Cursed! And Other Random Things of Late

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Blogging hasn't come easy to me lately.  Not because I've had a lack of blogging ideas, but because I've either had lack of time, energy, or a computer.  Try as I may, I can't stand to blog on my iPhone or iPad.  I prefer an actual keyboard to type my thoughts and opinions.  Since Ladybug's birthday party on February 9th one or all three of us have suffered from a cold and / or the flu.  We finally seemed to be symptom free on Monday, the 25th.  That's two weeks of sickies.  Even the Dory dog picked up the doggie version of the flu while getting groomed and had to visit Dr. Turner.  My friend said we must have been cursed.  I don't know about that, but it still hasn't been fun.  To ease myself back into posting, here is a list of random recent things of late.
  • I hate the Harlem Shake.  It was fun watch Brad and the gang do it on Fox News Edge a few weeks ago, but the fad has had its fifteen minutes.  It's not that funny, it can sometimes be rather vulgar, and there have to be more intelligent YouTube crazes.
  • Ladybug has started brushing my hair.  It sometimes feels good but is very sweet.
  • The hard drive on my Mac recently crashed.  We quickly replaced it and decided to put in more RAM.  One of the sticks was bad.  Let's just say that I've learned more about Macintosh diagnostics in the past week than I've known for the past four years.
  • I was grossly underwhelmed by the Oscars and fell asleep during them... twice.
  • I learned not to take my dogs to PetSmart or PetCo to get groomed, because they don't require bordatella vaccinations.
  • So, now that the season is over, what did you think of Season Three of Downton Abbey?
  • We have taken Ladybug to three different Razorback Women's basketball games, sitting on the floor, close to the team each time.  She has become obsessed with Razorbacks (the logo) and points at every one she sees.  That's a lot of pointing, living in Northwest Arkansas.  She likes to call the hogs also, everywhere.  Well, she calls them everywhere except actually at Razorback games.  It's much more fun to call them on our way to church.
  • In the midst of all our snottiness, Sheldon's left foot started turning black and blue around the pinky toe.  It kept getting worse and worse on a day everything was closing due to weather, and since he didn't remember hitting it we thought it could be a brown recluse bite.  So he went to the ER.  Turns out he probably had a stress fracture that the x-ray didn't show.
  • I'm not Catholic, but I'm very interested in the whole white smoke, Pope picking process.  I was in 2005 too.  
  • She has also started picking her nose.  She's her father's girl.
  • Sheldon and a coworker are up for an engineering award for a project they've worked on, so they and their wives are going to a ceremony at Suzanne Sugarbaker's house, I mean the Governor's mansion next Thursday night.  That means Ladybug is going to spend the night with her grandparents.  It will be the first night she has spent away from me since we brought her home from the hospital.  On one hand, I'm very nervous about it.  On the other, it will be a nice change.
  • With March Madness coming soon, Sheldon is making NCAA team flashcards.  He hopes to use them so that Ladybug can fill out her own bracket.  I imagine teams with puppy dogs and kitty cats as mascots will win it all.  We will try to get video.





Ladybug's Favorite Things: 6-12 Months

Monday, February 18, 2013

For the first six months of a baby's life, when it comes to entertaining and educating your kid it's more about the big gear.  You have the bouncy seat, the swing, the jumparoo, the play gym, and countless other things that we as mothers think we can't live without, yet somehow our ancestors did just that.  Once a baby is around six months old though, they get to be a bit more fun.  Most can now sit up for at least a little while unassisted and have honed their fine motor skills enough to pick up toys and really start playing with them.  Suddenly the big gear starts getting replaced with toys and more toys, and picking up after your little hurricane has become more time consuming.

At first, Ladybug didn't have many toys.  She had as set of Fisher Price blocks in a bucket that she loved playing with, then a wooden Melissa and Doug train set, and a few other things here and there.  She had enough, but as she grew older, she quickly grew bored with so few options, and Christmas and her birthday came just in time.

Ladybug has several toys that she just loves to play with, and she and I thought we would share them with you.

Blocks
As stated earlier, one of the first toys that Ladybug really started to play with once she was sitting up on her own were her Fisher Price Baby's First Blocks, which she still plays with all the time.   Around that time, my friend Louise sent us some board books that her girls had grown out of (we'll get to those later) as well as the surprise of two Melissa and Doug toys; the Geometric Stacker and a Shape Sorter.   

