talked about creation and other things. After class, we went back out into the auditorium to get ready for the second worship service, and chatted w/ a few people who we didn't get to talk to earlier since we were late b/c of the tire. One of them, not knowing that Lydia's arm was very tender, took her arm and shook hands w/ her. The same tears and painful cry started again, but this time they stopped pretty quickly. And then later on, I noticed that she started using her hand again, a little more, a little more... then at the final song where we stand up, Lydia was holding onto my hand w/ her "bad" arm and to hubby's mom's hand w/ her good arm... and she was PULLING on us with both arms! Then throughout the afternoon w/ the tire drama, it was as if she had never injured it at all. I am so thankful to God that He helped take the pain in her arm away so quickly, because there is no doubt in my mind that His finger was on it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

the glass doesn't have feelings, hon

I keep a glass of water next to the computer, and sometimes when Lydia walks by it, she wants a drink from it, rather than from her sippy cup. I usually try to direct her to her cup, but sometimes I'll give her a sip. I was taking it down for her earlier tonight, and I bumped the desk with it. Lydia then touched the desk, and with great concern, said "owie?" and then repeatedly touched the glass and said "you hurt? you hurt? you hurt?" It was so cute. She wouldn't even take a drink until I stopped laughing and explained that desks and glasses don't have feelings and can't get hurt like people can. Sometimes when I bump her or when she bumps herself, she'll say owie and hurt, but this is the first time she's said it for something other than herself. It was so cute.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

a speech explosion

I think it's finally happening, a speech explosion. She is finally starting to say "change diaper" to me when I get her up in the morning and from her nap (but not at any other times, so potty training is still WAY far away). And over the weekend, she said a few more new things: "I'm going to get you!" (came out "I ge ge you!" lol), "wash you leg" and "wipe nose and mouth." The "wash you leg" phrase, she said in the shower as she was rubbing a washcloth on my leg, and the "wipe nose and mouth" she said when she was on the changing table, so I handed her a (cloth) wipe, and she used it to wipe her nose and mouth. :) She knows fast and slow now, and we're working on up and down, and she can sometimes count to two.

Speaking of two, it's only a couple of weeks until she turns that age. The week afterwards, a couple of friends of ours are going to host a birthday party for Lydia at their house. I'm so excited for it. :) But before then, I have something to do nearly every Saturday between now and then, including going out of town and watching an OU game at someone's house and going out of town again and a ladies' brunch. I have no time to just watch the calendar days go by, lol.

This Friday our apartment office is having Thanksgiving dinner and inviting all the residents to come by and eat, so Lydia and I will go make an appearance. They're serving all the classics, my favorites: corn on the cob, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and pecan pie, turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and rolls. Yum yum. Then for "real" Thanksgiving we plan on going up to see hubby's family, like usual.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

telegraphic speech

So Lydia said her first "paragraph" the other day. Whenever she says "Go?" that means "Where did it go?" so that will help you translate this. I had her on the changing table, and she had her diaper cover, then tossed it on the floor. I said "Uh oh, did you drop it?" and she replied, "Drop it! Go? All gone." It was the cutest thing, and she's done little paragraphs here and there a few other times since then.

She had an Early Intervention therapy session today, and I mentioned it to her therapist, who told me that's called "telegraphic speech." She also said that most children in therapy services will just skip that phase, so it was really neat to be able to see it.

As for other talking stuff, Lydia will tell herself "Bless you" after she sneezes. During her therapy today, she belched, and told herself "Bless you" after that belch. The therapist and I were cracking up. She'll also say "Thank you" and "You're welcome" appropriately (although "you're welcome" comes out more like "come-come" lol). She "counts" sometimes, like this: 4, 5, 6, 4, 2. She recognizes that letters exist, and will sometimes point out the letter A, but usually just calls anything w/ words on it "A."

In other news, the hubs and I are going out this afternoon to vote when he gets home from work. I'm so ready for all the drama to be over.

Friday, October 17, 2008

grinding some grain, flax seeds to be exact

I "inherited" a Magic Mill from my grandmother (she's still alive but we've been "claiming" some of her things that she doesn't use anymore w/ her knowledge and permission). I remember her milling flour when I was a child and so I asked mom if grandma still had the mill b/c I wanted it. (Grandma and Grandpa have a wheat farm.) They did and I got to take it home. :) It still works and Mom was even able to find the instruction manual. It was missing a part but I was able to order it online. (The instruction manual is copyright 1980 to give you an idea how old this thing is.)

Anyway. I finally used it today for the first time, but not for flour. I wanted to make some "grainy" banana nut pancakes (like w/ some oatmeal and cornmeal and flax and whatnot in there) and usually, I would grind some flax seeds in the coffee grinder. But the coffee grinder has been used for coffee since the last time I ground a grain in it, and some of the coffee "sticks" in there b/c of the oil content and I didn't want coffee-flavored pancakes. So I decided to try out the mill for my flax.

It turned it into flour. It was very noisy, like a very loud vacuum cleaner. A little bit of "smoke" came out while it was operating, and I thought it was the motor smoking, but it when I sniffed the smoke, I decided it was a little bit of flax dust. Then when I turned it off, I heard it "whine" as the grinding mechanism slowly came to a stop. It took about 10 seconds for the noise to completely stop after I cut the power.

But it was fun and I can't wait to grind another grain sometime. I have a whole bucket of wheat that Grandpa sent me home w/ too.

Friday, October 10, 2008

growing up but staying small

Lydia has more words now that she says spontaneously.

off - when she wants me to take her shirt/dress/shoes/etc. off
dress - shirt, dress, get dressed, or I'm dressed
weenwee - sandwich, although this word is soon to be replaced by sanwee since she's already started saying the latter here and there
down - put me down, I want to get down
c'mere (accompanied by her reaching out and grabbing w/ her upturned hands) - come here and pick me up and hold me
body there - is anybody there (when talking on the phone, lol)

She also is starting to put two words together on her own, finally:

nana bowl - can I have a banana in a bowl?
juice please

She goes to sleep like a dream most nights. She knows the routine and when I put her in her crib, she lays down and waits for me to cover her up and doesn't make a peep until after her nap or until the next morning. I'm still nursing her an average of once a day. When she's done eating, she will take her plate into the kitchen and put it on the counter by the sink (and it's so cute b/c she has to stand on her tiptoes and can barely reach it).

She is getting taller, but she's still in 12 month play clothes. I have a bag of 18 month winter clothes, so I'm hoping that the change in weather will coincide with her fitting into the next size. It's still too warm in the afternoons to switch her over to those clothes full time yet. She is a whopping 22.4 pounds, and about 31 inches tall. She's going to take after her mama in the size department, definitely.

Both of hubby's jobs are still going fine. My jobs are going fine. It's about to be peak season for transcription again. I was nervous for a little while because the operations were suspended while they worked on renegotiating their major contract, but they were successful so I will start back to that work late next week. I'm also working hard to get caught up on my play food orders, and I still have ideas for a bunch of new foods that aren't even on my "menu" yet. I'm hoping that my small work at home ventures will help us here and there w/ paying down debt and putting into savings and saving up for particular goals and dreams, including a house eventually, for one, but we are accepting that for now we will be in an apartment for the foreseeable future.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

feels like fall

The days are getting cooler. It's nice to be able to open a window in the morning now and not be blown over by the heat and humidity. The afternoons are still pretty toasty, though.

Lydia is getting too tall for her 18-month dresses b/c at church, her little bottom peeks out from beneath the dress when she bends over. I bought a few long-sleeve T-shirts and some coordinating woven material, and used this tutorial to make some fall dresses for her. They turned out cute, I think:

The method can be used for any size, even on up to adult. I'm so excited with how cute they are that I want to make some next fall for her, too. Hopefully she'll grow a little between now and then. :)

Lydia loves shoes, no matter if they're hers or mine or hubby's. Hers are a little too small for her to put on by herself, but she loves to step into mine and hubby's, and even walk around in them:

Hubby's jobs are still going great. He loves both of them and is able to relax at home now instead of stress out wondering what he's going to do with the rest of his life. My "three" jobs are going ok, too, but I'm waiting on an unexpected update for one of them tomorrow. I am an independent contractor for that company, and they posted something the other day about suspending operations, so I hope there will be work this quarter. But if not, I still have the other two things to continue helping w/ debt, etc. Our credit card is finally under 6K again, so we're making progress there.

