Monday, August 31, 2009

Indiana Trip, Day 4!

Yay! I'm actually writing about today . . . TODAY!
From Summer 2009

We spent another morning in the pool. Both (big) girls took their water wings off and did some "real" swimming in the 3 ft. And some jumping into the 5ft w/o the water wings with a grown up there to tow them to the edge after they bobbed under & back up. Big pool accomplishment of the day, L learned to swim on her back, she swam the length of the pool (not super big, but typical hotel-size pool). A also figured out how to swim on her back, though she's not going the length of the pool yet.
From Summer 2009

This afternoon we visited dh's grandparents. They were thrilled to get to meet Little Bit and see how A & L have grown. They'd gotten some puzzles for the girls to play with, so the girls had fun with the puzzles and also touring Grandpa's garden and such. Little Bit was fussy (one too many days of interrupted naps, plus it was very warm inside their house, despite being downright chilly outside today) but finally settled down to "nurp" (nap/nurse) while we visited.

We got back to the hotel in time to eat a light supper in the room and still get some more swimming in this evening.

Indiana Trip Day 3

Yesterday (Sunday) morning we spent in the hotel pool. There's a slide, which L loved. A went down it a few times then decided it was "too scary". Little Bit LOVES the "inflatable baby boat" we got for her, finally all her kicking gets her places LOL.

In the afternoon we headed for dh's uncle's house for a cookout with Uncle Richard & Aunt Evelyn and their kids & grandkids. A&L took awhile to warm up, but eventually did, and then had a great time with "kid cousins!" (up until now the only "cousins" they've met have been my cousins who are, of course, adults. DH's sister & my brother don't have kids and neither do any of my cousins that the girls have met), so when we explained that dh's cousins' kids were their (A&L's, and LittleBit's but she didn't care so much) second cousins, they were very excited. All the little girls (except Little Bit) had great fun playing together until we had to leave to get back to the hotel by (near) bedtime.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pooh Picture

She's 5 months old already!

From Pooh Pictures

Indiana Trip Day 2

Yesterday we went to the Columbus Zoo. It's a very nice zoo. Good sized, nicely shaded (as opposed to, for example, the National Zoo in DC, which I love but it's so hot on sunny days!). The weather couldn't have been better! Sunny but with a gorgeous breeze! Last week I FINALLY set the big girls up with their Webwilds (kind of like webkinz but different . . . from Folkmanis, great concept but they need more on their site to be worth buying any more of them) that they got for their birthday, and A discovered that they have koalas (which is what her animal is) at this zoo, so we had to go see the koala. We also saw penguins, though not the same breed as L's webwild (shh . . . I don't think she noticed LOL). I think my favorite exhibit was the kangroos. It's set up kind of like they often do birds where you can walk right in with them. Right after we walked in a kangaroo jumped right across the path in front of us! So cool!! (oh, the kids liked it too LOL). And then, just before we left we went to a new "animal encounter" area where they have select animals out where people can pet them, and one of the animals they had out when we went over there was a pair of ARMADILLOS!! A was in AWE!! She got to TOUCH an armadillo!! She has declared yesterday "the best day ever!" (until now, her "best day ever" was the day one of the armadillos at the National Zoo was awake & running around his habitat). So all around a lovely day at the zoo. L was a little disappointed, we actually went to the animal encounter area because earlier we'd seen a pair of flamingos out of their exhibit (with handlers, or zookeepers or whatever you call the people at the zoo these days LOL) and the handlers told us that the flamingos were "taking a break" but would be at the animal encounter area later, flamingos are L's favorite bird (because they're pink) so she was anxious to get to touch them, but they weren't out (and I muttered a few words under my breath for zoo employees who say things like "they'll be at animal encounter later today" instead of "sometimes they're at animal encounter, you MIGHT get to see them if you stop by later" GRRR . . . I tried to warn L, but I think in her mind the ZOO PEOPLE had said they'd be there, so they would be) but she handled it pretty well.

