Wednesday, August 29, 2007

cute factor

It has been a while since I posted anything at all, so instead of catching you up on our goings-on, I just need to catch you up on all the cute moments you've missed...(don't you just love this cute giraffe chair? Jarrad's friend William gave it to us, since his youngest is now 5!!)

cute moment

Rachel has started using the word "no" appropriately, that is, to answer yes/no questions. "Rachel, can I have a kiss?" "no." "Rachel, it's time to go night night." "no." She even baits us to ask this next one. She's say "GOOgoo, GOOgoo, GOOgoo," (which means potty, in case you didn't know by now), even if she's just gone, and I'll finally say "Rachel, do you need to go potty?" "no." She says "no" before I've hardly even finished asking. So silly.

I've been letting Rachel self-feed a lot lately, and she has some interesting ideas, like putting Cheerios in applesauce and then eating it all with her fingers, while she holds her spoon in the other hand. In the picture, she has her milk cup in her bowl, and is picking it all up for a drink.

On Sunday, Rachel got into Jarrad's computer bag, and when he saw her, he said, sternly, "Rachel..." She responded by looking up, grinning, and said, "Daaaddy," and then made kissy faces at him and waved sweetly. It was hard not to laugh at that one.

She also likes getting into our bathroom cabinet and taking out bottles and lining them up. The other day, she took several out and set them up on the floor. Then she transferred them all to the bedroom, setting them up carefully. When Jarrad and I ended up chatting in the living room, she carried each bottle out, one by one, and set them up in the walkway. She then sat among them, moving them from her right to her left, very focused on setting them up each time. She also found some of my old hair ties, and she likes to put them around her upper arm. I think she looks like a little tribal baby when she's wearing just her diaper and armband.

Sometimes I let Rachel take toys with her when she goes potty. If we have a stuffed animal or doll, she makes it clap its hands when she goes.

There are some things around the house that I've told her are "no-touch" because they are Mommy's. She now will point to those things and say, "Mama." For example, I might be drinking soda out of a glass at mealtime, and she used to ask to have some, but now, she just points and says, "Mama."

Rachel has always loved bags--putting them around her arm, saying "byebye," and carrying them around the room. She got my brown bag that has a really long strap and dragged it around the whole downstairs, grinning sheepishly the whole way.

Rachel is really into throwing things away. She loves pulling the trash can cabinet in the kitchen open, putting in her "trash," and closing it again. She also likes the little trash can in our master bathroom, so, when we're playing in the master bedroom, she often wants to take little bits of whatever into the bathroom (which is usually kept closed) just to throw them away. If she sees me pick up anything out of the carpet, she immediately points right to the bathroom door, and then goes over to it and points in, saying "kuh, kuh, kuh" with every point. She doesn't stop until I take the trash in and throw it away. She's so bossy!

And speaking of bossy, she now readily demands that Jarrad or I vacate whatever seat we have so that she can freely sit there. It is amazing how directive she can be without much vocabulary!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

one nap

Today was another day. Rachel slept until 7:15am, so I knew not to expect a morning nap. She did get really sleepy and cranky, though, so I put a few of her stuffed animals and three books in her crib and let her have some "quiet time" for about 40 minutes around 9:30am. She seemed to appreciate that, and was in a fairly good mood the rest of the morning. I tried to feed her an early lunch, but she wasn't terribly interested after her two-egg breakfast this morning. She ate slowly, but I still was able to put her down for a nap at 12:45pm. She had no trouble going to sleep, but woke up at 2:10pm. She played well all afternoon, though, and only showed signs of fatigue every now and then. I do wish she would take a longer nap, even if it is just one...

cute moment

We went to GiGi and Pop's church tonight, and, although Rachel was tired, she lit up for the adoring crowd. She cried when I dropped her off in childcare, but she apparently got over it. When I came back to get her, she and one of the ladies were walking down the hall, Rachel in her prissy floral-print pink, green, and yellow dress, paci dangling, dragging Monkey on the floor behind her. She was peeking in every room, and the lady was telling her, "Oh, it's dark in there." Finally, Rachel looked up and saw me, and she sprinted in my direction, only to fall over her own feet. She scrambled up, still grinning, and held up her arms to be held. So sweet.

