Monday, May 30, 2011

Our Fun Day Out!

After a three hour nap we headed to Nordstrom's to find a new pair of sandals.  The first pair we bought at Stride Rite just haven't worked out, so we decided to get a new pair.  SG learned the thrill of shopping in stores like Nordstrom's where they have a coloring station, an aquarium, and give you a balloon just for shopping!  One new pair of better fitting sandals later and we were on our way to the Georgia Aquarium.

We have been before, but it has been a while and Sarah Graves is so much bigger now!  We saw some big fish like this guy.

We walked in awe of all the fish around us.

We saw the dolphins that are new to the aquarium.  We would like to see the show, but know that Sarah Graves just isn't ready for that. 
We got super-excited and began swishing our head when we saw the penguins! I can't blame her because they are so cute.

"Lellow" is the only color that she recognizes and anything and everything can be yellow, so she got lucky with all these yellow fish!  She says it with such pride that I love to tell her how correct she is. 

Throughout the aquarium she signed that she was hungry and thirsty. The raisins in our bag just weren't doing it, so we headed for dinner at Johnny Rocket's.

We had the nicest waiter who adored Sarah Graves.  He brought her a hat, which she wore for about 2 seconds.

Then, Daddy put on the hat and it was pretty amusing to her. 

Our waiter also drew her a cute face out of ketchup.  She was more into dancing to the oldies and eating the french fries than she was anything else!

What a great afternoon! 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Letter Month Sixteen

Dear Sarah Graves,

We have had a fun and busy month.  We took a vacation to the beach, which you loved.  We have also gone to outdoor festivals, playgrounds, and parties.  All the time you have been learning so much and trying to express yourself more.  You are fun to listen to in the car as you jabber to yourself.  One of your favorite things to practice is saying, "ducka ducka ducka ducka!"  I think you are mimicking what we say when we tickle you, but it's hard to be sure. 
You have started to be a little particular about what you eat.  You sometimes want to feed yourself, but you also get frustrated because it goes so slow.  We have had a difficult time enticing you to eat veggies and that's a bit of a concern.  Almond butter sandwiches and bananas are sure hits with you.  You still like other fruits, oatmeal, and yogurt, but veggies and meats are tough to get you to eat.  I am working on new ideas for how to make foods that suit your toddler needs.  We are trying more finger foods for now to see if that is more exciting, but so far nothing is as pleasing as bread (you say it so cute, too). 
You eat tons in the morning and then it really drops off to almost nothing at dinner.  You will literally eat 3 - 4 different breakfasts between 6 a.m. and your naptime around 11 a.m.  It is just crazy!  You nurse, you eat oatmeal and fruit, then depending what everyone else is eating, you eat again.  If Lovie has yogurt and blueberries, you do too.  If Aunt Nay has pineapple and cottage cheese, you do too.  A little later you may say that you are hungry and eat a half a sandwich.  Then at dinner, you eat two bites and tell me you are done.  We are trying to work with your toddler ways and hope that you really know what you need. 
You are really good at signing to us for your needs.  You have been able to sign things like "eat", "more", "all done", "milk", and "drink" for a while, but lately you will use them without being prompted.  You will out of the blue tell me that you are thirsty and when offered your cup, you drink and drink.  I love it!  I think how gratifying it is to you to have a need and a way to tell us so that we can get what you want without you crying and being frustrated.  I'm not worried about you talking either, because you are practicing new words all the time.  You have started saying "bow" regularly and are repeating words that we say a lot.  "Baby" is another one of your regular words now.  You will see a baby when we are out and point to it saying "baby".  You even see kids your age and refer to them as a baby.  I guess that's because we describe you as our baby, which you are and always will be!
Your favorite hobby is still climbing and you try to climb everything!  You have even tried to stand on Lucy!  You love playgrounds, but you can make your own jungle gym just by climbing up a kitchen chair and the table!  I just canh't put into words how precious you are!  You turn on your ipod in your room and dance around to your music; you readily point out different parts of your body, especially your head and your toes; and Aunt Nay taught you to give the gentlest head butts as a way to show affection.  You even give head butts to your baby dolls.  It really is the sweetest.
I just enjoy being with you so much and love seeing your personality start to come out.  You are expressive and you have a sense of humor.  You enjoy being social and tell everyone hi.  You just have such a special light inside of you.  I'm just grateful that I get to see it all the time. 