After we left the zoo we headed to Indiana, and The Old Spaghetti Factory for supper (yum!!!) unfortunately we didn't realize that there was some motorcycle event going on in downtown Indianapolis this weekend, so roads were blocked off, parking lots were closed, it was a mess. We thought we were very fortunate to find a small lot (that's not really a lot, more of a wide alley) right down the street from the restaurant, but when we went to leave, the car next to us was parked wrong (not angled enough) and too close together, and it was a bigger car, and of course we have a minivan . . .all conspired together to make it so we came within a few centimeters (literally) of not being able to get out. The woman who was parking cars there helped us get out & even so I don't think we would've made it if a man walking by noticed and took pity on us & he also helped, it took FOREVER, and the girls were good as gold!! We asked them (A & L) to please be quiet so we could hear each other and they WERE! More just luck, Little Bit was quietly content that whole time. Of course it meant we got to the hotel VERY late last night, and Little Bit wasn't so happy to ride so far so late, but we made it. And DH took the big girls down to look at the swimming pool (much too late to swim) and they were very excited to find out it has a SLIDE!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Indiana Trip Day 1

On the off chance that someone besides my mother & a couple friends read this blog, I'm not going to "advertise" the fact that we're away from home this week, but I want to document this trip and my memory's not good enough to do it all when we get home, so I'm going to write the posts as we go but not post any of them till we get home . . .

So, we left yesterday morning for Indiana. The piece of the drive that had me most nervous was the best so far, sigh . . . I had the big girls put their clothes on Thurs night (they generally sleep in clothes (rather than pjs) anyway, but they usually sleep in whatever they wore that day, then put clean clothes on in the morning, I had them put the clean clothes on before bed instead. . . so that when they woke up Fri morning we could load up the "last minute" stuff and be on the road. We left by 8am. We were trying for Pittsburgh area by lunchtime which was a little over 4 hrs, so that had me nervous, had never driven that far with Little Bit before . . . and that was the longest stretch we had planned. I got CDs of the Kit (American Girl) books from the library (8.5 hrs of book on cd) so the big girls were set. Little Bit "talked" for awhile, then fell asleep, woke up when we had about 2 hrs left, "talked" for a little while, and then a svc plaza (we were on the toll rd) came along, so we stopped for a potty/nursing break. Ran the big kids around light poles & trees and such while we were there too, to burn off some energy. Little Bit fussed some when we got back in teh car, but pretty quickly went back to sleep for most of the rest of that stretch. We met friends for lunch in the Pittsburgh area, then back in the car for the 3 hr (give or take) drive to Columbus & our hotel for the night. Little Bit went to sleep pretty much right away, but when we hit stop & go traffic about 1/2 hour into the trip she woke up and never went back to sleep. She was happy part of that time, but there was lots of crying too, poor baby :o( We'd moved both big girls to the back seat of the minivan (normally they alternate, one sitting in back and one sitting next to Little Bit (middle row) so that I could ride next to her if needed, so when she got fussy I moved back there, but I almost think that made it worse . . . like she felt even MORE insulted that I was RIGHT THERE and wouldn't pick her up.

But we made it to our hotel. It was late enough that I didn't bother taking Little Bit in the pool, but dh took the big girls down to swim while I got us "settled". When Little Bit got restless enough that I couldn't do any more unpacking, etc. anyway, I went on down to watch A&L swim. I figured Little Bit would enjoy that and it would distract her, I knew if I let her nurse she'd go right to sleep but probably not stay asleep through the putting to bed of the big girls, so I really wanted her to stay awake until we got the big girls down, then she could nurse to sleep and be out for the night. . . but the poor baby was SOO sleepy, she fell asleep on my shoulder at the pool. A & L were taking turns jumping off the side of pool, yelling "canon ball!" so it was VERY noisy (especially since indoor pools echo terribly!) but she got a few min. nap there, not enough to mess up her going to bed normal time though, whew!