non-toy toy of the day

GiGi brought me a birthday gift when she came over the other day, and Rachel has been playing with the tissue paper ever since. She likes to walk on it and hear it crinkle, ball it up in her hand, and stuff it in one of her purses or shopping bags.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

one nap, two naps, three naps, four

The weekend was fun, with lots of visitors. Saturday morning brought MiMi and Poppy, Uncle Travis, Aunt KiKi, and Cousin Tyler. My mom baked her specialty: Chocolate Pound Cake, and I got to keep half because it was MY birthday last week. Rachel skipped her morning nap, although she did have some quiet time in her crib before our company arrived. After her 1.5-hour afternoon nap, Jarrad and I took Rachel strolling at the mall, where we ate an early dinner (Rachel ate a peanut butter sandwich and a banana) before tucking her in bed.

Sunday is always a one-nap day, but Rachel did well. We all went separate directions in the afternoon: Jarrad helped a friend with some house work, I had my first soccer game (100 degrees is too hot for soccer), and our friend Stacie graciously came over to hang out with Rachel. Rachel's nap was only 1.5 hours (again), but she didn't seem to mind that Mommy and Daddy weren't home. Our Community Group came over Sunday night, and Jarrad served $0.45 tacos from Taco Bell.

About every other day, Rachel has nap troubles. She sleeps until 7:00 or 7:30am and, although she may seem tired and sleepy, she has a really hard time taking her morning nap. I've been letting her skip it, but, consistently, it results in a too-short afternoon nap, and, consequently, a really cranky baby. She slept until 7:00am today, and was acting sleepy by 8:15am. I decided not to even try putting her down for a nap until 9:30am (she's usually down at 9:00am), and, by then, she seemed really ready. She settled on my lap for our book, and she got really still and quiet. But once she was in her crib, she rolled around and finally pooped in her diaper before going to sleep around 10:15am (of course, I cleaned her up first). She woke up at 11:30am, just in time for GiGi's visit. At 2:00pm, GiGi left, and Rachel, who had been going full speed ahead showing off for GiGi, and I headed upstairs to settle down for nap. Surely she will sleep well...but, as it turned out, she never slept at all. So I got her up, and we went to Koen's house for a visit. Being in a different setting was enough distraction to keep her happy, and Carla was kind enough to even feed us dinner! Rachel ate chicken and veggies (something she does not usually love), cheese, and mandarin oranges (a Rachel favorite). She had nooooo problems going to sleep tonight.

Progress Report

I think we're ready to cut the progress reports. Rachel is doing GREAT on the potty, now, and I feel fully confident leaving her in a coverless diaper all day (except when she sleeps). She still has one or two "accidents" almost daily, but they're always small. Exciting!

cute moment

Rachel stays so busy all day. One of her favorite pastimes is to drag around a bag (preferably a gift bag or shopping bag), putting things in and taking them out. Another favorite hobby is sitting on things, and, most recently, climbing. A few days ago, she successfully into our shortest living room chair, and she was so proud. Today, it occurred to her that she might be able to climb onto the coffee table, something she's never before attempted. She hoisted herself up in no time, and stood up, with a conquering grin. I took a few pictures before forbidding her to climb on the coffee table, and she quickly moved on. When Jarrad got home later in the afternoon, Rachel stopped her play to run and greet him at the door. As soon as he came in, she turned back, ran straight to the coffee table, and climbed up. What a show off!

non-toy toy of the day

I was on the phone for a moment yesterday when Rachel found the Q-tips in the bathroom drawer. She made it out with about 8 held tightly in her little fist. I took them away when she started pulling the cotton off the ends, bit by bit.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

another byte of mac and cheese

Rachel in her latest starring role...

Friday, August 17, 2007

the girl who cried "googoo"

Rachel is 14 months old today! Time flies. 14th month shameless picture count: 288 beautiful photographs of my toddler.

