Monday, June 29, 2009

a new toy

After packing up the Jumperoo, the walker (that Lola never liked), and all her baby toys, our house has gotten pretty bare lately. Very bare, in fact. And, Lola has seemed to be getting a little bored with her toys. (Or has that been her parents? Hard to tell.)

So, we went out and bought a new toy on Sunday. And, at the risk of sounding very commercial-ish, it's the coolest toy ever.

Lola, who has somehow in the past few weeks gotten very smart, knew as soon as she saw the box that it was hers. I'm not sure if it is the colors or the kids on the box, but she started at the box the whole car ride home and would not leave Ray alone when he began putting the thing together:

So, she earned herself a trip to her crib for naptime, which she was overdue for anyway. Meanwhile, Ray got everything put together so Lola would be surprised when she woke up. (And he and I got to play with the toy on our own first, which was kind of fun.) Anyhow, the toy is the Fisher-Price Musical Jungle. It comes with several colored balls, which can shoot out of an elephant's trunk, be placed on a monkey's hands (like they are being weighed), and roll down down a spiraled ramp. It, of course, has music and flashing lights.

Lola loved it:

That was our Sunday. Earlier in the weekend, we spent time with Ray's parents, who came into town Thursday to baby-sit on Friday. It went great! (Sometimes with Lola you just never know...) She did really good with them and was in her happy, cooperative mood, which is always appreciated.

We don't have day care on Fridays this summer, so we expect to have visitors throughout the next two months. It was nice to see Ray and Jean this weekend, and it was even nicer to see Lola respond to them so positively! Maybe she is finally growing out of her phase when she just wants Mommy or Daddy... That would be awesome.

That's about it here. We're gearing up for a three-day weekend, hoping for some nice weather.

Have a good week,
- Bethany :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm not ready...

(This is Lola enjoying her first bowl of chicken noodle soup.)

My baby is no longer my little baby anymore. Now, she's just a whirlwind.

Seriously. And, I don't know when this happened.

It was just last week that Lola was standing up while holding onto furniture. She was proud of herself, but she got really freaked out when/if she let go, and she would immediately clamp back onto something. Now she couldn't care less about hanging on to stuff and she is cruising all over the house. (Or as Ray says, she sashays along.)

I'm just really not ready for this toddler stuff yet.

I mean, Lola got her first birthday pictures taken last weekend and I mailed her party invitations this week -- but I still had not really faced that she's almost one. But yesterday evening, everything just changed. I needed to get a story done (more like a new brief) for today's paper so I was on the laptop on the couch. I set Lola down across the room with her "fuzzes" and her toys. And I got to work -- but she managed to stand herself up, get the couch and "cruise" all the way over to me in a mater of moments. It was unreal. So I set her back down and the same thing happened (Lola loves the laptop). I finally ended up having to stand in the kitchen with the laptop on the counter while I got my stuff done.)

I know, I know: "They grow so fast."

And they do. I know that. I just wasn't ready!

The little baby who used to shriek for hours because she was gassy has grown into the little kid who takes her diaper off every time right after I put it on. The baby who would only sleep if on our chests is now our girl who is kicking the sides of her cribs so hard at nighttime that she gets little bruises on her feet. That bald-ish baby with cradle cap now has a head full of blonde ringlets.

Yesterday, Lola tried walking for the first time. She took two steps (maybe 1.5) before falling. I wasn't there to see it; I was doing laundry. But Ray told me all about it. Sure enough, she showed me a few moments later that she's no longer afraid to stand without holding onto a knee or table leg.

So I'm in a little bit of a daze today, forgive me. I know they can change overnight, I just wasn't ready!

- Bethany :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

The zoo, a party, and so much more!

Some trips are just too jam-packed full of events to pick just one favorite moment! Was it the Wesley visit to the zoo? The screaming contest between Lola and cousin Micah? Meeting my brand-new niece Katelyn? Lola's first birthday portraits? Nope, too hard to pick just one.

So, we'll take it day by day (sorry in advance if this gets a bit long).

Thursday night, Ray and I (and Lola) left Bemidji for St. Cloud, where Ray was lucky enough a few months ago to have won a free night's stay at Country Inn & Suites, which was simply lovely. We got there about 9 p.m. and played for just a little bit before Lola went down (eventually) for the night. We didn't enjoy too many of the hotel's perks, but we really had a great time in our hotel room (yay for Jacuzzis!) and there was a super nice staff member who kept us company during the complimentary breakfast. (Do I sound like a commercial?)