Birthday Parties!

Right before Easter Sarah Graves went to her first kid birthday party.  This party was for a friend, Evan, who was turning 3.  Evan really likes trains, so he had a train at his party.  SG wasn't feeling so hot that day, so everything was just okay to her, but we had a fun time at the party. 

It was a beautiful day and the train was a big hit.  The driver let Evan drive the train and he took everyone on rides around their neighborhood. 
Plus, birthday parties mean cake, and that excited Sarah Graves a lot!

Last Sunday we went to another party for her friend, Allison.  This was Allison's first birthday and Sarah Graves had a ball. 
We wanted a picture of Sarah Graves and Allison together playing, but toddlers don't really play together so much and they definitely don't take cues to pose together. 

Allison had balloons and that was a thrill for Sarah Graves.

Sarah Graves has met Greg at church before, but they really hit it off at the party.  He's just a few months older and they were doing a lot of the same things, which meant FUN.

Here's the cute birthday girl!

Sarah Graves had so much fun!  She loves other kids and there were several her age that she could run around and "play" with even though each was in his or her own little world.  I think it's so funny that at this age they just don't know how to interact and actually play together.  It's just doing their own thing alongside another baby.

Kid birthday parties are something that we will really look forward to.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Spring Clothes

We received a package from Grancy with some cute new outfits and fun books!  Doesn't she look cute in this purple shirt that has shorts that you can't see in the picture. 

Aunt Nay gave SG this dress and it has the cutest embroidery on top. 
Most of our clothes have a story, so I try to remind SG of what the story is on each thing she wears.  It's also a good way for us to talk about all the people that love her so much. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

We Are Loving These!

My Mom turned us on to these marinades and we simply love them. I think the Baja Citrus flavor is my favorite, but we haven't tried one that I don't like. They are so easy because you just mix the seasoning with water, oil, and some flavors call for vinegar. You can leave it on all day or as little as 15 minutes. We usually leave ours all day and the meat is so tender and full of flavor! I am actually excited to have grilled chicken on the menu! They are at our local groceries in the section with the taco seasoning.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Baby Shot!

Tonight we had an appointment with the chiropractor and Aaron had to work late, so Lovie came over to help me get SG to her appointment.  After her appointment we had a very fun impromptu dinner with Lovie and Aunt Nay at a great Greek place, Mykonos.  SG was really a delight and entertained us quite thoroughly while we ate.  We had a leisurely meal and stayed out until 8 o'clock on a school night and everything!  What a fun time!  We only wish that Pops was in town to join us.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Saturday -Fun Day

SG likes to live her weekend to the fullest, so she had us up and going by 5:30. I went for a long overdo haircut, then we met Lovie and Pops for lunch. She was so funny when she told us she was "all done" and our food had just arrived! After lunch we headed over to Northpoint Mall where they have a great indoor play area.

-Waving to another shopper!

Sometimes she seems so big, but then i see her with 5 year olds and realize she is just a little girl.

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Location:Paces Ferry Rd SE,Vinings,United States

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Our Environment

I recently saw a piece that the American Academy of Pediatrics put out regarding toxins in our environment and their effects on babies.  The believed effects are increases in diseases such as childhood cancers, asthma, ADHD, and autism spectrum disorders.  It is believed that when a fetus or baby is exposed to chemicals it can impair their development and dramatically increase the likelihood of them developing one of these diseases.  It is also believed that chemical exposure in our daily lives is the likely cause of so many young women having difficulty conceiving and maintaining pregnancies as well as a significant increase in testicular cancer in men.   