On Wednesday, Rachel took a great morning nap, and I had a few things I needed to pick up at the store, so I made Rachel a peanut butter sandwich and grabbed a banana, and we headed to Target. She had a great time riding in the cart, and, conveniently, we were almost ready to check out when she started getting antsy. I rolled our purchased goods and Rachel over to the little eating area in Target, and she sat there, people watching, eating her lunch. She really seemed to enjoy the distraction, and it was a nice change of scenery for me, too. Right after she went down for her afternoon nap, my friend Theresa dropped off her 8-year-old daughter, Ali, for me to babysit. Ali finished her homework just in time for Rachel to wake up from her nap, in a great mood. They played all afternoon, and Theresa and Ali ended up staying and having dinner with Jarrad, Rachel, and me.

Yesterday was my birthday. In honor my birthday, Rachel slept in until 7:00am! I was excited that the sun was fully up before me, but not as excited when she refused to take a morning nap. We met my friend Shawna for lunch, and Rachel had fun entertaining the waitresses and other guests. She was really tired by the time we got home, but she still had a little trouble taking a nap

Rachel has been sleeping great at night, but her daytime sleep is not as good. About every other day, she doesn't want to take her morning nap, and her afternoon nap usually falls about 1-1.5 hours. One and a half hours of daytime sleep, which is what she got yesterday, is not enough for my child. She was so cranky and clumsy all afternoon, but she cheered up some when Aunt Mamber came over. I tried to put Rachel to bed early, but, as usual these days when I try that, she still didn't actually go to sleep until 8:00pm. She was up at 6:15am today, which guaranteed a morning nap, even sleeping through a really loud thunderstorm. She slept over 2 hours this afternoon while my 18-year-old neighbor, Crystal, came over before she leaves for college in next few days! It's fun to reminisce about leaving for freshman year in college.

Here's a picture of Rachel, just after the first time she successfully climbed into this chair in our living room.

Progress Report

Rachel only wet one diaper on Wednesday, and one yesterday, two today (except that her diaper is wet every morning...I'm not counting that one). She even used the potty in Target Wednesday, and when we were out for lunch yesterday. Exciting!

Rachel is loving how attentive we are being to the potty now. "GOOgoo" (her word for potty) has become quite the effective delay tactic before sleeptimes.

cute moment

Jarrad was home for bedtime, so, once Rachel was bathed and dressed for bed, we decided to read a book together as a family. Jarrad sat in the rocking chair with Rachel in his lap, and I sat down on the floor in front, with the book in my hand. I looked down and realized I had the book turned the wrong way. I laughed, and turned it around, but that made it completely upside-down. Rachel burst into laughter through her paci.

non-toy toy of the day

After our Target trip, Rachel had a few minutes to play before nap, and her game of choice was to push the laundry basket around the room, stopping at different spots to collect various items (mostly shoes). It was like she was shopping!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

where to begin

Rachel has been going full speed ahead for several days now. On Saturday, Jarrad helped our pastor move ALL day, so he was exhausted. Rachel didn't take a morning nap, and only had a one-hour afternoon nap. Sunday, she missed her morning nap as usual, and took a 1.5-hour afternoon nap. After her nap, we went swimming with Aunt Mamber at GiGi and Pop's house, and then Jarrad and I visited our former church in the evening. It was so nice to be back! Rachel and I spent the night at GiGi's house, and Rachel woke up happy and ready to play--at 4:45am!! I thought I had her settled back down enough to sleep some more, until a train came down the tracks right by their neighborhood. The horn scared Rachel, and we were up for the day! We were in the car headed home by about 8:30am, and Rachel quickly fell asleep, and she stayed asleep when I parked the car in our driveway 40 minutes later. Not wanting to wake her, and not caring to get anything else done, I put my seat back and took a nap, too, and we both slept until I heard her say, "mama" at 10:05am. She took a pretty good afternoon nap, and probably would have almost been back on track, but we went to a dinner party last night. Rachel wasn't in bed until 9:00pm, and when she woke up at 6:00am today, she was in the worst of moods. Nine hours of sleep is not enough for this child! She struggled through the day, and managed to take two decent naps, but she barely made it to her 8:00pm bedtime. I was wishing I had put her to bed earlier.