Ladybug just loves all of the Melissa and Doug toys, and I do too.  They're great for learning everything from how to hold something, to colors, stacking, sorting, you name it.  I don't think I had ever heard of Melissa and Doug until last year, but now I'm a huge fan of their educational toys.  This won't be the last you hear of them in this post.

For her birthday, Ladybug got some Imaginarium Alphabet Blocks from her grandparents, and a set of Mega Blocks from some of our friends.  Let's just say she's in block heaven.  Even though they make a mess, they entertain her for long periods of time, and she works on her motor skills and other things when playing with them.  Blocks are just a must.


Board Books
Ladybug loves to read and/or be read to.  Sheldon and I love reading to her also.  However, she still doesn't quite possess the fine motor skills to read a book on her own without doing damage to the pages, even though she's getting better at it by the day.  That said, board books are the best.thing.ever.period.  Our board book library has grown quickly over the past six months, aided by the loaning of many awesome books from Louise.

Ladybug's favorite is Goodnight Moon.  It is amazing how many different ways they've printed  i  There's even a cloth version so the kid can chew on the book.  That was tempting, but we've been working very had not to let Ladybug eat her books (seriously).  With Goodnight Moon, we have a board book small enough that she's been able to hold it on her own for a long time.  Most of her board books are small like that, though for Christmas we got her a larger board copy of Corduroy.

Ladybug also has several nice, hard copies of books we've loved over the years, but they're kept out of her reach until she's better with them.  She's getting easier on her Golden Books all the time, so it won't be forever.  You may be tempted to get your little reader nice, fancy books early on, but trust me when I say that board books are a great investment.  If there's a book you particularly love, maybe get it in hardback and board?


Little People
Sheldon is an electrical engineer who works mostly in aviation.  Planes and more importantly airports are a great part of his life.  So, when we were Christmas shopping for Ladybug, he had to buy her the Fisher Price Little People Spin 'N Fly Airplane.

At first, I was worried the parts might be too small, but they're not.  They're rated for 1 year +, and Ladybug loves playing with them.  Since then, she's gotten a nativity set (set aside for Christmas) and some extra Little People.  It's great watching her start to basically play house with them, and I can't wait to add to her collection of Little People.  They're wonderful for her imagination.


Stuffed animals
Ladybug loves stuffed animals.  I mean LOVES them.  She loves to cuddle with them, roll around with them, you name it.  Since she has slept in her crib (age 3 Months) she has slept with a little Lady dog and a lamb from pottery barn.  She now has teddy bears, 2/3's of the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Gang, Chica, and countless other stuffies.  In her opinion, she doesn't have enough.  It's very tempting not to buy her one every time an occasion pops up to do so.  She spends time talking to them, and are another great tool for building her imagination.

Puzzles
More Melissa and Doug love here.  They make the best beginner puzzles for little people.  Her grandparents got her a Large Shapes Jumbo Knob Puzzle for christmas, and that helps her with not only her shapes, but her colors and motor skills.  Okay, so the yellow square has been chewed on a bit. Anyway, I love these puzzles, and I was thrilled when some friends got her the Farm Chunky Puzzle for her birthday.  They're such great learning tools and so much fun.


Instruments
Ladybug has the toy piano I played with as a kid and enjoys singing and dancing while playing it.  Another birthday present that she got that was awesome was the B. Parum Pum Pum set.  She plays that drum, shakes the shakers, and plays the tambourine and clapper all the time.  Thankfully they're not too loud.  Surprisingly she has great rhythm.

Music is of course such a wonderful thing for kids.  It helps them with math skills, concentration, and so many other wonderful things.  As a former band nerd, I am thrilled she loves music and don't mind that music lessons are probably in our future.




Play gadgets
Ladybug loves my iPad, my iPhone, and all of the remote controls in the house.  She knows how to work them quite well too.  That said, I don't always want to be watching Benny Hinn (for some reason she always turns to the televangelism channels).  So, she has several play gadgets like a Fisher Price cell phone, a play mP3 player, and a play camera.  Interestingly enough, they usually stay in the car and entertain her while riding in the back seat.

Those are currently most of Ladybug's favorite things.  I was in no way reimbursed for this post, I just wanted to share what keeps Ladybug's attention.  Unlike Oprah, I can't give away my favorite things to my readers either.  Have a great day all!