Friday, September 12, 2008

i feel calm now

Yesterday afternoon, hubby went out to a couple of pizza places to look for his part-time job. The closest pizza place to us wasn't hiring b/c they had JUST hired two drivers, but referred us to one in the next town over. He went out there and the person who could hire him wouldn't be there until today. He went ahead and filled out an application anyway and went back today. He called me what seemed like just a few minutes after he left the house, to tell me that he was hired. :D He has to call on Monday to see exactly what day he starts (they have to process his I-9 to make sure he can legally work in the US, lol), but he does have the job. And he's off on Sunday and Wednesday. :D With that job and w/ the apprenticeship, we should easily be able to make ends meet. Then my little piddly work at home things will be completely extra, to be able to go to debt or to save for a far-in-the-future home birth or whatever. :D

I feel calm, but nervous at the same time. We are moving into a "new" normal, now. I don't know what that normal will be, yet, but it will be nice to be self-sufficient again. I am excited to be moving forward in the next phase of our life and that our unemployment wasn't too long.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

forgot to mention

Hubby DID get the pipefitters apprenticeship. :) It's going to be a long 6 years, but so worth it in the end. He's looking for a part-time night/weekend job now, too, since an apprentice doesn't make enough to support a family on. There may be overtime involved w/ the apprenticeship, but it's not a guarantee. If it were, that would be great. He starts at the job site on Monday, and today and tomorrow he's trying to find that perfect part-time job.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

here's the missing videos

Ok, here's the videos that I promised yesterday. Also, Lydia has started saying "woah!!" whenever she falls down unexpectedly. You can sort of see that in the first video, even though it's just a sit down instead of a fall down. :p

Monday, September 8, 2008

a coop, multiple rejections, a toddler and more

I did not even realize that it's been nearly a month since I posted. So here's what's been going on since then.


Right after my last post, I received a shipment of Enwrapture skirts for which I had hosted a coop. A few hundred people paid me for an order for them, then I ordered the skirts in bulk so we could get a wholesale discount on them. It was interesting b/c this company doesn't allow color selection for wholesale orders, but it was a lot of fun. We got them for about a 70-80% discount off of retail. Here's part of the craziness:


And here's what a couple of them look like:


Rejections (and a possible job finally!)

Tim has been having a few interviews here and there, but then a few days later he would invariably receive a rejection email. But even rejection emails after an interview are better than no interview at all. He had tried to be a truck driver, a college bookstore manager, an insurance agent (which we may still do after a couple of years as a secondary job), an IKEA kitchens salesperson, a 911 dispatcher and a number of others that I can't remember right off the bat. He has yet to hear from a company that makes video recording equipment for police cars, but said he would really like that position.

But meanwhile, he is pretty sure that he has found what he wants to do. He is going to be a plumbing apprentice. They pay is not terrific at the start so he will either have to hope for overtime or get a second job, but it's steady, stable, long-term work. He went to an orientation/testing for it today (he finds out tomorrow at around 3:00 if he passed the test, then the rest of it is just a matter of paperwork before he can start), and the instructor said that in 30 years of doing this, the longest he has been without work was 2 months. Tim could also be an HVAC apprentice instead of a plumbing apprentice. There are raises every 6 months that are pretty substantial. The only bad news is that a group of classes started a month ago, so Tim's first raise won't be until 18 months from now, and the whole process will be 6 years instead of 5 since the first year, he will just be working instead of working and going to class. But we are very excited about the long-term situation this will help us be in.


Lydia is now 21 months old, and very much a toddler. We continue to train her, and have found that if we train her like it's a game, then she seems to be more receptive. Like the other day, we were playing "stop/go" with her, to teach her to stop right away when we say stop. We would hold her hand or walk right next to her, and say "go go go go go go go go go go go STOP!" and then stop right then. Then we'd go go go some more and stop again. After a while, Lydia started doing this herself. She'd tell herself go go go and stop. It was so cute. She has several more words since the last time I posted, and will try to repeat some 3-syllable words or phrases now, too.

We've given up on potty training for now. The whole idea of it, and especially when I look on a message board and see children younger than Lydia who are completely trained, just makes me cry. I'm trying to just push it to the back of my mind and revisit it when she's 4 or when she shows very VERY clear signs that she is ready to do her business somewhere besides her diaper. I've read Diaper Free Before Three which encourages "early" potty training, and we did try those methods for a while, but they just didn't yield any results for us at all. Lydia is not ready. She doesn't care if her diaper is wet or dirty. I will just continue what I've been doing, which is letting her come w/ me to the bathroom and letting her watch me put her poop in the potty (we cloth diaper) and talking about the whole scenario w/ her in a lighthearted manner (oh, look, your diaper is wet. One day you'll put it in the potty and you'll stay dry).

Here's a few videos of her modeling one of the short wrap skirts which is still way too long for her, lol. But the three videos combined show how she's grown so much since the last time I shared. :)


Ok well never mind on the videos... YouTube is doing site maintenance so I'll have to post them later. :p


I am still crocheting play food. I'm gearing up for what I hope will be a busy holiday season. My link over on the sidebar is still pointed to my Hyena Cart, but I'm toying with the idea of moving over to Etsy instead. Each site does have its pluses and minuses. In the meantime, I'm making a bunch of in-stock food, especially bread (the bread is what seems to tie me up the longest when I get a custom order, lol). I have about 60 different items now, with more in the works. When I first started making it, I would have never thought that I'd have such variety. I also am attempting to start another work at home thing, just to make a little change here and there. The company seems to be having technical difficulties right now, though, so I'm not able to complete my test. Hopefully I can finish that test by this weekend though.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

back from a not-so-relaxing trip home

I just got back today from an 8-day trip home for a visit. Lydia and I went to my parents' house. A friend of ours who we've known pretty much her whole life had gotten married in their hometown on the 2nd, and I went to the wedding, and since it was a long drive to get there, decided to make a visit out of it, too.

I say the trip was not so relaxing b/c my mom still watches all 3 of my nephews. This week, one of them wasn't there b/c my sister took some vacation time, but the other two are so hard on her. There are a 2 yr old and a 4.5 yr old, and they are brothers. The 2 year old can open doors and climb things, and both were highly resistant to naps all week, even though they both still desperately need a daily nap. They constantly stress my mom out and push limits (limits? what limits? Doesn't something have to be consistently enforced to really be an effective limit?), and then my mom releases the stress on whoever is closest, whether it's one of them or whether it's me.

But before all that, there was the wedding. She was the acting "wedding coordinator" for the weekend, helping to tell everyone where to stand and when to walk in with and who to be escorted by, etc. The wedding overall went OK in that they did end up married in the end, lol, but the cake and the sound system (it was an outdoor wedding and indoor reception) were two major problems that the bride's parents are still trying to get some satisfaction from. But it was beautiful and I know the bride and groom are going to be so happy together. :)

Some brief Lydia highlights from the trip, now. Mom has a little wading pool that she has been letting the boys play in, so we added Lydia to the mix. The water level was just at the height so that when she was on her hands and knees, her head was still above water. She LOVED playing in the water. Then at one point, she was sitting, and somehow she slipped and slid completely under the water. I was nervous about that happening, but when it actually did happen, I was so calm, and I just reached over and lifted her back out. She coughed a bit. I stood up and held her, and she started crying. I thought she was crying b/c the experience had scared her, and I was trying to comfort her, but it turns out that she was crying b/c she wanted back IN the water. I lowered her back down and she stopped crying the very moment that her feet touched the surface. :p

She was also highly entertaining to everyone, including her little cousins. She has a laugh that she does occasionally that sounds like a cackle, and she treated us to that laugh last night. :p She learned better how to climb on things, courtesy of her cousins. My parents have a carpeted staircase, and Lydia has been able to climb UP stairs for a long time, so we worked on going DOWN stairs (backwards, on her tummy) and she got pretty good at that, too. She also learned how to sit just in a regular seat while she ate, instead of a high chair.