Here is what was posted on AAP's site:
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is calling for an overhaul of the nation’s chemical management policy because the current system fails to protect children and pregnant women, who are most vulnerable to hazardous chemical exposures. Over the past few  decades, tens of thousands of new  chemicals have been introduced into the environment, often in extremely large quantities. But the primary federal law that governs chemical management in the U.S. – the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) – has not undergone any meaningful revision since it was first passed in 1976, and since then, the TSCA has been used to regulate only five chemicals or chemical classes. In a new policy statement, “Chemical-Management Policy: Prioritizing Children’s Health,” published in the May 2011 issue of Pediatrics (published online April 25), the AAP recommends that the chemical-management policy be “substantially revised.” The AAP recommends any chemicals policy should consider the consequences on children and their families.
The regulation of chemicals must be based on evidence, but decisions to ban chemicals should be based on reasonable levels of concern rather than demonstrated harm. I find this overwhelming in terms of how to keep Sarah Graves safe.  I want her to be the best person that she can be, so I see it as my responsibility to surround her with everything she needs to be healthy.  I found these tips for minimizing exposure to chemicals and environmental toxins.  Some of them are things that we are probably somewhat familiar with, eating organic produce, hormone and antibiotic free meats, avoiding plastic containers that may contain BPA, and drinking filtered water.  Some of the others were things I hadn't thought about before.  Such as, taking your shoes off when you come into your home to avoid bringing chemicals from outside into your home, avoiding any fabrics or upholstery treated for stain resistance because those contain chemicals that have carcinogens, avoid clothes that are wrinkle free as those fabrics have also been treated with chemicals, and avoid microwave popcorn because the bag is treated with chemicals that get on the popcorn.  
Any testing of chemicals should include the impact on women and children, including potential effects on reproduction and development.
  • Chemicals should meet safety standards similar to those met by pharmaceuticals or pesticide residues on food.
  • There should be post-marketing surveillance of chemicals, and the EPA must have the authority to remove a chemical if needed.
  • Federal funding should be provided for research to prevent, identify and evaluate the effects of chemicals on children’s health.
  • Other groups, including the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association and the American Nurses Association have all independently recommended changes to the TSCA.
I think you could break it down and say that anything that seems like a modern convenience probably has chemicals in it and those chemicals are likely to be harmful to you. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What a Night!

A leaky diaper at 2 am resulted in a cold and crying baby.  Lucky for her, Daddy heard her cries and was getting up before I knew what was happening.  He changed her diaper and pajamas and was working on soothing her back to sleep, but she wasn't having it.  I came in about 15 minutes later to try and soothe her.  She was content for me to rock her for a while, but wasn't going to sleep.  After a bit of that she decided it would be fun to get up and play.  I explained to her that she would have to go back in her crib. 
I left her in her crib for about an hour, but she never went back to sleep.  She fussed off and on and finally at 3 I decided to try something different (I can't sleep when I am waiting for her to quit fussing and fall asleep).  I took her downstairs and got her a snack hoping that a full tummy would ease her back to sleep.  We then got her soft and warm blanket from her bed and snuggled into our rocker.  Again, she was content to rock and those eyes would get heavy, but she wouldn't go to sleep.  I tried putting her in her bed, but that was met with immediate howling.  So, I decided that she and I would lay down in the guest room and try to get her to sleep there.  She nursed herself to sleep around 4 and slept next to me until Aaron woke us at 6:15. 
I know that I am tired this morning after our night of musical beds and I'm sure that she is too.  Lucky for her, she can take an early nap this morning.  Me, I have meetings starting at 9 and ending at 3:30.  No worried, I have a Coke Zero in hand. :)


Here she is sliding and oh so chatty!

Bows, Bows, Bows!

I have been meaning to make a bow holder for Sarah Graves for a while now and this weekend I finally got around to doing it.  I wanted her to have something with both of her initials and we had a very narrow wall to put it on, so I decided that making one would be the way to go.  I bought the wooden letters and a small canvas, painted them all, glued on the ribbons, and there you have our bow holder.  I wish that I could paint better, but I just don't have that talent. 