What We've Learned in Twelve Months

Friday, February 15, 2013

I wrote a post a couple of days ago about Ladybug turning the big 1.  It was a broad post about the entire years.  This post is just to highlight the many things that have changed in just the past month.

  • You love to eat Hershey's bars.  I'll let you have a couple of squares in the afternoon, after your nap.
  • You are almost walking on your own!  One day you just decided to pull up to your V-Tech walker and just started pushing it down the living room.  You're cruising all over the place.
  • You love The Chica Show, and Daddy got you a Chica doll for your birthday that you're in love with.
  • You've actually started watching real Sesame Street and not just Play With Me Sesame on Sprout.  So, I added it to our DVR list.  When we have the time, we'll watch it.
  • I love the way you brush your hair while I brush mine.
  • You love playing with your Little People you got for Christmas.
  • You've started calling Dory "DD."
  • Lucy is well, "Lucy."
  • You're always singing.
  • I love the way you use me as a walker by grabbing on to the back of my legs and walk along with me.
  • If there's a good song playing, you'll start dancing.  I love watching you shake your little booty.
  • You are super talkative and say all sorts of things.  Occasionally we understand what you're staying.
  • You are obsessed with stuffed animals.
  • You love to read and be read to.
  • I've learned how often I tell you, "Okay," and "Thank you," because you're now saying them.  You're also pointing your finger at me when you tell me, "No!" because I do that too.
  • You are loved everywhere you go.  Really, you're much more social a person than either your dad or me.  It's kind of nice going somewhere like church, and being known as "Ladybug's Mom and Dad."



48 Things You Never Knew About Me

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Kate at Mommy Monologues did this after Heather from Theta Mom did it.  It looked so fun, I thought I'd give it a try as well.
1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? 
Sort of.  My dad liked Adrienne Barbeau.  You know, from Swamp Thing and Maude?  Also, it started with an "A," and my parents already gave my sister a dreadful "A" name eight years before I was born and thought I needed to follow suit.  At least I learned to like mine as an adult.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED?
Oh, last week, I'm sure.  I cried a few times when my baby turned 1.
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
It depends on the pen.  I'm very Anne Shirley-ish about my pens.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
Honestly, smoked ham.
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS?
One human and two furry.  I'd like one more... human, not furry.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
I'd like to think so.
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT?
More than I probably should.
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS?
Yes.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP?
Never-EVER in a million years.  I have too many nightmares about falling.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL?
I should say something healthy like Fiber One, but honestly it's Lucky Charms.  They're like Cheerios, but with marshmallows.  I ate a bowl every night before bed when I was pregnant with Ladybug, to prevent morning sickness.
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF?
Sometimes.  Most of the time I do, unless I have a handful of Ladybug at the time.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG?
Yes.  I mostly grew up without a father and with a mother who well...  she showed me her fear far too often when I was a child.  I had to learn to keep a cool head and be strong, because no one else could be counted on to do so.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM?
Mint Chocolate Chip
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE?
Their eyes.
15. RED OR PINK?
Red.  RED!!!!!  I've learned to appreciate pink with Lucy and Ladybug, but it has always been among my least favorite colors.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF?
My penchant for reclusiveness.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST?
My Dad.  I would have liked to have known him as an adult.
18. WHAT IS THE TECHNIQUE THAT YOU NEED TO WORK ON THE MOST?
Talking less and listening more.
19. WHAT COLOR SHOES ARE YOU WEARING?
I'm not.
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE?
Chicken Noodle Soup.  I'm thinking of eating a leftover Chick Fil A chocolate chip cookie from Ladybug's birthday party.
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?
Honestly, General Hospital.  They brought back Laura and Frisco for the fiftieth anniversary.  Just when I quit watching, they draw me back.  I could care less about this vampire crap.
22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE?
Red.  Cardinal red.
23. FAVORITE SMELLS?
Ladybug, after her nightly bath.
24. HOW IMPORTANT ARE YOUR POLITICAL VIEWS TO YOU?
They're fairly important to me.  I think it's important to know what's going on in our government.  That said, I've learned in the past year to not let it rule my life.
25. MOUNTAIN HIDEAWAY OR BEACH HOUSE?
Mountain hideaway, as long as it's next to a trout stream.
26. FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH?
College football and baseball.  I tolerate basketball for the husband.
27. HAIR COLOR?
Brown.
28. EYE COLOR?
Green.
29. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS?
Yes. Since 1994, or freshman year of high school.
30. FAVORITE FOOD?
I'm really going to miss the lasagna at Spiedini.  There are times when I crave a good queso dip also.
31. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS?
I don't watch scary movies, so happy endings.
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED?
Sadly, I think it was Wanderlust, and it was awful.
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
A red and white razorback shirt.
34. SUMMER OR WINTER?
Quite honestly, spring and fall.
35. FAVORITE DESSERT?
I'm a fan of chocolate.
36. STRENGTH TRAINING OR CARDIO?
Cardio.
37. COMPUTER OR TELEVISION?
Both.
38. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW?
Truthfully, Winnie the Pooh and The Secret Garden.  I do my reading with Ladybug these days.  I'm anxiously awaiting the new Edward Rutherfurd book in April though.
39. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD?
People still use mouse pads?
40. FAVORITE SOUND?
Ladybug's laugh.
41. FAVORITE GENRE OF MUSIC?
Oh, I like a little pop, a little indie alternative, and many others.  I dislike country the most, and that's Sheldon's obsession.
42. WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME?
I don't know... Virginia?  We're planning a trip to Prince Edward Island next year though for our tenth anniversary.
43. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT?
I actually have pretty good intuition about people and situations.
44. WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Fort Smith, Arkansas
45. WHERE ARE YOU LIVING NOW?
Northwest Arkansas
46. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR HOUSE?
Brick and rock.
47. WHAT COLOR IS YOUR CAR?
Charcoal.
48. DO YOU LIKE ANSWERING 48 QUESTIONS?
It has been a wonderful distraction from my teething, cranky, miserable baby girl who hopefully is napping upstairs.
Join in the fun!  Tweet Mommy Monologues,  Theta Mom, and me if you do it!