Her size 3 diapers were fitting her, but she kept leaking through them, so I had my mom get her some size 4s and they worked out better. At one point, I was changing her, and she had grabbed the clean diaper, and opened it up. Apparently it looked like a flip-phone to her b/c she put it to her head and said "Hello?" lol

And also this week, a bittersweet realization. There were a few times that b/c of the hour or something else, I had to put Lydia down for a nap or for the night w/o nursing her (those are the last two sessions that we still do consistently). I expected her to NOT go to sleep, but she surprised me and went to sleep within about 5 minutes the first time, and w/in about 20 seconds all the other times. :( I guess she doesn't "need" me anymore, and if I had to wean her for one reason or another, she would be OK with it. I still want to try to nurse her at least until she's 2, though. Only 4 months to go until that milestone.

Speaking of nursing, there was one instance this week where I was VERY glad that I was still nursing her. We were visiting my sister's house, and she has a brick area by her fireplace that's about 12 inches tall. Lydia was walking by it, and she tripped over some toys and fell into it, and landed right on the corner of that brick w/ her cheek. :( She was so upset. I nursed her briefly, until she was comforted, and until the initial sharp pain had dulled some. It's times like that when I realize that there's so much more to nursing than just "the milk." I hope that our nursing relationship continues on through more bumps that she will inevitably get.

Monday, July 28, 2008

a video of her not liking the word "ow"

I talked about this in my previous post, but here is a video of Lydia "not liking" the word "ow." I have no idea why she's made the association that us saying the word "ow" is such an end-of-the-world thing for her.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

the cute and strange life of a toddler

First, the strange. Yesterday, Lydia started doing the weirdest thing. I haven't a clue from where she picked this up. But whenever DH or I say "owww" to her, she will start crying. And it's not just a little whimper, either, it's a full-on yelling cry with real tears and a red face and everything, like SHE is the one who has been hurt somehow.

Now, the cute stuff. The other day, I was checking my email, and she was "helping" me clean out my diaper bag. She took everything out of all the little side pockets, and brought the stuff to me bit by bit. After she gave me each little pile of "treasures," I said "Thank you!" to her. Now, SHE says "thank you" (really "dah koo") whenever she hands us something, anything from the remote control to a dish or cup that one of us has left in her reach.

And I can't leave this post w/o posting an update on hubby's job search. It's going very poorly. The few leads we started out with have only gone to dead-ends, so even though we're a good two weeks into the search, it feels like we're starting over every day.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

so much for today's job fair

Hubby went to a job fair this afternoon. It had several different food service companies there, who were doing on the spot interviews for restaurant management. But, over and over, they kept telling him, "Sorry... we're looking for someone with some restaurant experience." Hubby does have it, but not enough overall and not recent enough.

He also called several HR departments of other jobs that he's applied to online over the past several days, and gets the runaround there, too. "We've received your application, and it's being reviewed, and we'll call you if we need anything else."

He has one more job fair (not in restaurants, lol) to go to Thursday. Then Sunday we'll get another paper and go from there. And also make a call on Monday that will hopefully be profitable.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

no more job

Hubby and his employer mutually decided to part ways yesterday. So now, for the second time in 7 months, we are once again 100% unemployed.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

camping summary, and a non-update on jobs

Sorry it's been so long since my last post. Hubby's family decided several months ago to meet up at a lake in Kansas and go camping, and this would be their only "big" get-together this year (usually it's at Thanksgiving). I am not a camper. Bugs of all kinds think I'm tasty. I used to be able to tan, but I've gotten so pale now that I get a little pink before the tan comes. I was not looking forward to this trip. Hubby wasn't even going to get to go since he had to stay home and "work for free." We did find a plane ticket where he could come out Saturday night, go to church w/ us on Sunday and then fly back home Sunday afternoon, and his parents gave us the $$ for the ticket, but then on that day, his flight got cancelled. But anyway. On the FIRST day of camping, sure enough I did get bitten. I had plenty of mosquito repellent so it wasn't that. Turns out it was spider bites. Lots and lots of them. They itched so badly that it hurt. You can even still see them today, nearly 2 weeks later. And it was HOT. The campground did have showers, but even those weren't very refreshing b/c they ONLY had hot water going to them, so I might as well have sat in a boiling soup and cooked myself that way. But the Babygirl seemed to have fun, and she escaped w/ no bites, so that was good. And it was nice to see everyone. I just wish it could have been at a different location. Most of the extended family only came out here and there instead of actually camping with us, since they all live in the area.

And the non-update on job(s). It's a "non" update since nothing has really changed since I last posted. I have done some looking into being a nanny, but there are a whole lot more nanny wannabes than there are nanny positions available. Sort of the same situation like I had spoken of earlier w/ possibilities for hubby. Today is his day off, and right now he is out driving around to apply in person to anywhere and everywhere. He's trying to "kill the bear and drag it home to the cave." He has been in contact with an old boss of his at a college bookstore. Hubby has 4 years experience there, and has since acquired some management experience, so he is looking into possibly being a bookstore manager. But we have not heard anything back from that yet, either.

In the meantime, we are still praying. I believe our prayers will be answered. I believe the prayers of all the people who are praying FOR us will be answered. I believe that God has an amazing plan for us that I may not even be imagining yet. I believe... I believe... I believe. I need to keep telling myself that, because in times like this, it's way too easy to slip into doubt. When hubby first got this car sales job, we thought it WAS a blessing and an answer to prayers, but it has caused us both nothing but stress and grief for the whole time. I am SO ready for my stress to be lessened.

People have shared some amazing personal stories with me about how their prayers were answered right at the time a catastrophe could have happened, and the prayer-answer prevented the catastrophe. I tried to think of even mild instances like that in my own life, and I couldn't. I know that God loves us and will take care of us, but lately, instead of feeling like the thriving green houseplant that gets plenty of water and sits in the south-facing window... I feel like the sickly, scrawny, somewhat neglected yellowing plant with dropping leaves that's under a fluorescent light in the closet.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

i may be working outside the home again

The car sales business is just not working out for us at all. School is not something in the immediate future, either, since after checking into it, it turns out that some deadlines have already passed and others are too imminent to do anything for this fall. Plus we wouldn't be able to get enough financial aid to live on, or even close to it, so even if I went back to work also, we'd still be sinking.

But Tim is more actively looking for something consistent. The jobs are out there, but I'm sure that there are more applicants than open spots, and Tim hasn't even had so much as an interview yet. It's really depressing. I spent much of Saturday in tears, while he was at work (and not selling anything). I can't sleep. I have little desire to do any chores or to feed myself or anything. I am going camping this week w/ his family, and in early August I'm visiting my family, but if Tim doesn't have a different job (or two) by then, I'll be looking for something that I can do while he's at home, so probably an overnight thing somewhere.

My life is a book. In the past, I felt like I could read ahead a few pages, and imagine what the next day or week or month may bring. But now when I imagine my book, I turn the page, and the rest of the book is completely blank. I simply don't exist after this single moment. The story ends abruptly. As for the part of the story that is already written, I turn back and read over it, and I wonder what I've done so wrong that I ended up here. What am I being punished for? I've tried to be good, I've lived as a Christian example to others, I've honored my husband... and for what? So I can leave my baby and go earn a buck so we don't get thrown out into the street? There has to be more. Something has to come along.