My cousin Andrea came over after Rachel's morning nap, and the three of us met Aunt KiKi and Cousin Tyler for lunch. Tyler has always been a big boy, and, although he is only 7 months older than Rachel, he outweighs her by about 11 pounds. But I am pretty sure Rachel out-ate Tyler today. We had pizza, and Rachel kept asking for more and more and more, until I finally cut her off. The mushrooms seemed to be her favorite. Tyler had just been to the mall to buy new shoes for his growing feet, and, since he was so proud, he insisted on wearing them out of the store, with the store-provided nylon flesh-colored socks sticking out around his ankles.

Progress Report

Rachel has continued to do great with the potty, although her fatigue was clearly affecting her by tonight. She waved her fist and told me she needed to potty (GOOgoo!), but screamed when I tried to sit her there. I picked her up to leave the bathroom, and she'd give me a really serious look and told me she needed to potty. We cycled through this a couple times before I was really frustrated, which upset her even more, which made me feel bad. So she was standing there on the bathroom floor, as naked as the day she was born, and I was hugging her, attempting to console her and calm her down, when she peepeed all over my foot. She needed to potty, alright.

cute moment

Rachel has figured out how to give real kisses, smacking noise and all. She has been handing out big, wet, open kisses for months, but the noise is new. She doesn't get it right every time, but she's learning. Tonight, she went in our bathroom and talked to the potty for a moment, and then kissed the potty lid. Ew.

non-toy toy of the day

Rachel has been playing with lots of non-toys. In this picture, she is carrying a silver gift bag. She kept it for a while this afternoon, putting things in and taking things out, until, finally, the bottom fell through. She didn't seem to mind, though.

Friday, August 10, 2007

by the book

Rachel woke up just before 7:00am this morning, which allowed for our first normal day of napping in a while. Between her naps, we met Carla and Koen at a Children's play museum just for toddlers and preschoolers. Rachel made herself right at home, quickly moving from the tiny grocery store to the little kitchen, up the stairs of the castle and back down again, and on to the peg board. I brought food for lunch, but she stayed so busy that I didn't feed her until 1:30pm. I guess her enormous breakfast (4 oz of milk, 1 piece of loaf bread and two scrambled eggs) was enough to keep her mind off food. She protested when it was time to leave, even though we stayed much longer than I had planned. It was naptime when we left, and I was sure Rachel would fuss all the way home, but she entertained herself quite well, going right to sleep when we got home. Since we had such a textbook day, we celebrated with dinner out at a new Hibachi restaurant nearby, and our friends Theresa and Ben, with their 8-year-old daughter Alex came along too! What a fun day.

Progress Report

In true textbook fashion, Rachel was near-perfect on the potty today as well. She had two wet diapers while we were at the museum, but who could blame us for losing track? She also used the potty while we were there, which was exciting to me.

cute moment

Rachel was in a great mood all day today. When I was trying to convince Rachel it was time to leave, she kept reaching for Carla and saying, "up." Carla held her some and then gave her back to me. I told her to say "bye bye" to Koen, but instead, she reached for him! She said, "up," and Koen was not sure what to do! Well, he is a lot bigger than Rachel, so I guess it's fair for her to think he could hold her!

non-toy toy of the day

This afternoon, Rachel carried around a greeting card and a yellow highlighter for an hour. Before bed, I asked her politely to leave those items downstairs. She considered for a moment, then dropped the card, gave the highlighter a hug and held it for a moment before dropping it, too.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

it's your birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Yesterday was Uncle John's birthday, and today is GGPaw's birthday! Here are two old pictures...I'll let you figure out which one is Uncle John and which is GGPaw.