Even Lola seemed to enjoy her new surroundings:

Friday morning, we left about 7:30 a.m. and went to Como Zoo, where the three of us had a little family time before Ray left for a weekend with his friends. Lola didn't really notice the animals too much unless they made giant movements or something. She especially took notice of the giant tortoise and the fish. She also loved the itty bitty penguins - until, at my urging, Ray got a little closer than Lola was comfortable with.

Here is Lola entranced with the fish: (She was so cute, her head would jerk sideways as she tried to follow the little ones darting all over in the tanks.)

Then, when it was time to relax and have a bottle, Lola and Ray decided to just relax for a moment:

Then, we all went over to meet the newest member of our family, two-day-old Katelyn Rose. She was such a doll. And Amber is the best big sister!

From there, Lola and I said good-bye to Ray and spent the next two days with my side of the family, playing with her cousins and bonding with her grandparents and aunts and uncles. We did some shopping, had some pictures taken for Lola's upcoming first birthday (eek!) and had a birthday party/Father's Day party Saturday for Grandpa Dave.

It was great fun -- and it all went by way too quickly.

Sunday afternoon, we went over to Totino's in Mounds View, a Wesley family favorite, to meet Grandma and Grandpa Wesley, aunt Wendy, uncle Charles and cousin Alex, the recent college graduate. We had fun, but Lola was kind of in a shrieking mood, much to the dismay of the family seated immediately next to us.

(Side note: I, too, know how amazingly annoying it can be to hear a fussy baby or toddler while you are out to eat with a date or with your family. But it's not as if: A, us parents can really muzzle the kid (Family Services tends to frown on that); B, that us parents would purposely bring a child out into the public if we had prior knowledge that s/he was going to act like we were trying to physically injure said child; or C, rolling your eyes, sending us dirty looks, and/or covering your ears is not going to magically quiet the infant down. If anything, it's only going to further stress out us already nervous parents and the child will pick up on the fact that his/her parents are upset and scream more. So relax.)

Grandma Jean was so nice to take Lola out and walk her around a bit, and I tried too, but after about 45 minutes, it became clear that Lola was just plain ready to go back to Bemidji. So we did.

So now we are back to work and day care, respectively, and adjusting to being home. With the mosquitoes (I swear they are finding a place to breed inside our house). We are looking forward to seeing Grandma and Grandpa Wesley later this week as they come into town for to help us with Friday day care issues. And, you never know, maybe Ray and I will get out for an hour or so in honor of our fourth wedding anniversary.

We shall see.

Anyhow, have a great week!
- Bethany :)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

11 months old already...

Wow. I see Lola every day, but it seems like every week or two, I'll look at her and barely recognize her. She is changing so much, so quickly. This weekend, we had some family time Sunday and I think Ray and I realized that Lola isn't really our "baby" so much anymore. Toddlerhood is one month away (as my baby books keep reminding me) - and Lola is headed in that direction with gusto.

She is changing in so many ways. I don't know when my kid became such a beanpole! Sure, she still has some of that baby chub, but she's moving around so much that it is very quickly shrinking. She couldn't squeeze into 12 months sizes just a few weeks ago and now it seems like I need a belt for her 18 months stuff!

(See, even she's trying to keep her pants on!)

She isn't walking yet, but she's learning to cruise and is always standing up. She now is getting to be a bit of a show-off and is holding on one-handed, or even no-handed if there is enough motivation (i.e snacks to eat or mischief to create).

She also is starting to mimic us a lot. Ray was making little dancing moves the other day, and Lola quickly followed suit. I so wish I had taken a video, but I wasn't that fast. But, she was swinging her hands and trying to dance like Daddy:

She is starting to understand her surroundings so well that it's scary. She has learned how to get under tables (but doesn't know how to get back out and gets stuck and cries), how to take her toys off the table and then put them back on the tables just to again take them off, she loves making noise by banging on things with her bare hands, and she has committed herself to learning someday, somehow how to get into the forbidden refrigerator.

We have, of course, had our share of mishaps. Lola wants whatever Mommy has - and while I've tried to be careful, I'm also not very smart all of the time. She got hold of the curling iron last week. Oops. There were some screams. Luckily, the iron had been turned off for quite some time and was barely warm to the touch, so she was fine (again, more snacks and lots of distraction).

But most of her owies have been her own fault. Standing too quickly, getting too excited, and plain old poor balance. But she's trying.