I had even wanted to start trying for a second baby in just a month. That idea is on hold indefinitely now. We apparently can't even meet the needs of the one child we have, so how are we going to be able to handle two? But on the other hand, children ARE a blessing, and I have other thoughts about that. If God chooses to send us another baby, won't he also send us a way to take care of it? And I wonder, by us preventing a conception (by barrier methods... no more hormones for me), if we're also secondarily preventing the blessing of a stable, consistent job for Tim? It's such a quandry to me. I've spent much time in prayer, but still have no answers. Until they come, I suppose all I can do is go one day at a time, one page of my life-book written before the next one comes up.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

the "new job" test was today

Hubby missed the passing score by only 2.5 points, so his application process had to stop there. He came home in a good mood, and highly motivated to go sell some cars. Selling is very much needed this month because he's only sold about 4 so far for the whole month.

As for what to do about the future, since this just isn't providing the security and consistency we need, he doesn't know yet. I put the bug back in his ear about going to school to be a nurse. Back in November when he was suddenly let go, that was a bad bad bad time to try to think about that. We had to get some income coming in and quick, so he took the first available thing that came along. It's kept us treading water since then.

If he goes back to school, I may try get a part-time job just so we don't have to live entirely on student loans, at least for a while anyway. We do want more children one day and while I don't mind working part time while hubby is home at Lydia's age now, it's a lot different for a newborn, I think. But we'll cross that bridge when/if we come to it.

Monday, June 9, 2008

18 month stats

Had Lydia's 18 month appointment today. 31" and 19 lbs 4 oz. :)

Friday, June 6, 2008

pool fun

It's been a while since I posted a video, so here's one for your enjoyment. :) Fun at the pool. There is a "ledge" under the water that is shallow enough for Lydia to stand on, so that's what she's doing when she all of a sudden starts walking.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

banana drama (aka life as a toddler)

DD's going to be 18 months on Thursday. And she's entered the phase where if the teeniest little thing doesn't go as she expected, the WORLD IS COMING TO AN END!!! Take this, for instance. We usually have bananas in the house, and DD likes me to peel them and then hold them for her while she takes bites. Well we had this last remaining banana today, and it was VERY ripe. I didn't want to have a snafu with it where half of the banana fell completely off b/c it was too soft, so I decided to put it in a bowl and I'd spoon it to her. I told her we were going to do this. She saw me get the banana and got excited, and saw me doing "something" in the bowl with it. Then she saw the peel go into the trash and just completely lost it. She went right to the trash can and looked in and bawled her eyes out. She knows that empty peels go in the trash, so I took the peel out and let her see that it was empty, and at the same time showed her the bowl w/ the banana in it, told her that the peel was empty, and threw the peel away again. After all that, she sat right down, ready for her banana snack.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

words, words, words

Here's the words that Lydia can say. Most of them are just in imitation of me saying them, but she does do a few of them spontaneously. Her cutesy pronunciations are listed where applicable. The others she says pretty clearly already.

cheerios (she says like yo-ee-yo)
cheese (w/ a soft "s" at the end, rhymes w/ "peace")
shoes (again w/ a soft "s" at the end, rhymes w/ "loose")
belly (but it comes out "baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah"... not sure why she can't say this, but "hello" comes out clear w/ the L's and everything, lol)
no no (she tells herself this if I redirect her from something off-limits
bite (comes out "baah?")
doggy (sounds like "dah-dee")
banana (sounds like "na-nuh")
yogurt (sounds like "gert?")

She may be saying a few more things, but I don't understand them yet. As for understanding stuff, here's what she understands consistently. When I say these things to her, she does them. :D

Go get your blanket.
Don't touch.
Give mama kiss.
Give mama hug.
Come see mama.
Can mama have (it)?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

more job questions and uncertainties

May was a good month for hubby in car sales. Will June be? Will July? I don't know. It's hard to plan a budget for income that fluctuates so wildly. Tim understands this, and has been keeping an eye out and applying at a few other places. There's one job that he's going to pursue that would be something completely different than he's ever done before. I don't want to post a whole lot about it here and get my hopes up, but if he gets this job, he'll have more time with me and Lydia, be closer to home, still be able to go to church, and the income will be steady and regular, so we could likely try to buy a house next spring/early summer. The hiring process for this job goes for about 2 months, with several steps to go through, so I'm just hoping and praying that he's able to make it through all the steps. Or if not, that something else will show up for us. I don't want to go back to work, but if we have any more skinny months like February and March were, I may have to get something part-time to help out. But how can I be a keeper at home when I'm not AT home, ya know?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

win a free ergo baby carrier

I want to spread the babywearing love, so here's a contest you can enter to win a free Ergo baby carrier from Along For The Ride. I think babywearing is great for babies and toddlers of all ages, and can't wait to start wearing a newborn again if hubby and I are blessed with another baby sometime.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

therapy is moving right along

Update 5/7/08: We had Lydia's third therapy session today. It wasn't all just singing and games today... we worked on lots of cognitive stuff, too. M (therapist) brought over the DAYC (that was the original tool they used to see where she was at, developmentally) today to see if Lydia has gained any new skills that she could mark on that. M asked us if she gets upset when we leave her, or if she prefers one of us, but she's never done either of those.

Lydia can point to several of her body parts, although she needs to be in the right mood. M wants us to work on throwing with her. (!!!) Good thing we have a small stash of soft balls, lol. M also wants us to work on having Lydia actually say what she wants, instead of just pointing and hollering, lol. Like if she's thirsty, keep the cup just out of reach and encourage her to say "cup." (Lydia CAN say cup, but it comes out "Guh!" lol) Today we also worked on having her do stuff with our help (like squeezing one particular bear's tummy to make it sing the ABCs), and then when she couldn't do the same thing by herself, to give the toy to us to have us do it. She gave her bears stuff to pretend eat and drink. And then this afternoon just now, Lydia had a pretend egg, and I pretended to eat it... then she pretended to eat it. That was a first b/c usually she wants everyone else to eat it. :p We also tried to get her to drink from an open cup, but she mostly just lets it dribble down her shirt. M wants us to work on that some more too.

Updates from 5/8/08: (I posted this exchange on a public message board, asking for help for if I'm doing it right. The replies (in the colored boxes) are from someone who has been on both sides, both as a therapist and as a parent w/ a child who is in therapy. I have posted her replied with her permission.)

Well Lydia and I are both frustrated. See, she knows what to expect when I say yogurt, or cheerios, or cup. If I say cup, she even looks around and tries to find it, and she'll get it and take a drink or give it to me or just hold it or something. But now that I'm trying to encourage words with her by keeping things out of her immediate reach, it's frustrating us both.

Like the cup, for instance. I can tell she's getting thirsty, and I'll get her cup and hold it so she can see it but not touch it. I'll ask her if she wants her cup, cup, cup, cup, cup? She reaches for it and hollers instead of trying to say cup. Same thing with the yogurt this morning. I fixed up her yogurt and tried to get her to say either bite or yogurt, and she wouldn't. She just looked at the spoon and bowl and hollered and cried. I can just see her thought process... "Mom, I KNOW that's yogurt, and I KNOW that's my cup! Why aren't you giving it to me? You don't have to tell me what it is, just feed me/let me have a drink!" I don't know if she's maybe just not used to the "change" yet. But I'm so sad for her.

I "give in" and let her have the cup or food or whatever after only a minute or so, but I don't know if there's something better or something else I should be doing to try to encourage her to verbalize what she wants. She hasn't had to ask for anything her whole life b/c I've always been right there to anticipate her needs, and now that I WANT her to try to learn how to ask for something, at the same time, I don't want to teach her that "enough hollering and Mom will give in anyway" ya know? But on the other hand, if I just sit and wait for her to say words... we'll be sitting and waiting a year from now, I'm sure. lol.

