Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Projects

I almost forgot to post some of Sarah Graves' Thanksgiving art from school. 
 Pops called her Scout when she wore her head dress.

They made the cutest placemat that was laminated with her handprint on it.  Such sweet things she makes and brings home with such pride!  I think that is the best part to see her excitement to show me these special things.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Baby Shot!

Here's our silly girl!


We had a great Thanksgiving!  It was laid back and relaxing.  Thanksgiving day was Dad's birthday and Mom's friend, Jacquie's birthday, so we had a lot to celebrate.

The food turned out delicious!  Aaron and I made the sweet potato crunch, green bean casserole, and mac'n cheese.  Mom made most of it including the cornbread dressing, pork roast, rice and gravy, and turkey.
Have to love my plate!  Full of all things starchy!
Instead of a birthday cake, this was Dad's request, a pumpkin cheesecake with caramel pecan topping.  It turned out beautiful and was simply delicious!
Sarah Graves was not real interested in her Thanksgiving plate, but she later decided that pumpkin pie was just her thing!
Sarah Graves had time to enjoy being with Maw Maw and GG.
Sarah Graves was also smitten with Ryan.  She couldn't hug him enough!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Jeanne' took these pictures of us and I absolutely love them.  Aaron thought of an area that is close to our house, but gets little traffic so that we could capture all these beautiful fall leaves. 

I am so thankful today for the wonderful life that I have.  Aaron, Sarah Graves, Lucy, and my family and friends make it so very special.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


My grandmother and Ryan came to spend Thanksgiving with us.  Sarah Graves just adores Ryan and loves to give him hugs.  He thinks she's pretty good. 
We are looking forward to seeing GG for the holiday, too!  I am excited to have a holiday with so much family around. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Info and Updates

We had a fun weekend and I hope to download the pictures soon, but until then, I had some informational updates that I wanted to share. 
Wal-Mart is going to start carrying a cloth diaper system in select stores.  Mabu Naturals International makes a line of cloth diapers that are made from bamboo, charcoal, and recycled plastic  bottles.  This diaper has an outer shell and a reusable fabric insert or a disposable insert can be attached.  I didn't see price information on the website, but they claim these cost 20-50% less than other cloth diaper systems and a family can save $50 a month compared to buying disposable. 
After reading some blog posts about this it sounds like people are excited about this for the convenience of buying cloth diapers at a big box store, more families hearing about cloth diapering, and these diapers are made of really environmentally friendly products.  The concerns seem to be that it might take business away from the small cloth diaper companies here in the U.S. that tend to employ work at home moms and that the diapers may be a lesser quality and cause mainstream America to have a negative opinion of cloth.  Personally, I am super-excited about fewer disposable diapers ending up in landfills!  I hope they are good quality that will catch on with many families and help them to save money, help the environment, and reduce their child's exposure to chemicals.  I am anxious to actually see these diapers in a Wal-Mart near me.