So, that was yesterday . . . and I'm exhausted, so guess I'll wait & write about today later . . .

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Solid Foods, Sort Of, For Little Bit . . .

When the big girls were babies, I was rather adamant about waiting until they were at least 6 months, and in fact, since they were born a month early, we used adjusted age and didn't start solids until 7 months. But there was no reason not to wait, they really couldn't have cared less that everyone else in their world regularly put things other than milk into their mouths. They nursed a ton, literally got mad if you even offered them a bottle or sippy cup (seriously, even if they weren't showing signs of being hungry, if they saw a bottle or sippy cup coming anywhere near them they'd get MAD, in retrospect, it's pretty funny LOL). . . so it never really occurred to me that I'd have any reason to start solids earlier than 6 mo for Little Bit.

But Little Bit is NOT her sisters . . . she has reached the point where it is very near impossible to eat while holding her, she grabs at everything! Dad took the above picture a few weeks ago, yes, it's a Taco Bell burrito, but it's the end that is nothing but tortilla, so she didn't actually eat anything, just licked the tortilla. But man did she want to do that, and KEEP doing that . . .

Then in planning for our up-coming trip to visit hubby's grandparents, it occurred to me that a sippy of water might keep her occupied in the carseat if she wasn't hungry, but was tired of riding, so I got a sippy cup and tried it. OH BOY does she love her sippy of water! She only gets mad when we take it way LOL. It took her about 2 seconds to figure out how to get water out of a sippy cup (that was the other thing with her sisters, once they were open to at least looking at sippy cups, they viewed them as toys and just chewed on them, it never occurred to them to SUCK on them. Not so for Little Bit.

This past weekend at my parents' house, my Dad was holding her while he was eating, and had a drop of butter on his finger when she started chewing on it (his finger). He said her eyes lit up & she started chewing all the more when she hit that drop of butter LOL. Then another meal, I was putting ice in the glasses (ahead of the meal) while holding her and she was grabbing at everything, so I figured I'd see what she did if I let her lick an ice cube. Figuring she wouldn't like the cold. Umm . . . she LOVED it! She seriously sucked down at least half the ice cube (naturally a bunch of it melted and dripped everywhere, and then it got too small for me to safely hold onto it as hard as she was sucking at it LOL). So yes, she likes ice!

We also got another fun picture (that I forgot to get off Dad's camera before we left to come home) of Little Bit "eating" a small ear of corn (kind of like the burrito picture, just let her chew at it for a few minutes).

So finally this week I actually let her try some "real food". I was eating a nectarine and she grabbed at it, so I let her suck on it between me taking bites. She LOVED it, and was highly perturbed when I ate it all.

We're not doing "normal" babyfood per se with her, I really like the approach described here. So that's kind of what we're doing. . .

Busy, Busy!

We've been busy . . . last weekend we made a quick visit to my parents.

Dad fell Sunday morning and hurt his back, so instead of the busy day of lawn mowing and re-roofing my grandparents' house that he had planned (and the big girls were looking forward to "helping" with), he took things easy, got lots of backrubs from the big girls, and still did more mowing than he probably should have, but without the "help" at least. He also trimmed some trees along their drive and the girls DID get to help drag away the branches, much to their excitement.

The big girls DID get to help with part of the corn-freezing process with corn from my grandparents' garden. They helped pick the corn, husk the corn (I even managed to be useful for that part, while Little Bit hung out in the wrap), wash the corn, and the ears that we were freezing on the cob, they wrapped in plastic wrap. Then they went out and picked tomatoes and raspberries for awhile.

The girls and I also visited friends on both Friday and Sunday, which is always fun :o)

And Monday before dropping Mom off at work and heading home we made a quick stop at the fabric store and I picked out fabric for mom to make me a new diaper bag for my birthday. Woo-hoo!! I chose a bright colored flowered corduroy with orange lining, I can't wait!