Awww mama, don't be discouraged. This is very normal. Most parents have a hard time with-holding things from their child. I worked in EI doing the therapy and knew exactly what I needed to do to help my son's speech delay and STILL had trouble doing it. I will tell you what I had to tell myself, hubby, and many other parents along the way. You need to do what's best for her even though it will sometimes be frustrating, hard, and sometimes heartbreaking for both of you. We had really good luck with my son using signs. Maybe you could ask M how she thinks that would work for Lydia..... It helped my son learn he had to do something to get something and he was using words in no time. I have seen it work for many many children. Please PM me if you need someone to talk to or ask questions about all this EI stuff. I know it can be tough bc I have been there as a mommy and a therapist!

My reply to her:

That's the thing though... I'm having trouble deciding what the "best thing" is for her... is it for her needs being met and her knowing that I'll take care of her, or is it that she NEEDS to learn to talk? Should I be withholding for longer than a minute? I don't want to hurt her or make her not trust me. I mean, I NEED to feed/water her so obviously I can't withhold stuff for days at a time until she finally says something.

I'll start trying signs again. She did them here and there a few months ago, but stopped when I stopped. She seemed to know what they meant (although she mostly just signed "more" for everything... like I'd lay her down for a diaper change and she'd be laying there signing "more" lol). I want to do something proactive that's not going to end up causing us both to cry several times a day.

I understand the dilemma mama! I do really. When I was going through it I decided it was best to stick it out and with-hold until an attempt was made. I don't think some crying is going to make her not trust you. The way I did it and suggested to other parents to do it to try to get her to repeat the word. ANY ATTEMPT calls for rewarding her with what she is wanting. At this age the words often aren't going to be clear. Articulation normally isn't something to worry about until 3. I would definitely go for longer than a minute. She will learn the point you will give in and push you to that point. What I did was try to get my son to say it and if he didn't even attempt after a few tries then I would put it up and try again after a few minutes. I also always suggested to parents to leave things the child really likes in sight but out of reach. They are more likely to attempt to use words for these highly desirable items.
Just remember that it is going to be hard. I am not going to lie about that. After she gets used to having to verbally communicate to get something, it will be easier. She has to learn that to move forward though.
Children often have to have to do things that are upsetting b/c it is best for them. I can't imagine how hard it is for parents to watch their children get PT or feeding therapy which can be really invasive but must be done bc it is best for them. I have seen mommies cry right along with the child through feeding clinics. They had just made the decision that it was best for their child to get the therapy they need.
Just remember that if you stick it out, you should see improvement and it will get easier. It is something new to her and she just needs to get use to it. Change is always hard. Let me know how it goes mama!

My reply again:

Hm, I just tried it again. I set her up with some peas and cheese just out of reach, and she first tried to reach them, but when I said peas or cheese, she said cheese (or something like cheese, anyway, lol). She LOVES cheese so I figured if she'd talk for anything, it would be for that. lol. Then I took her cup and set it up, and she hollered and reached for it. I said "cup" while doing the sign for it, and she did the sign and said cup! Then I brought out the cheerios again, though, and she tried to revert to her old ways, but did say it after minimal hollering.

Usually when I talk to her, I'm "asking" her if she wants something, so my sentence has that upward tilt in pitch at the end b/c of the question, and DD has picked up on this b/c all of her "words" sound like questions, lol. And her little voice can get SO high and cute, and sometimes it's hard to tell if she's singing a song or if she's trying to talk. I'll have to take a video after a while and share it.


Ok here's a couple of videos. First one is just her having fun, where you can hear how high her voice gets.

Second one is where I'm trying to get her to talk. You can see her sign "more" and "eat" in the video, and just after I turned off the camera, she signed "all done." She had only had 3 bites, but I went ahead and removed the sandwich from her sight, and she just went off to play. (If I had removed it and she really still wanted some more rather than being all done, she would have hollered, lol).

Wow, that is really good! If you keep doing things the way you are, you will see improvement. Seems like there already is some improvement! IMO, progress is already being made! Keep up the good work!
And BTW, I love reading your postings about this! Since I staying home now, I miss it. You and Lydia seem so great to work with. Y'all are one of the families we would have fought over. Everyone always wants the good families. Lol.

So that's the latest update on that from me.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

more miscellaneous updates

DH's dad may have first-stage kidney disease. I can't remember if he's still in the hospital or if they let him go home, but he's going to have more tests run on Monday. He went in for chest pains, which is the second time in the past few years that he's done this. Last time it ended up being his esophagus. I'm glad it's not his heart, but he needs his kidneys, too. I hope it's something treatable, and more, I hope that he actually makes the necessary lifestyle changes that they tell him to (he hasn't really done that in the past).

DH got Lydia to say "cheese" the other day (with some actual cheese, not like "say cheese" for taking a picture or something, lol), so that now brings her total word count up to.... 2. Ok maybe 4-5 since she does say "daddy" and "nap" and "cup" occasionally too. But cheese is still brand new so it's just in imitation. Diaper, though, she easily uses spontaneously and appropriately. Like usually I'll do diaper laundry while she's taking a nap, and I'll stack them up just outside her bedroom door. When she wakes up, if I open the door but then jump away before she can see me, she'll see all the diapers on the floor and be like "diaper? diaper? diaper?" lol. She can now point to her nose, tummy/belly, teeth and hair. We're still working on eyes, ears and mouth. Oh and the other day, every time the phone rang, she would walk into the kitchen and look up to where the phone was. (We have a phone in the living room too, that actually has the louder ringtone, but only the kitchen one has the caller ID on it, lol). And if I say "kiss" then she'll start making kissy noises. And she's finally working on her 7th tooth... and her 8th, 9th, and I think 10th as well (two molars and the other one/two lower incisors). Poor little girl, no wonder she's been so frustrated lately.

Her therapy's going well. She gets SO excited when M comes over. It was funny this week, b/c Lydia was so excited for a good 10 minutes that I couldn't show M all the stuff she'd learned how to do since last time. I'd ask her to do something, and she'd just grin and giggle and run away. M brought over a flyer w/ a playgroup that's on Monday mornings. It happens to fit into my tight schedule, so I may go check it out.

DH's work continues to go better. April was still a little scary b/c he "lost" a few deals from earlier in the month, and the few others that he sold on the 15th (the last day of the pay period) didn't get booked until the next day, so he didn't get a check at all on the 23rd. But he's sold 6 cars for May already (they call it a "locate" where the customer wants a particular vehicle that's at either a different dealership, or it's something that's not in stock anywhere yet). So that's good news. He's still keeping his eye out for something else... but for now I feel like I can breathe again. I actually slept w/o worry last night for the first time in a long time. Oh and due to a subtraction error, when balancing my checkbook yesterday, I found an "extra" $30, so that's always nice.

Plus my tiny business is "thinking" of picking up, too. I'm getting a few inquiries here and there, which is the first step to sales. But I'm not having a lot of time to devote to it right now what with all my other duties and activities going on. I'm going to try really hard to take a "break" from online this weekend and get caught up on my to-do list. I won't be able to stay entirely off, but hopefully I can limit it and actually get some stuff done. Plus DH will be happy if I'm at least off the computer while he's home.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

random updates and a talking video

First update: Lydia's thumb. It's on the mend now. She's on the last few doses of her third antibiotic, and her thumb is finally looking like a thumb again. To keep her from sucking her thumb, I sewed a big sock into one of her short sleeve shirts, and she wears that at naptime and bedtime now. I can tell that sucking her thumb is just a habit w/ her and she doesn't "need" to suck it, b/c she doesn't try to suck it through the sock or act upset at all. If anything, she goes to sleep EASIER w/o her thumb. Weird little girl.

Second update: Tim's job. He's still at the car dealership, and we were blessed with 5 car deals last week, two of them just in time for tomorrow's payday, so we may be able to pay May rent after all. He is starting to feel like he likes the job again, like he did back when he first started, and not just b/c of the sales either. He's still keeping his eye out for something else, but for now it is suiting our needs again.