The funniest was yesterday -- this is a terrible story and Ray and I should not have laughed at all about it -- but it was too cute. Lola's absolutely favorite thing in the entire world is this large, plush, pink rabbit. It's her "fuzzes" -- and she will take off from one end of the house to the other just to grab it and snuggle for a few moments.

She knows where it is at all times and will not share him ever. Not with me or daddy either. If we take him or lay on him, Lola comes right over and yanks him back. She'll share and play with anything else, but that rabbits is absolutely hers.

Anyhow, yesterday she saw the rabbit as soon as I walked in the front door and she began wiggling and fighting to get out of my arms. She takes off crawling very fast and goes to her "fuzzes" and throws her head down - like very hard, very fast - to snuggle. But ... she missed. Bad. Wasn't even close. So she basically ended up throwing her head against the floor. And it was loud. And I'm sure it hurt. She was so angry. She was crying and upset, so I tried to pick her up and hug her, but she just got more mad - until I laid her on her rabbit. She smiled at me and cuddled there for a few moments. And then it was all better.

Rabbit trumps Mommy apparently.

(Now I just need to figure out how to wash the thing. It's getting pretty spitty.)

That's about it up here -- looking forward to heading south this weekend to catch up with family (including possibly, ahem, our newest family member due any day now... Maybe, hopefully?! No pressure, though, or anything!)

- Bethany :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lola's learning lots!

Life has been a bit of a blur the past week or so. Mainly due to our constant running after Lola and telling her "no" every time she reaches for and tries to eat the plants, TV remotes, rocks, socks, you get the picture.

Where did I leave off? Last Thursday night, Lola was up a lot during the night, which is unlike her. But what was really unlike her was that she was crying and wasn't hungry and had her nuk. I figured she was teething. Well, Friday (I had the day off because I worked that coming Saturday), she was miserable. Sad and whiny and just wanting to snuggle, which is not usually her thing. I took her temp and it was about 99. Gave her some Tylenol, put her to bed and she woke up with a temperature of 102. Great. Called the doctor and she was diagnosed with her first-ever ear infection. Oh joy. Ray had a rough night that Friday and Saturday, but Lola was back to herself on Sunday.

When healthy, Lola has been next to impossible to keep still. She is getting into everything! Though she's been capable of standing for a few weeks now, she now is understanding that if she stands, she can reach a lot of stuff she couldn't grab before. So, she stands all of the time now, holding onto her crib, tables, chairs, people, dogs, cars, whatever she can get hold of.

Her favorite activity now is going to her toy bin, standing and reaching for whatever toy strikes her as interesting at that moment. The funny part is she doesn't want to actually play with any of them, just take them out and toss them all over the floor. Fun times.

She actually has been standing, occasionally and possibly by accident, without holding onto anything at all. The first time she did this was when she had a sticker stuck to her hand and she stayed there for a few minutes before grabbing back onto the table. It was so neat to see -- and scary all at the same time. (I'm a wussy mommy; I hate it when she falls!)

She stands and tries to "jump" bending her knees and then standing back up. Her feet never leave the ground, but she enjoys it, laughing and laughing (probably spent too much time in the Jumperoo in earlier months). She is trying to climb, but hasn't quite figured that out yet (which is just fine by me!). She's learned to open cabinets and drawers.

She's now saying mama, dada and baba - even telling us this morning that she was hungry without crying: I was in the kitchen making lunch while she was crawling on the floor trying to figure out how to open the refrigerator (this is a new puzzler for her - she wants in so badly because she knows there is stuff in there that she doesn't get to play with). Lola came over to my feet and said, "Baba." I looked at her, she looked at me, repeating herself, "Baba." I thought Ray had already given her a bottle, and I honestly figured she was just babbling. But, when I turned from her, she got much more frantic, "Baba! Baba! Baba!" OK. I got the message. She ate.

Lola is trying to walk, sort of. She can walk a little ways while holding onto a table and trying to reach something interesting, usually Mommy's book, Mommy's food, Mommy's cell phone or Mommy's computer - but she has to have an objective or else she won't do it. She won't however, try to walk while you hold both her hands. I keep trying to get her to do it, but she doesn't understand. She just thinks you're going to pick her up, so she she sits down and reaches up for you.

That's really about it. We're starting to plan for her first birthday -- I can't believe I just wrote that. It is completely difficult for me to believe that she is almost one year old. But that's a whole 'nother entry for another day.

I'd wish you a happy summer -- but since we had to scrape our cars in Bemidji this morning, I think I'll just say good-bye,
Bethany :)