This week's chapter of Polished Cornerstones (Bible curriculum) was about being a Thrifty Woman (each week is another trait of the Prov 31 woman) so we combined our discussions about being thrifty, with our need to pick up a few things at Walmart. A & L were very excited to help me decide which package of socks for Daddy was the best deal. Next time I see calculators in the dollar section at Target, or make it to the Dollar Store I think I'm going to get them each a calculator so they can continue to learn about unit costs and saving money, they were very into it, but division in their heads is still abit beyond them (who are we kidding, I pulled out my cell phone calculator, division in my head is beyond me when I have two 6 yr olds talking a mile a minute LOL).

We also made birthday presents for Daddy (shhh . . . we'll share pictures after his birthday). And picked our first tomatoes out of our garden!

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I finally got pictures downloaded, you can see them all here.

Professional Pictures

The pictures from our Picture People photo session last week can be seen here.


A has decided that "bad guys" might be able to get in her window. All of my explanations that there's nothing out her window but woods, so the only creatures out there to possibly see in her window are deer, squirrels, fox, etc. And that her window's on the second floor so it would be hard to get to, and that if someone tried to get in her window she, and we would hear them . . .none of it convinced her. So, at her request, we went curtain shopping.
L couldn't care less about someone seeing in, but if A was going to have a curtain on HER window, then L wanted one too, so they each got a curtain.
It's next to impossible to get a picture of them since the windows are behind the loft bed, and I'd warned the girls that the length of the curtains might have to just kind of bunch up on the floor of the loft/foot of their beds, but there was room to drop the curtains down between the loft & the window, so the curtains actually cover the lower parts of the windows too. But for purpose of pictures, I just took a picture of the area above the loft, you see their white comforters bunched at the end of their beds, and then the curtains/windows, open for the day, they close them at night, at least for now, we'll see how long it is before L, at least, gets tired of opening/closing it & starts leaving it either open or closed all the time. The striped curtain is A's, the pink sheer curtain is L's.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This Evening

Tonight the book club that I joined (I joined just as they were ending for that season, over the summer they don't meet . . . ) got together at On the Border. It was great to see everyone, but Little Bit was NOT happy. I think it was a combination of factors, she fell asleep on the way there, but woke up when we got there, so she was still sleepy, On the Border is a very LOUD restaurant and I don't think she liked that, and that it made it harder for her to go back to sleep like she wanted to, but I also think that she was looking for her sisters and very upset (worried?) that they weren't there. She would obviously look all around at people on all sides of me and then start crying. She LOVES people, I'm quite certain she wasn't upset that there were people around, I was holding her, so obviously she wasn't missing me . . . which leaves, her sisters. And to "prove" my theory, the second we walked in the door when we got home tonight she was SOO excited and "talking" to her sisters. Needless to say, L & A were thrilled to hear that she'd missed them LOL.

Meanwhile, Daddy took L & A to Chuck E Cheese. Needless to say, they had a blast. A used the tickets she earned to buy a "gag" that makes it look like a nail's going through her finger . . . she is her father's daughter LOL.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Weekly Wrap-Up

Hey look, I'm getting back on track! LOL.

Let's see . . . we had a quiet week, managed to read the entire These Happy Golden Years book in less than a week, now if it wasn't so close to leaving for Indiana, we might start our curriculum, I'm torn . . . I need to look & see what supplies we'd need if we wanted to start the first week this week . . .