Lydia update: She starts her ECI therapy tomorrow morning, and we'll have it weekly. I'm looking forward to it. I've been trying to work with her, using the tips they gave me after the evaluation, but I don't know what to look for to tell if she's "getting it" or not. I did get her a small magnetic drawing thing, and she took the pen and just tapped on the pad with it. It made marks, but I don't think she was trying to make marks b/c of the way she was tapping it. She was just tapping to make noise. lol.

She's getting a lot faster at walking now, and hard to catch if she tries to get away. She's still not running, though, so she's easy to catch that way. She says diaper and daddy, but I can't really recognize anything else. I think she tries to say yogurt and Cheerios, but it could still be just noise at this point. Here's a video of her saying diaper, though.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

eci evaluation today

The OT and the ST just left. During the evaluation, they kept going on and on about how cute Lydia is. I was originally concerned about speech, and she measured 13 months receptive and 14 months expressive on that... and those were her HIGHEST scores out of all the areas. I can't remember her score for the other areas, but it ranged from 7 to 12 months for cognition, social/emotional, physical and adaptive behavior. Lydia doesn't scribble w/ a writing instrument, and that's one of the things that held her back. Another is that she doesn't refuse certain foods (she eats everything, even things that _I_ don't like, lol). She was also held back b/c she doesn't prefer me over other people (i.e. no separation or stranger anxiety). One more is that if one of her toys is turned off (i.e. it won't make noise but usually does), she doesn't care and will just play with it as usual instead of bringing it to me to turn it on.) So because of the way the tool is designed, she may have been able to do some of the tasks further down the line, but b/c of too many zero scores in a row, they have to stop right there. But the OT said that even though Lydia qualifies for services, she can tell that L is smart. And she and the ST heard a ton of words that L was imitating, that I had no idea.

They said that Lydia is the type of child who people would fight each other to be able to come out and do therapy with. :giggle: Lydia kept making them laugh and then laughing herself and she was just her usual charming self. But she did qualify for services and so I went ahead and enrolled her. We're going to do once/week w/ the ST.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

more job woes and thumb woes and some happy pictures

This last weekend, a bunch of DH's family were in town, then all this week at church we've had services nightly, and it's been great and uplifting, but tiring keeping poor Lydia out past her bedtime nearly every night. :p Tonight's the last night though. I'm a little sad b/c the guest is such a great speaker and really makes his applications clear, but it'll be nice to get back to a normal routine.

Hubby is now looking for a new job. He's sold one car so far this month, and after insurance is taken out, his next check will be about $0 if he doesn't sell another car between now and the 15th. In addition, if he doesn't sell 10 cars for the whole month (or if anyone doesn't sell 10 cars for that matter), they told everyone that it would be grounds for termination. A few people from church have given him some leads, but nothing is a guaranteed job for him or anything. My store's just limping along and not helping us eat, either. Blasted media saying we're in a recession when we're not.

Lydia news... I think she can say diaper sometimes. lol. It comes out "bah-pwaw" more often than not, but it's a start. Her ECI eval is in just a few more days (Tuesday morning). The latest news with her is her thumb. On Sunday, I think she had been sucking it on the way to church, and we go over a few RR tracks, and one of them must have bumped hard enough to make her bite her thumb and break the skin a little. But I never saw any blood or anything. When we got her out of the car at the church building, her thumb looked like it had a hickey on it. Well by Sunday night, it had swollen up considerably. I took her in on Monday morning and her dr gave me a perscription for some antibiotics and just had me watch the thumb at first and not rush out and fill it. The next day, it wasn't any better, so I went and filled it. It was a 5-day course. Thursday morning, halfway through the course, her thumb was looking even worse, so I called her dr. They called in a stronger antibiotic and want to see her on Monday if it's not showing improvement. It's still hard to tell at this point if it's improving at all yet.

Here's a few recent pictures of her:

Happily walking and pointing, with big purple puffs in her hair:

Sleeping w/ her bootie in the air:

Poor sweetie... look how she got her leg stuck THIS time!

Is this wide enough, mama?

And this is how she smiles most of the time now:

Thursday, April 3, 2008

15 month, ok 16 month stats

We had Lydia's 15-month WBV today, even though she'll be 16 months on Saturday. It went well. She was a hit with all of the staff. They'd talk about how cute she is, and she'd just grin and giggle. She has been walking (FINALLY!!!) for about 2 weeks now, and already walks about 95% of the time, so she got to walk in the exam room for the doctor.

Anyway as for her stats. Weight = 16 lbs 15 oz, length = 28.5 inches, head circ = 17.75 inches. Still itty bitty, but between last visit and this visit, she actually was parallel to the curve instead of growing further away from it. :D

Monday, March 24, 2008

she threw away some trash

I am so excited. You just don't understand how excited I am. :)

You may remember from my Big Organization pictures a while back that our bedroom has an extra sink, by the closet. It's about 10 feet away from the main bedroom door. I have a little trash can there. Lydia frequently likes to look in there and get stuff out of it. I stop her and tell her that it's trash and yucky and don't touch, etc. Here's a picture where you can kind of see the setup. You can see the light switch on the right, the main bedroom door is right next to that. The sink and trash can in question are in the background of the picture.

So yesterday, I'm getting ready at that sink for church in the morning, and Lydia is right there. She picks up a little piece of paper, and throws it into the trash. I said "Oh did you throw away the trash for me?" and went on.

About 5 minutes later, she's crawling around, and she gets to the bedroom door, and finds another piece of paper. I had also gone over to the bedroom door too, to make sure she didn't get into anything dangerous. She holds the paper up for me to see, and I say "Oh did you find another piece of trash? Can you throw it away like you did before with the other one?" That's all I said. I may have glanced in the direction of the trash can, but I sure didn't actively point at it or show it to her or anything. Then she brings it back down to her level, looks at it for half a second, and then she crawls RIGHT OVER to the trash can and throws it away! I was so excited. Hubby was in the shower and heard me squealing. LOL

Anyway I didn't know if this was normal/late/good/bad whatever, but it was exciting anyway. :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

she finally has independent steps

Today, Lydia finally started taking a series of independent steps. (Prior to today, she'd take about half a step before going back down to a crawl.) Also this morning, she figured out how to get to a stand just from the floor, w/o pulling up on anything. :) Here's a video of some steps. Look (and listen) to how proud of herself she is at the end.

Edited 3/17: here's a video taken today, during the daytime. (So you don't have to peer through the darkness to see it, lol.

Monday, March 10, 2008

so sad that it was just a dream

I've just woken up from dreaming. This dream felt SO real. I mean, I was IN the dream and things were happening and it was strange, but I totally felt like it was real. I've only been awake for about 5 minutes but even now, the dream is already fading from memory, so I'm going to try to type it out while I can.

I was in a school where my high school senior year English teacher was teaching a class. It felt like high school, in as much as we ran on a bell schedule and whatnot. I remember that the bells didn't work one day and I was late to this English class. She was just finishing up giving us an assignment on having us write a timeline of what happened in our lives when we were preschool age. I planned on calling Mom and having her look through my baby book to help me with those early memories.

Then the dream sort of switched scenes and I was on a college campus. I don't even know what classes I was taking. I lived on the third floor of a VERY co-ed dorm (you'll see just HOW co-ed in a minute... and I should have known it was a dream at that point, lol), and the stairs to get up to the third floor were more like a twisted ladder. I went up and down the stairs throughout the day, packing up to go home. My car was parked far away, but there was a closer spot. I got in my car and turned it on, and was going to use an assigned parking spot to do a quick u-turn. Well wouldn't you know it, the owner of that spot drove up right then in her big van, just as I was about to pull into it. She started to get mad, but I popped out and gestured that I was just going to use it as a u-turn and she was fine with that.