Things have been quiet in our world yesterday and today. We've mostly stayed indoors, because who wants to go outside when it's 103 degrees?? Rachel also slept in both days, until 8:00am yesterday and 7:45am today. She struggled to take her naps yesterday, so I didn't force the morning nap today, and she ended up only taking one 1 hour 15 minute nap this afternoon. Tia Milli came back from her summer in Honduras this week, and she came to visit Rachel for a few hours. She took lots of pictures and video, and she brought Rachel fun gifts from Honduras. In the picture, she is wearing her Honduras tee shirt and playing with her new Honduran purse, which contains her new hopping chick toy. Tia Milli also brought some cute clothes from her mom, and a pretty Honduran doll like the ones little girls in the villages play with. It was just what Rachel needed to forget she hadn't had a morning nap!

Progress Report

Now that I've decided to take full responsibility for being sure Rachel gets to the potty before she wets her diaper (that is, I'm not waiting for her to tell me she needs to go), things are going great! Yesterday, except for wetting her diaper at her naptimes, she only wet one diaper all day. Today was the same, until tonight she had two wet diapers and two peepees in the potty within one hour, but we were all a bit distracted with Aunt Mamber stopping by and Jarrad being home earlier than usual.

cute moment

UP! Rachel is always wanting "up." Since she learned to say the word, she has been using it constantly. I can't get much done in the kitchen because little Miss Nosy wants "up" in the middle of the action. I'll have to admit--it is hard to resist those skinny arms stretched high in the air and that tiny voice asking to be held.

non-toy toy of the day

Rachel's favorite play for the moment includes sitting on any and every piece of furniture in our house. She stands by her choice chair and either says "up" or does the sign for sit until someone helps her. Sometimes she sits for a long time, and other times she enjoys getting up and down and up and down again.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

mac and cheese

Rachel was awake early this morning, at 6:00am. She held up pretty well, though, and she went right to sleep at 9:00am for her morning nap. My cousin DeeDee's kids, Sarah(5) and David(3), came over around 9:30am to stay for a little while. When Rachel woke up around 10:30am, the three of us headed upstairs to greet her. Sarah and David went right into Rachel's room and started playing with her toys, as Rachel watched from the crib. I offered several times to get her down so she could play too, but she seemed content observing from afar. When she finally thought it was safe, she agreed to join in the play. The big kids intrigued Rachel, and they had fun watching her toddle around.

Rachel begged to go outside all day today. I told her "no." There is no way we are playing outside when it's 100 degrees. How do people survive without air conditioning? It's amazing.

Aunt Mamber came by this afternoon, and she and Jarrad hung out with Rachel while I got to go hang out with some former coworkers of mine. It's nice to finally feel like I'm getting a life back, but it's kind of sad at the same time, because it means my baby is growing up (I know those of you with older children think I'm crazy, but just let me be melodramatic at the moment, thank you very much).

Progress Report

After hearing about my friend's early potty training success, I was motivated anew today. Rachel wore a cotton diaper sans waterproof cover most of the day, and I took her to the big potty regularly. It worked out great, and I'm encouraged. Sitting her on the little potty had become quite the power struggle (she begs and whines and fusses and cries for her toys), but she does great in the bathroom, as if she knows what that room is for; she gets right down to business. She also loves watching it flush down as she waves and says "bye bye."

I didn't keep count today, but I think Rachel wet three diapers and pooped twice in her diaper (I still don't know what is up with that).

cute moment

Rachel figured out how to push her ride-on car toy around today. She still is not sure how to ride on it, but she was really proud of pushing it and steering it.

non-toy toy of the day

Washcloths (video by Jarrad)

Monday, August 6, 2007

monkeys always look

Did you give up on us? It has been well over a week since I last reported our goings-on. Jarrad kindly posted a cute video he produced with some old footage of Rachel, and I'm hoping that was enough to keep everyone checking for new posts.

Rachel and I are back, and finally back in full swing. We had a fun time visiting MiMi and Poppy last week, and Rachel did really well adjusting to her new bed (a Pack-n-Play). She didn't even seem to mind that MiMi and Poppy put her to bed every night while I helped my old coach at his soccer camp. They reported that she walked over to the Pack-n-Play and asked to go to sleep whenever they gave her a signal that it was bedtime. It was a big relief to me that she did so well.