I didn't realize how many bows she has until I started putting them up!  She has some cute new ones that I should take a picture of up close. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Baby Shot!

She received a package from Grancy last night and in it was a new swimsuit that Ms. Margaret Anne made for her.  It is so cute with polk-a-dots and her monogram on the top!  We had to try it on immediately despite the very cool temperatures that we are having!  There is also a darling cover up made to match, but she didn't want to model that.  Ha!
She is showing off her moves on her slide.  She has surpassed just climbing up and sliding down and now has to stand on the top.  She makes me nervous, but it's the only way for her to try new things and figure out what she can do.  Plus, I would have to put her in a cage to stop her from climbing on EVERYTHING.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Busy Weekend

The weekend went by in a blur! We did some fun things, but there is just never enough time. Saturday morning we were all up early, so we decided to go out for pancakes at 7 am. On our way out, we saw a lady standing in the road looking upset so Aaron stopped to see what was wrong. She was filling in for a friend at a dentist office in the office park across from our neighborhood. She got out of her car to look at a sign and locked her keys in her car while it was running. Aaron called and the fire department came and opened her car. SG's eyes got big when the fire engine pulled up!
We went on to have a yummy breakfast and run a few errands and made it back by 10 for a nap. In the afternoon we went to a Greek festival and enjoyed the cooler weather. We picked up some gyros and tasty pastries for lunch. We came back and had plenty of time for SG to play outside and took a walk around the neighborhood. I wish we could keep temperatures in the 70's!
We went to church on Sunday and SG did well in the nursery. Leaving snacks for them to feed her seems to keep her happy. After church we had breakfast in the parish hall and SG ran around with her friend, Evelyn, who is 4. SG runs as hard as she can and even ran into a pole, but she wasn't daunted! We did a little grocery shopping and had a great time riding in the "crazy cart". After a 3 hour nap SG was ready to go again and we headed out to help Lovie shop for a dress. She is a really good shopper.
That was our busy weekend!

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Pretty Eyes and Blowing Kisses

Lovie has been working to teach Sarah Graves how to make pretty eyes, but for the longest time she would only make them for Lovie.  She recently decided she would give us pretty eyes, too!  I love to watch her blow kisses. 
She was in her high chair finishing what was an extremely fun meal for her, eating plain spaghetti pasta out of a bowl by herself and drinking water from a cup with a straw.  That should explain the mess on her tray that she is playing in!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day

SG wanted to get our mother's day celebration off to an early start so she woke up at midnight crying with a huge dirty diaper.  I rocked her back to sleep (that was pretty sweet) and got back to bed for her to wake up again at 2 and then again at 4.  Nothing like being reminded that you really are a mother!  I put her in bed with us to nurse at 4 and I could tell that her nose was stuffy.  We were up for the day soon after that and she wasn't feeling all that well.  I think she is teething and they are really bothering her. 
Aaron made us pancakes for breakfast and by 7:30 she was acting sleepy and I was feeling very sleepy.  I put her in bed and went to bed myself.  I was asleep for about 10 minutes when I heard her crying.  She was very warm and grinding her teeth constantly.  I gave her Tylenol for the fever, but I don't think it helped the discomfort too much.  Our whole day was a series of trying to find things to soothe her and keep her from crying. 
We made it out to Costco and I enjoyed a piece of pizza there for lunch (I love their pizza, so that was a treat).  My little buddy loves pizza too and enjoyed some of mine. 
She took a few more short naps in the afternoon and we went for a walk and played on her swingset to pass the day.  She was very pleasant outside after one of her naps.  That's when I caught these cute pictures of her. 