The other update is on co-sleeping and bedsharing.  There was a recent ad campaign in Milwaukee that got parents buzzing.  The ad campaign focused on the potential negative outcomes from co-sleeping.  We don't co-sleep, mostly because Sarah Graves wants no part of it, but I can definitely see the benefits of it.  When baby is very small, it is so nice to have them right there for middle of the night feedings and newborns sleep best when snuggled up against someone.  If you spent nine months growing inside someone, wouldn't you find it weird to suddenly find yourself all alone?  I miss Aaron when he isn't here to sleep in our bed and I am a grown woman, so I can see how someone brand new in the world would find it uncomfortable. 
Dr. Sears addressed the concerns raised by the ad campaign in a recent online article.  First, let me clarify between co-sleeping and bedsharing as these are distinct terms.  Co-sleeping means baby sleeps nearby such as in a bassinet or co-sleeper next to the bed.  Bed sharing means that baby sleeps in the same adult bed with the mother.  Dr. Sears had this research to support the benefits of co-sleeping.
Cultures who traditionally practice safe co-sleeping, such as AsiansCultures who traditionally practice safe co-sleeping, such as Asians, enjoy the lowest incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Trusted research by Dr. James McKenna, Director of the Mother-Baby Sleep Laboratory of the University of Notre Dame, showed that mothers and babies who sleep close to each other enjoy similar protective sleep patterns. Mothers enjoy a heightened awareness of their baby’s presence, what I call a “nighttime sleep harmony,” that protects baby. The co-sleeping mother is more aware if her baby’s well-being is in danger.
Babies who sleep close to their mothers enjoy “protective arousal,” a state of sleep that enables them to more easily awaken if their health is in danger, such as breathing difficulties.
Co-sleeping makes breastfeeding easier, which provides many health benefits for mother and baby.
More infant deaths occur in unsafe cribs than in parents' bed.
Co-sleeping tragedies that have occurred have nearly always been associated with dangerous practices, such as unsafe beds, or parents under the influence of substances that dampen their awareness of baby.
Research shows that co-sleeping infants cry less during the night, compared to solo sleepers who startle repeatedly throughout the night and spend 4 times the number of minutes crying. Startling and crying releases adrenaline, which can interfere with restful sleep and leads to long term sleep anxiety.
Infants who sleep near to parents have more stable temperatures, regular heart rhythms, and fewer long pauses in breathing compared to babies who sleep alone. This means baby sleeps physiologically safer.
A recent large study concluded that bed sharing did NOT increase the risk of SIDS, unless the mom was a smoker or abused alcohol.
With Sarah Graves I was nervous to let her sleep in the bed with me as a newborn, but it was the only place that she slept for any period of time.  It was a lot more convenient to put her in bed next to me and knowing what I know now, I would have done it from the very start and felt good about it.  Sleep is vital and any way that a new mom and baby can get it should be applauded.
I have complained about it before, but it really feels like these blanket recommendations go out to parents and really each situation is different and people have to take all the information and make their best choice.  It's just a shame that we live in a world where parents can't be trusted to receive information and make their own informed decision. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Play-Doh Love

Sarah Graves is completely in love with Play-Doh. She knows how to make pancakes, snakes, and ho ho hos!  How do you make a ho ho ho, you ask?  Well, you roll it into a ball and use your baby butter knife to carve eyes, nose, and mouth.  Ho ho hos are similar to jack-o-lanterns, but they can be any color of play-doh you happen to be using.  Yellow is our preferred color of play-doh. 

She will sit in her high chair for ages playing with play-doh!  She likes to practice stacking the little containers up, we talk about the colors, and I make it into shapes so that we can talk about letters.  This is the best way to get this active little girl to sit down and focus. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

First School Picture

So this is SG's school picture. It's not her happiest picture, but I love how she folded her little hands in her lap.  This is my school picture from pre-k and I must say that we have about the same expression.  At least there is hope that she will learn to take a pleasant portrait!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fall Leaves

I love watching the leaves change in Atlanta.  This is my drive home and seeing the trees so vibrant makes for a lovely way home. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Baby Shot!

The Things She Says...

Sarah Graves is working very hard to talk and more and more often she is putting two or three words together to more fully communicate her idea. 
She loves to identify that an object is hers as in, Sarah cup, Ba Ba cup, Da Da cup. 
She can really say Lucy's name and she has totally picked up on how we call Lucy any time we drop food in the kitchen.  She dropped a craisin the other day and quickly called, "Lucy!"  I was somewhat surprised when Lucy came bounding down the stairs to see what Sarah Graves wanted.  Getting some food didn't hurt the reinforcement!  When Lucy is barking at what appears to be nothing, Sarah Graves will tell her, "Lucy, no!" just like I do.  That makes me aware of just how much those little ears are listening to everything I say!
The most surprising thing she has said was the other day when she pointed at my chest and said, "boob."  I was so surprised that she had a word for that!  It's not as though we sit around the kitchen table discussing them or anything and they aren't labeled in her body board book either.  She calls every color yellow, but she somehow caught on to the names of the body parts!   
The other morning after her bath she sat her naked bottom on the tile floor and I mentioned that I thought the floor would be cold.  She looked at me and very seriously said, "it not cold."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Slappy Happy

She was in such a good mood and so giggly.  She was eating sweet potato pancakes, so we will be making those more often!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Play Date

We had a fun play date at the park on Sunday. Our friends, Ally and Greg, joined us for a fun time running around and sliding!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Slappy Happy!