We've been moving along with Polished Cornerstones. The girls have finished making their "Ruby" (as in, who can find a virtuous woman, her price is far above RUBIES) dolls (pipe cleaner dolls with bead heads, yarn hair & felt clothes) although we still need to make her coat. This week we put together her work basket (with wool & yarn, to go along with v 13 "she gathereth wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands" and at their request we also included small pieces of "fabric" (actually I just cut little pieces off of several rolls of ribbon I have) in case she wanted to make a quilt LOL). Either early this week or maybe it was last week, Little Bit was fussing, it was time to do copywork, and I realized that I needed to copy more handwriting paper, so I pulled a couple pieces of plain notebook paper out of the notebook I had sitting there, and told them to use that for the day. They decided they can use that from now on (they did ask me to write out an alphabet (upper & lowercase) so they could see which ones go below the lines & such), so we decided for this school year to use spiral notebooks for copywork, that will nicely keep it all together & make it easy to see how they progress as the year goes on.

For awhile now A has been saving her allowance (the spending portion of it) to get a My Little Pony playset (that's similar size to their Littlest Pet Shop stuff, so they can use them all together), she finally had enough 2 weeks ago, we counted her spending money & made sure, but then she forgot to bring her money purse into the store with her, so I paid for it & said she could pay me back. But then, when she went to pay me back, the $5 bill was missing (I'm still very puzzled about where it went, one of today's goals is getting our car cleaned out, which is the only place I can think of that it might be), we've had numerous discussions about not taking money out and playing with it, being careful with money, etc. So I told her she'd have to use her next few weeks allowance to pay me back unless we found the $5. L, w/ no prompting whatsoever, decided to give A one week's worth of her spending money to help pay off the "debt". A was sad, obviously, but went ahead & paid all her spending money for these past 2 weeks. Then near the end of this week they were cleaning up in their room and found a $5 bill that they didn't remember who it belonged to. L agreed to A using it to pay her "debt" (which also meant A paid L back the money she put toward A's debt the week before). While I'm still frustrated about where that $5 went, I'm thrilled at how both girls handled the situation!

We also finally made it to Picture People this past week. I've been wanting to get a picture of all 3 girls done ever since Little Bit was born. Then we found t-shirts in baby & kid sizes at a good price and got them, and coordinating fabric so mom made matching dresses (sewing a "skirt" onto a pre-made shirt is a great, easy, way to make cute, comfortable, modest dresses!), once we got those done, there was VBS and Sesame Place and here we are with Little Bit 4 1/2 mo old, but we finally did it!! And they turned out WONDERFULLY!!! I can't figure out Picture People's online system to be able to view them online myself, much less post a link, but hubby thought this was a good time to buy a photo scanner, so once that gets here & he gets it hooked up, I should be able to share. The big girls did a great job of following directions and Little Bit was her normal smiley self.

In other Little Bit news she's now sitting quite steadily, and starting to successfully "scootch" a little bit (eek!!) she mostly goes in circles or scoots back a little, but she's still working on it and getting closer and closer to crawling (did I say EEK!!!).

Yesterday we went to Grandmom's house to see her and Aunt Lynette & Uncle Dave. The girls had fun as always. Little Bit was very not impressed with the drive (either direction) which doesn't bode well for our upcoming vacation, but I'm hoping that by doing a better job of timing our driving time to coincide with her nap times, and not have "deadlines" for getting places (so if we need to stop, we can) things will go better, we shall see . . .

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Rest of the Weekend

Friday we just puttered around here. Dad tried to get a swing up in the tree for the big girls, but couldn't find the parts he needed, that he has at home, so we'll have to wait till their next trip up to finish the swing. Mom helped me with some cleaning and such.

Little Bit enjoyed having more people around to talk to.

From Sesame Place 2009
And the big girls played, and helped Mama or Papa. Not sure what L was doing here, but it's a cute picture of her LOL.
From Sesame Place 2009

Mom made muffins for breakfast Fri that were a BIG HIT, A has declared them her favorite muffins EVAR!