It may not have been the peaceful, relaxing day that I would hope for, but I am grateful to call myself a mother and to spend time with SG, Lucy, and Aaron.  They are my whole world. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

We celebrated Mother's Day on Saturday with my Mom.  We started with brunch at my parents' house.  The food was super yummy and we had a good time hanging out.  After brunch we headed to the Dunwoody Arts Festival. 

SG had a good time while we looked at the different booths.
She really had a good time when we found the bounce houses! 
I stuffed SG's dress in her panties so that she could really move.  I'm not going to let wearing a dress slow her down!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Letter Month Fifteen

Dear Sarah Graves,
At fifteen months old you are doing so many things and starting to become such a big girl!  You are working on feeding yourself, becoming interested in coloring, enjoying climbing and playing outside, and starting to talk. 
You are becoming pretty good at feeding yourself finger foods.  You love to eat bread and bananas.  Those are two of your favorite foods that you never get enough of.  You also love pancakes.  We make some pancakes for you with oatmeal and blueberries in them that you just love!  You will run to your highchair and stand there waiting to be seated to eat some.  It doesn't matter if you finished eating five minutes before, if you see a banana or bread, you have to have some.  You are starting to drink water from your cup more, but you won't consider drinking any kind of milk out of your cup.  You do love the one bottle a day that you still get.  Lovie tells me how much you enjoy it and how excited you are when you see it.  You wake up ready to nurse every morning.  When I pick you up, you show me the sign for milk and happily snuggle up against me for our wake-up routine.  It's the best part of my day, too.  You have started working on feeding yourself with a spoon.  You want to do it, but get frustrated with how slow it is.  You will get better at it with time.

You are starting to play in a whole new way.  You enjoy trying to color with crayons.  We have been anxious to see if you are left handed like your dad and me, but it looks like you prefer to use your right hand.  That's just fine with us.  You manage to make marks on the paper, but don't seem to put enough pressure to really color.  You'll get it.  You love to go to playgrounds.  You are very strong and determined, so you find a way to get to a lot of the fun.  You enjoy sliding and with some help will try to climb on the structures.  You still love books and you really like your baby and your stuffed animals.  You hug your stuffed toys to you so sweetly. 
You are working so hard on saying more words.  You say a form of banana that sounds something like bulala.  You are definite about what you are saying, though.  You are able to say ma ma, but you prefer to say ba ba.  That makes me laugh!  You say something that sounds like ceee whenever you see Lucy.  You also say woof woof any time you see a four legged, furry animal like a cat.  You are definite that tigers say grrrrr and cows say moo.  You will usually tell me that chicken is cluck cluck.  Some day we will have to have a talk about the fact that the animal is the same as what you get on your plate, but for now you respond cluck cluck any time you hear chicken.  You can also say baby.  You point to other small kids who may be older than you or younger and say baby.  You are also able to say side for outside.  You will point at your swingset and say, "side".  Who knew these simple words would delight me so much!  
Lovie has taught you how to cross your arms over your chest to sign "I love you".  That simply melts my heart.  Sometimes you are busy or holding something so you just put one arm up.  I find that funny.  You can blow kisses and that is one of the sweetest things.  You make a kissing sound and everything, which is just precious.  You have also learned to follow the directions when we sing, "If You're Happy and You Know It".  You will clap your hands or pat your head depending on the verse.  You will also dance around when you hear singing.
You are getting to the point that you don't want both a morning and an afternoon nap.  You are starting to stay awake until 10 or 11 in the morning, but you just can't make it until your afternoon nap.  So, we are working on transition to just the afternoon, but putting off your morning nap and then you snooze a bit in the car in the late afternoon with Daddy.  I think you need more nap than that, but we're hanging in there as you grow out of two long naps.    You have so much personality and people are just drawn to you.  I am always amazed how many people come up to me to compliment me on you.  I think you are the most beautiful and charming thing I have ever been so fortunate to know, but for other people to see it too, that amazes me.  I have said since the moment I knew you, I am fortunate to be your mother and love every moment of it (okay, maybe the angry bobcat crying on the changing table are not the most joyful moments, but they don't last long).