So then I get back to the dorm and I see a line of students in the teacher program lined up, doing some sort of teamwork activities outside. I thought I recognized one of the women there as someone I went to high school with, but didn't think much of it at the time. On my next trip down, I paused by all of them as the instructor was dividing them up into groups. She called the name "Amanda Allens." I recognized it as the name of the person I thought she was, though she'd gotten married. I dropped my next load off into my car, then went back upstairs to brush my teeth b/c I didn't want to talk to her w/ a bunch of bad breath. The bathroom was TINY, (think of the second bathroom in a 2/2 800 sq foot apartment) and I was brushing my teeth, and a guy was in there too, just talking to me. (See how co-ed it was? lol) So I finished brushing my teeth and then took another load down to my car.

On the way back to the gathering and snuck up behind her. "Amanda!" I whispered. Whens he turned to look at me, I asked her if she graduated from such and such high school in such and such a year. She said yes, a little suspiciously. Then I said who I was, and the light of recognition dawned. She got excited and I said I was going to be here for a little while, and asked her to call me after she got done w/ her activities. I went back upstairs to write down my phone number b/c I didn't have any paper with me (and strangely, neither did anyone else). The instructor of the group met me on the way back down and took the phone number to me, and asked me if I'd mention to the dean if they couldn't find somewhere more private in the future for the new-teacher workshop, b/c my actions had caused a bunch of disruptions. Everyone was asking Amanda who I was, etc. I said I would.

I knew the workshop was going to last a little while longer, and I was packed by now, so I thought I'd pass some time in the restaurant that was also on the third floor. It was full of predominantly guys. And apparently in my dream, I was very desirable. lol. Everyone was making crude suggestions to them, and I was making some very ego-deflating comments back to them. One of them was even wearing just a shirt and boxer shorts out in public, and I recognized the boxer shorts as being some of the same ones that hubby has. lol.

Finally I decided to go back to my room and wait for Amanda's call. I was so excited to talk to her, and tell her that I was a mom now and find out if she was one too. But the call never came. I woke up while I was waiting for it. :( This was one dream where I was actually a little sad to wake up and find out it was a dream.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Who does Lydia look like?

MyHeritage: Look-alike Meter - Roots - Family search

Well here it is w/ "grownup" pictures, and it says that Lydia looks like us both equally.

I guess, really, that's what it should be. I mean, both he and I put equal parts into her, right? So it makes sense that she would be an even mix of us instead of an exact copy of one or the other. :)

Who does Lydia look like?

MyHeritage: Family tree - Genealogy - Celeb - Collage - Morph

WOW! I'm surprised at this. From birth, everyone's been saying that Lydia looks like her dad. When I used "adult" pictures, it says that she looks like us both equally. So I used baby pictures in this one and the one below, and it says she looks like me? I'm confused! I still don't think she looks like me yet, but computers tell the truth, right? :P

Lydia Mom and Dad

MyHeritage: Family trees - Genealogy - Celebrities - Collage - Morph

a sign and a dance

Lydia FINALLY has her first signed word. :D She started it in the past couple of days or so. It's "more." :D She doesn't do it exactly right, but it's easy to tell what it is. I'm very excited about this because I have signed with her for MONTHS and she's done nothing back to me. I thought she never would. You can see her sign in the first 4-5 seconds of this first video. The rest of it is showing how she likes to dance. :D

And then here's a little more dancing too (and eating some peas, lol). She actually lets go of the furniture in this one, which is what she usually does.

Monday, March 3, 2008

one "step" at a time

Lydia is getting stronger in her legs and torso. She'll pull up to her toybox and then grab a toy, then let go with her other hand to investigate the toy with both hands. Or she'll be pulled up to the ottoman or couch and she'll let go with both hands to randomly clap and grin.

Prior to yesterday, though, she had to "get" to a standing position. I couldn't just set her down in a standing position and have her stay there. But she had been bouncing and twisting while not holding on to anything, so yesterday I thought I'd try again to set her down in a stand... and she stood! She kept "squatting" like she was going to sit down but then she'd get back up again.

And she even tried to take a step. But only with her left foot, and only ONE step. After that first step, her feet would be so far apart that she didn't know what to do from there, so she'd sit down and crawl. Later in the evening after we got home from church, we tried to encourage her to walk again, and she took about a step and a half before falling. I'm pretty sure she'll be walking sometime this month (finally!).

Then once she's mastered that skill, hopefully she can concentrate on learning to talk, because we STILL don't have any words here, and she'll be 15 months on Wednesday.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

more busy, and some somewhat good news

First, the somewhat good news. As a bit of background: earlier this month, hubby received his paperwork to sign up for health insurance. But the company had had a delay in getting the paperwork to the newly-eligible employees, and he only had 36 hours to turn it in before the deadline. We decided not to go w/ the company insurance, and instead look into getting some private insurance. Well, we didn't start the "looking-into" process until after the deadline, and were sad to find out that maternity coverage would be either nonexistent or would be as much as we were paying for COBRA anyway. I had hubby bring home a benefits book b/c we couldn't tell from the enrollment paperwork if maternity was covered under their plan or not. Well, it is, but the next open enrollment isn't until January (effective that same month also). But, at least we knew so we could try to plan.

Then today, hubby calls me and it turns out that he CAN still go ahead and sign up for insurance after all! I still had the other copy of the form at home so we went over it together and signed up. :) Now we just have to wait on our cards, and hopefully Lydia's doctor is covered. I couldn't find the name of the insurance company or a way to check the provider directory in any of the paperwork. It'll all work out though, I'm sure.

My to-do list from a few weeks ago has changed. I've finished some things, and decided not to do others, and added a few different things. I still have my store open over on Hyena Cart, and have also joined a congo, which is a group of stores all under one "roof." Everyone in it is going to have new, in-stock items at once (the first and third Wednesdays). So part of my recent accomplishments have to do with that new congo that I'm a part of now.

Recent accomplishments:
- finished crocheting the play food for the congo's grand opening day
- finished crocheting the FFS (free for shipping) items for the congo's pre-opening sale
- took pictures of the above items and got the listings ready to list

New to-do list for March:
- do some transcription if work is available (2/28 only)
- work on Lydia's skirty as time allows (I've figured out a way to make a pleated crocheted skirt and am going to make a wool diaper cover using that method)
- finish pants for one of the April outfits for sale
- use the pinking shears on the completed outfits
- finish all four pillowcase dresses
- try out the new rolled hem foot on a curved edge (I'm waiting on this in the mail)
- make melon redondo dress
- crochet play food for the 3/19 in-stock date
- re-do state and federal taxes (I've received both refunds, but got one more form in the mail after I sent it off, so I have to send in a revised return for both of these entities)
- crochet the food for the first April in-stock date
- make Lydia's 15 month well-baby appointment

Friday, February 22, 2008

bobbing for.... sippy cups?

The way she's trying to get her sippy cup reminds me of bobbing for apples.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

releasing some woes

Just felt a need to unload a few woes here so I can stop dwelling on them. I know that God will take care of us and He knows what's going to happen in the future (b/c He's already IN the future, like I saw on a local church sign the other day), but it's human nature to worry a little. Or a lot sometimes. Typing it out (in addition to prayer, etc.) sometimes helps me to release it.

Woe 1: Our COBRA will end at the end of this month. Hubby's work only gave him about a day to review the benefits sign-up paperwork, and he decided not to do it and that we could just get private insurance for cheaper. Which we can, but it won't have maternity coverage. That's not going to be a huge deal since we're planning a homebirth for future babies, but on the off chance that we have to go to the hospital, then nothing will be covered. His open enrollment isn't until January, and will be effective that same month, so we have a whole year to wait for that.

Woe 2: I'm getting nervous about hubby's job. It seemed like such a blessing at first, but he keeps telling me that people get let go if they don't make their sales goals for 3 months in a row. And not just if you're still new, either, but anyone. And it doesn't matter if you're doing all that you can to try to sell a car. Hubby makes appointments over the phone w/ people, but then they reschedule and/or don't come in at all. After that, he still makes the appropriate follow up calls to try to reschedule again but usually these leads just fizzle out.