We also walked up to see Murphy (the dog) and Judy (his owner). The girls have fun running around with Murphy most evenings.
From Sesame Place 2009

And of course Little Bit enjoys walks in the wrap.
From Sesame Place 2009

Yesterday (Sat) Mama & Papa were heading home, so we followed them part of the way and went to ZooAmerica with them before they continued home and we came back home. A was in a less than ideal mood, but when she forgot to be grouchy, she enjoyed the animals, and L did. Little Bit was fine hanging out in the wrap most of the time, though it was hot enough that she didn't like having to have her head covered in the wrap to nurse (and it's hard to nurse in a wrap without covering baby's head), so I ended up finding a shady bench to sit and nurse her while the rest looked at animals.

And now hopefully we can have some restful days to just hang out at home, get caught up on life, and get ready to head to Indiana the end of this month LOL.

Sesame Place

From Sesame Place 2009

Thursday we went to Sesame Place with my parents! The big girls had a blast, as always.

From Sesame Place 2009

Little Bit wasn't as into it, but enjoyed her naps in the wrap.

From Sesame Place 2009
And was happy the rest of the time.

From Sesame Place 2009
We all enjoyed lunch at Taco Bell (don't worry, she just slobbered/sucked on the tortilla LOL).

It was a good day all around. Little Bit was NOT impressed with the cold water, so we sat in the shade while the big girls played in the water. She did stay with Papa so I could go with mom & the big girls on the "Rubber Duckie" (a big waterslide where we all sit together in a big inner tube (I don't remember what the ride is actually called but there's a big "rubber duckie" up on top, so that's what we've always called it). The big girls continue to make strides toward independence . . . going down "Snuffy's Chutes" together in a double tube or in single tubes (always before they've gone down in a double tube with an adult). L had said she wanted to try the water slides that don't involve a tube (where you slide down the slide into a pool), but we ran out of time, so will have to try that next time we go. A was more hesitant about that one.

The new Count water area was a big hit.

The weather report for the day was showers all day, and it was raining on the drive down and when we got there, but since we were buying season passes (the 2010 Season Passes are now on sale, so we bought those & will be able to go as often as we want next summer as well, when Little Bit will still be free, but old enough to hopefully enjoy splashing in the water and such), we figured we'd go anyway and hope for halfway decent weather and less crowds. Turned out to be a GORGEOUS day! The big kids and grandparents went on the roller coaster a couple times in light rain, then we went to the Elmo show (ugh, that show is SO crowded and loud, it makes me claustrophobic! I think it was a sensor overload for Little Bit too, she just kind of cuddle against me and nursed most of the time LOL) and by the time we came out from that, the rain was over and it was a beautiful, not too hot, sunny day! But crowds still weren't too bad which was nice.

Perpetually Playing Catch-up

The rest of VBS went well. The girls wanted me THERE but only with them for the first part, the rest of the time Little Bit & I hung out in the hall.

The first part of last week was just recovering from VBS LOL (I really wish they would SLEEP IN when they stay up later than usual, sigh . . .), then my parents got here Wed. night and life got busy again (more on that in a separate post) LOL.

We HAVE been managing to do some school. We're continuing to enjoy Polished Cornerstones. And we're currently reading Little House books both during school time and at bedtime. We're most of the way through Little Town on the Prairie, then we need to read These Happy Golden Years and then once we've finished that one I'll order the first couple weeks' books from the library and we'll start our school year using Prairie Primer.

Little Bit continues to grow LOL. She CAN sit quite well, though she generally works at doing a controlled "nose dive" anytime I sit her up. She generally prefers to be on her tummy, so she can work at trying to crawl. She can lift her front half up, or her back half up, but hasn't put the 2 together yet, once she does, I think she'll be "off and running" (or crawling). As it is, she does scootch around abit, but doesn't really have much control in where she's going.

We're also doing better with the Elimination Communication. It varies, she generally stays dry when we're out running errands (I offer the potty before/after each stop, so I'm offering often). At home if she's happy on her playmat or her sisters are playing with her, I'm more likely to not think to offer the potty as often. But at the very least she's not sitting in a wet diaper for long/often.