A Year of Ladybug

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Last Wednesday (February 6) was a very special day in our household.  It was Ladybug's first birthday.  Ladybug is now officially one whole year old!  I think that I'm equal parts proud and sad at the same time.  The reality of it might sink in by her second birthday.  It has been a year since that Monday morning after the Super Bowl when I went into labor a few hours before I was scheduled to go in for my c-section.  It has been a year since the doctor held her up, and I saw the most beautiful, screaming eyes.  It has been a since my heart grew more than I ever imagined it could.  In some ways it seems like the past year has just flown past us. Still yet at times it felt like time was absolutely dragging.

The first three months were wonderful and terrible and just about every other adjective all rolled up together in a nice swaddling blanket.  I hope that I never forget how I had to set my alarm every night to wake her for a bottle, because Ladybug would have rather slept through the night than eat.  I learned that even the happiest baby in the world isn't happy at all if she hasn't pooped in several days.  I learned that the Ladybug loves to be outside as much as possible.  Mostly I learned the importance of routine for all of us.


The second three months were more of an adventure.  We got out and did things.  We would go to the farmer's market, to baseball games, and to church.  She could hold up her head, and she took in the world around her with eagerness.  Her smiles grew into giggles, and her personality grew so much, and she even started saying words here and there.  By the time she was six months old, she could sit up on her own.

The third three months were possibly my favorite.  They were certainly my easiest with Ladybug, and they were also when things really started getting fun.  She could sit up on her own perfectly, but didn't crawl until she was almost nine months old.  So, that meant she could just sit in one spot and play for the longest periods of time.  It was at this time that she also really started loving books and reading also.  In baby terms, it was a nice a relaxing time, except for that little period when we all had a cold.

The final three months of Ladybug's first year have been the most tiring since the first, but also the most interesting.  Ladybug started crawling just before she was nine months.  We spent a little more than two months just crawling, then two days before Christmas, she decided to finally start pulling up.  Since Christmas, she has just exploded in every way.  She is cruising around from one piece of furniture to another.  She'll use one of her three push devices to walk.  She's talking all the time, and if we listen carefully we'll catch what she's saying.  Apparently she has taken after me and has a habit of saying whole phrases at once and quickly.

My world changed that Monday morning, but not entirely in the ways most would assume.  I'm far more grateful these days.  I look at things a little differently, from a shorter perspective at times.  My soapbox has changed somewhat over the past year.  I guess in some ways it has become broader.  I may talk too much about my own kid sometimes, and I apologize.  I don't intend to be rude.  I'm just crazy in love with this girl.  She is a blessing, even on days like today when she's cutting multiple teeth at once and is little more than a snotting, slobbering, cranky mess.


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