While back in my hometown, I made a few attempts to see old friends, most of which fell through. We did get to see my high school history teacher, though! We still keep in touch, and Rachel really enjoys his silliness. He always has an interesting gift for her, too, like a Cheerios dispenser that looks like a boy with a baseball cap and a Wiggles CD.

There were several times last week when Rachel actually wouldn't let me take her from Poppy. MiMi didn't get to see Rachel as much as Poppy because she had to work most of the week (while Poppy is already retired). She and Rachel still had fun in the early mornings and evenings, though, and Rachel enjoyed MiMi's singing the most, even at times trying to imitate her.

We got back Saturday, and PopPop and Uma came Saturday evening for the wedding of our friends, Glenn & Jessica. Rachel was so exhausted and overstimulated with all the excitement that she had trouble going to sleep Saturday and Sunday night. Aunt Mamber babysat Sunday night during the wedding and ended up putting Rachel in the bed before 7:00pm because she was so tired! (pictured are PopPop and Uma...I took a few pictures with Poppy's camera last week, and I even made a CD with the pictures, but I forgot to bring them home withe me.)

Today was a bit quieter. We visited our neighbor, Mr. Henry, between naps, and then my friend Theresa brought her daughter, Alex, over this afternoon. Theresa and I visited while Rachel napped and Alex did her homework (she just started third grade in year-round school!) I've already calculated that Alex can be our designated non-family-member babysitter in six or seven years--especially since she loves Rachel and they live right down the road from us!

Progress Report

Rachel is still doing pretty well on the potty, but no better. Interestingly, Theresa's daughter, Alex, was trained by 13 months with the help of Theresa's mother. She said Alex started wearing training pants when she was Rachel's age (a switch I've considered making). It's so nice to talk to someone who was actually successful with early potty training, since I've only read stories until now. I've been discouraged, but knowing it's not impossible helps a lot.

cute moment

We were going out last week, and I was driving, with Poppy in the back seat entertaining Rachel. He whistled his funny whistle several times, and then Rachel attempted to imitate him by scrunching her nose, sticking out her lips, and snorting and blowing in and out. Poppy thought it was hilarious.

Poppy left Thursday afternoon to go to Romania on a mission trip, and he was already gone when we got home from having lunch out. As soon as we walked in the house, Rachel looked all around, stuck her arms way out and said, "hmmmmmknn?" (which sounds like our, "Where'd he go?"). She patted her chest and said "Poppy" several times for the remainder of the week. (She learned to pat her chest when PopPop taught her his name, and it quickly became her "sign" for any grandfatherly man.)

Rachel is also really into sitting on things right now. MiMi has a doll chair and a doll bench that are the perfect size for Rachel to sit herself on. She regularly stopped her play to go over and sit on the bench, and she loved carrying the lightweight chair to various places in the house, setting it down, and plopping on top. She always grinned, very pleased with her accomplishment.

But my favorite part of the week is when she came out to our soccer camp. Rachel understands the phrase "kick the ball," and she showed off for all the girls and their parents by kicking the soccer balls. She looked pretty coordinated, and everyone assured me that she would be a soccer player one day. We'll see!

non-toy toy of the day

Rachel has continued to enjoy playing with the plastic packaging from the Cheerio dispenser she received last week. It opens up nicely so that she can put things inside and close it again, pretending it's hidden (even though it is made of clear plastic).

MiMi and Poppy also kindly allowed Rachel to play with their plastic containers, and Rachel thoroughly enjoyed pulling them out of the cabinet, carrying them around, stacking them, and pretending to feed her stuffed animals and baby dolls from them. Oh yeah, and she liked to sit on the containers, too.

Friday, August 3, 2007

the fix

Many of you are wondering what is going on with the blog. Well, Rachel and Anna are off teaching a soccer camp in Anna's home town this week. Many people have contacted me wanting to get a "Rachel Fix", so I thought I would provide just that...