Woe 3: Also related to hubby's work... our income for the next couple of paychecks is looking to be VERY thin. Tomorrow is the last day of a pay period, and so far hubby has sold ONE car. The customers just haven't been coming in at all. I'm hoping that he can squeeze out 2 tomorrow, but if tomorrow is like the days up there have been, then there will be no sales tomorrow either.

Woe 4: My business is just squeaking along. I have tentative plans for a bazaar at the end of April, but I'm working on lining up help for that and getting an inventory started. As for regular sales, my mother-in-law has been my only sale this month. She is going to take them up to her work, though, and try to market me there, so maybe I'll be able to get some sales that way. And I am going to be in an Easter basket collaboration with a few other work at home moms, and then in a "conglomoration" of stores in April (trying to sell something that I've never made for sale before... should be interesting). And my samples box is going on sale tomorrow, so they should bring me some business too. So this woe isn't as woeful as it could be.

Woe 5: Lydia's still taking her own sweet time with development. She still has a whopping zero words. She doesn't even have any "nonsense" words that she uses over and over again to mean the same thing. She will finally stand on her own for longer than 3 seconds, but I can't put her in that position and she still prefers to be down closer to the ground. She will walk along with us, but only if she has a death grip on us with BOTH her hands (i.e. she won't walk by holding onto just one hand). BUT she is VERY happy most of the time and healthy and just a joy to be around. So this woe doesn't really "count" either.

As for those first few woes, though, I really want to release them from my constant thoughts. I know everything will be OK... I just don't know HOW.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

busy busy busy

Wow, I am busy. I have a big list of craft items with deadlines coming up before I really want them to, and that's of course apart from my regular household obligations.

Since I'm still in the first year of my store, a lot of what I'm doing is marketing-related. I need to get my name out there and get some word of mouth referrals started. But meanwhile I also have a few non-store crafts, the first of which is a set of Valentine's washcloths. At church, there is a whole pew of widows, and some of us are getting together to make them some Valentine's gift bags. I'm making a dozen washcloths. They are my first attempt at tunisian crochet, and I'm making a heart design right into the stitch pattern. I am finished with the tunisian part on all 12 of them, and now will just have to border them. I should be able to finish these by tomorrow night and give them back to the girl who's assembling the baskets.

Then next on the list is a green scrubby w/ a rainbow border for my mom. I made her a Scrubcloth over the holidays, and she wanted a scrubby by itself as well. I made her a purple one already but during a recent phone conversation, she said that she wanted two. So this green one will be her second one. I haven't mailed the first one yet b/c I'm also still waiting on something to send to my dad. There's no real "due" date on this one, but it'll just take half an hour so I'm going to squeeze it in as time allows.

After that, I am going to make some Easter-themed play food. The site that my store is hosted at has a TON of stores, and several vendors are getting together to make a couple of gender-neutral, one-size-fits-all Easter baskets to auction off. I'm very excited about this project. The due date is March 1, when I will need to send the items off to the person who will assemble the basket.

Also for Easter, for my own store, I want to stock several little beaded headbands. I may just skip that whole project, though, depending on if time allows. But the due date on that one, if I do it, is also March 1.

Last month, I made 60 miniature Scrubcloths to be sent out in a box of samples. Several vendors get together and send their samples to a central person who assembles them into boxes filled w/ random samples, and these sample boxes get purchased. The boxes that I'll be a part of will go on sale the middle of this month. I'm going to try to participate in this box again in April, so a due date to get 60 more samples done is March 15 or so, so I have enough time to mail them off. This is another one for as-time-allows.

I've also been planning on March to be when I introduce tie-dyed diapers into my store, so I need to snatch two days in a row to do the dyeing (one for dyeing and one for washing the excess dye away). I have March 15 as a due date on this one also.

Then in April, I am going to be part of a "conglomerate" ("congo" for short) that has a rotating membership. Each week of April I'll be stocking one or two girly clothing items. The due date on making these items is April 1.

Finally, at the end of April, I may be able to participate in a bazaar at the Regional Sweet Adeline's competition. I've been to this bazaar before, but as a shopper. I'm still working out whether I want to participate and exactly HOW I want to participate (like just taking samples to the bazaar and having people order them, or making up an inventory, or a partial inventory and letting people buy those and then ordering other items, etc.)

Phew, what a LIST! It would seem that I have enough time to do all this, but I'm also still in a "peak" transcription month, so that eats up a lot of time that I could be crocheting or crafting. But, since it's all written down with each of their individual deadlines, I should be able to get it all done. :)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

happy in the morning

It's been quite a while since I've uploaded a video, so here's one that I took this morning. More often than not, Lydia wakes up happy in the morning, and I will hear her "talking" to herself.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

walking before standing?

Remember back when I posted about how Lydia learned to crawl before she learned how to sit by herself? Like how she did that out of order? Well, I am thinking that she may similarly walk before she stands. I have witnessed her standing alone, but it's been so brief and unintended and infrequent on her part that I'm not "counting" it. She has been walking along furniture for a while and is getting faster at that. And over the past couple of days, DH has been "teaching" her to walk by holding her hands and walking with her. She can walk like that if we hold both her hands. But as soon as we let go, it's down onto her bottom. Even so, there's small bits of time when we're helping her walk that it feels like she's not really putting a lot of weight on our hands.

Monday, January 14, 2008

a picture of the play food

Yay, my first batch of play food is "cooked" and ready for sale! Definitely go check out my store for more pictures of the individual items, but I wanted to share the picture of all the items I've made so far:

Doesn't it look delicious? I'm very pleased with the way it's all looking so far, and VERY excited about the plans I have for the next few foods that will be coming out. :) (I still have yet to develop those patterns, though... I'll be working on that this week.)

The other two of Lydia's top teeth are breaking the gums, so by the time the weekend is here, all 4 of them should be well on their way to arriving. And she's learned how to wave pretty much on request now. I'll say "hi" and she'll wave at me and jabber. And then sometimes she'll wave just b/c she feels like it. lol. Like today in the store, she was on my back and her arms were pretty contained. At one point, though, she wiggled around and worked one of her arms free and was happily waving "hi" with it for a bit, then she wiggled it back down to where it was supposed to go. All I could do was smile. :)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

i guess she's been teething for months

My poor baby. Today she was quite suddenly in a good mood. That in itself isn't really unusual, but what was unusual was the "degree" of her good mood. She was laughing SO much today, and at the most random things. Like I had her on one arm, and with the other arm I was stacking up cloth diapers. I got to about the third diaper and heard her laugh. Then this morning she was VERY gleefully banging together two of her balls and laughing at how they made a click when they connected.

But just now, I was changing her diaper, and thought I'd give her mouth a peek. Her poor gums have been looking "toothy" lately, and seem to have been looking like that for a long time, so I wasn't sure if she was really teething or not. But today, I can see the telltale little "hole" in her gums, and can feel the teeth starting to poke through. I think she is going to get all 4 of her top middle teeth at once. The teeth that I can feel are one of the middle ones and then the one on the side of her mouth right next to it.

When I went home for the holidays, my sister kept teasing me and saying that my baby was "broken" because she didn't laugh like her baby did. (Lydia's cousin is 6 months older than she is.) Lydia was in a good mood for the whole trip and played and was happy and would smile, but she would rarely laugh. I kept telling everyone that even at home she would hardly laugh even for me. But today, she laughed several times.

I think the teeth are to blame. She must have been hurting. Not enough to make her overly fussy, but just enough chronic soreness to make her not all that happy about the situation. This would definitely explain her lack of laughter. I knew that she COULD laugh since I'd witnessed it many months ago, and even in her soreness there were a few little things that would sometimes get her to give a little giggle. But I imagine that I wouldn't really want to laugh all that much either if my mouth hurt all the time. I hope those other two teeth pop though soon. I really love this "new" giggly girl I have now.