She got so tickled talking about the foods that we would eat for Thanksgiving.

She was enjoying sweet potato pancakes while we talked to her. I think I will make those again if they elicit this kind of giggling! She brings such joy!


Monday, November 7, 2011

Good to be a Tiger!

Saturday night we gathered at Lovie and Pops' house to watch the big game. SG had a late nap and stayed up to watch some! She has started saying her version of Go Tigers! She usually just says Go! She recognizes the letters L-S-U no matter what color or what they are on and purple and gold always get a Go! From her. I would say the brain washing is working!
When the guys pile up on the field, she says uh oh.
Here she is watching the game with Lovie.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, November 4, 2011

Play Table

We received this play table and chairs as a baby gift from my super-sweet friend, Sarah.  She gave it to us because she remembered how much fun she had as a child playing at her own little table.  The table was unfinished so that we could make it special for Sarah Graves.  I have been paralyzed to do anything with it for almost 2 years fearing that I wouldn't be able to do anything as cute as the ideas I had in my head. 

I had visions of detailed custom painted stripes, polk-a-dots, and flowers.  As usual, it is a little more difficult than I want it to be, but I am pleased with what I accomplished.  Painted on the chairs are the phreses, you are loved and you are enough.   I picked these because I thought they were the two things I would want any child to walk around this world knowing.  She is loved and she is enough just the way she is, no changing herself for anyone else is needed. 

The yellow was a given because it is her favorite color and she went with me to pick out the pink and purple and was so proud of herself for that!  She loves this table and loves trying to carry the chairs around!  I am excited for her to be able to enjoy it.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

School Days

Sarah Graves thoroughly enjoys her days at school. Whenever I ask her about who is at school, she always says Chase. She talks about Chase A LOT. I'm not sure that Chase is as enamoured with her as she is with him, so Aaron may not have to worry ...for now.
Her teachers say that she is well-behaved and very FAST! They worry about all her dresses and getting boo boos on her knees, so they cheer when she wears pants!
I am always shocked when I hear about how calmly she walks in the classroom and sits down to look at a puzzle or play with a toy. Aaron and I always verify that she wasn't trying to stand on the table or carry the chair around the room, but we are told she is very orderly in her conduct (as orderly as a 1 year old is going to be, I suppose).
She is so excited to go that she doesn't even care to tell Lovie bye. I guess that's better than crying and clinging to her leg, which some of the kids are still doing.
I am so grateful that she goes to a sweet little school with really kind teachers.

Baby Shot!

I know I dress her in dress a lot, okay most of the time, but I really do like these cute corduroy pants!  Her teacher cheer when she wears pants to school because they worry about her falling and skinning her knee.  We've moved on to turkeys and she loves to point to her shirt and say her version of turkey.  We're working on gobble, gooble, but we don't quite have it yet!


Last night we participated in our trunk-or-treat at church.  If you haven't been to a trunk-or-treat before, people like us sign up to be hosts and park our cars in a parking lot with decorated trunks and give out candy.  I had never heard of them before we came to Atlanta, but it works well for the little kids. 

Some of the hosts had very extensive decorations.  We kept ours pretty simple with pumpkins. 
Sarah Graves was in constant motion! 
We met this cutie, Alyssa, dressed as Little Red Riding Hood.
Was saw our friend, Allie, dressed as a gnome!
Aaron and Lucy posed as the stars from Blue's Clues in several pictures with trick-or-treaters.
Sarah Graves loved the freedom of being outside and running around with all the kids. 
Climbing in and out of her stroller is always a favorite activity.

She wasn't too into trick-or-treating, but she did catch on that you say "tri tree" when you take a piece of candy!  I did manage to keep her from discovering candy (the last frontier for her sweet tooth to discover)  by giving her some Annie's fruit snacks made with cane syrup.