Wednesday, July 29, 2009


We had some success last night with solids! Yay!

Ray's all-time favorite meal at home is this easy mixture of Italian sausage, bell peppers, onion and red potatoes (it's also fairly healthy, too, but you don't need to tell him that). It's a fine meal, not my favorite because I don't care for onions at all, but Ray really likes it.

And so does Lola, apparently. We gave her a few of the potatoes to start with last night, but she quickly graduated on to a few pieces of sausage and peppers.

And then onions. And more onions. And taking onions off of Daddy's plate.

So cute!

Another cute Lola story (no picture with this one). Sunday night, we were just hanging out and playing in her bedroom before her bedtime. And she was chewing on a comb. So I took it and brushed her hair and she got irritated. So then I brushed my hair with it. And then hers again. We did this a few times. And then she reached for the comb, so I gave it to her. And she put it on top of her head, trying to comb her hair like Mommy. Was such a great moment.

Have a great Wednesday!
- Bethany :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

new directions

(This was Lola's first real big girl bath, as she has always been a bit intimidated by the big bathtub. But with a new batch of bath toys for her birthday she gladly took to the big tub.)

We've been going through some changes here lately. And, while this is probably the norm for most 1-year-olds, everything has been just a little bit trickier with our Lola.

I wouldn't call Lola a difficult baby or what have you, but she likes things the way she likes them. She never switched nipple sizes on her bottles (she just screamed when we tried to go up to size 2s), she never accepted larger pacifiers (again, more screaming), and she gets mad if her routine is out of whack. it takes her a fairly long time to warm up to people, and she has a very strong distrust of older men, particularly those with white or gray hair.

Well, along with her first birthday came some changes. Doctor last week told us to get her on real milk, take away the bottle and stop feeding her at nighttime. Also, and this will be the real tough one, stop warming up her bottles.

OK, this was something that perhaps in retrospect we would not have done. But, she liked her milk best when warm while she was an infant. And then it got to be a habit. And now she is one and won't touch anything that is room temperature or cooler.

Doctor knows Lola fairly well. He knows she is a screamer and that she isn't too much of a happy-go-lucky baby that adjusts well to change. Last week, when we brought Lola to see him, Doctor didn't even get the stethoscope off of his neck before Lola started shrieking and screaming at him. (And, no, the stethoscope wasn't even anywhere near her; she just must've known what was coming maybe?)

So, Doctor labeled Miss Lola our "spirited" and "strong-willed" child.

And advised us to invest in some earplugs.

So how are we doing on the changes? Um, not great. We have Lola on 100 percent whole milk, which was a bit of a battle in and of itself. We had some formula left, so we started mixing it 50-50 and then just stopped the formula completely. That was a nice win for us.

As is the nigtht time feedings. No, we still haven't just let her scream. But she has returned to sleeping (mostly) through the night. Ray now has been leaving the house at about 6 a.m., so he just gives her a bottle before he leaves. And we give her a bottle when we go to the bed at night, usually about 11 p.m.

Unfortunately, that's about as far as we've gotten. Lola is still using the bottle and is still getting warm milk. Ray got her, once, to take a cold bottle. But she wouldn't take it again.

So, we're gearing up for some miserable days at some point soon. We know we need to push it a bit more. Easier said than done, though. I kid you not, when Lola is mad, she takes her nuk and chucks it at you. At screams some more. Hard to fight that at 3 a.m. in the morning.

So now I am focused on, hopefully, getting her to take her sippy cup. The problem with that is that she sees it more as a teether and just wants to gnaw on the lip part. She will, occasionally, take a sip of juice or water out of it, especially if it is super warm outside, but mostly, she just plays with it. Which is, obviously, not our objective.

As for the warm milk, I just don't know. We're trying to cool it down each time, hoping to just make some progress little by little. We're looking at our goals in inches, not miles.

Wish us luck!
- Bethany :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

more pics...

Hello! I'll have more to write this afternoon or tonight, probably, but I wanted to share just a few more pictures that I hadn't gotten around to posting yet.

One of the super nice parts of going to the Cities last Friday afternoon for Lola's party was that we got to spend Friday evening and nightttime with Lola's Wisconsin cousins. We don't get to see them too often - but it was so much fun to see the kids all play together.

(And watch little Lola try repeatedly to steal Amber's pacifier.)

This little guy took to Lola right away. He was so sweet with her, playing a rolling game of catch. I didn't get the camera soon enough to grab a picture of the cousins together. But they played lots! (Here, he was playing with his Unlcle Raymond.)

Coming up are just two photos that I love from Lola's party (yeah, it was a week ago, but I am still a bit behind).

This a picture of Ray playing with Lola and baby Lily, (who turned 1 year old today!), and Lily's mommy Allison. Allison is Ray's niece, so you figure out the technical connections. I get confused after cousin. Anyhow, it's a great picture. I ehard later that Lily, who has been walking for several months now, tried to get Lola to stand up and walk, but it didn't work too well!

And this picture I just love because of who is in it! These girls are too great. I just love them all. They were our three flower girls in our wedding more than four years ago(!) - and it's not like we merge our greater families together too often, so they haven't seen each other in quite some time.

They're just great girls!

More recently, we had a nice weekend, more or less. More meaning we had a great time with Grandma and Grandpa Wesley through Saturday. Lola was just an angel for them ... and then they left. And Lola got cranky and super clingy. I don't know if she is teething more or if the switch to real milk is throwing her off, but Sunday was not what you would call an easy day.

The only time she seemed even halfway happy was outside helping her daddy in the garden. She has always loved gardening with Ray. He sprays the hose and she touches the water, laughs and pulls away.

But what is especially cute about the following pictures is that Lola hates to be dirty. She gets mad if she gets sand or dirt on her hands usually - but yesterday she started on the quilt in the background and just bolted for the garden.

Too cute!

Have a good week!
- Bethany :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lola's birthday party!

We all had such a great time celebrating Lola's birthday with her family last weekend! It was so much fun - even Lola did well herself, playing with her cousins and visiting with family members she doesn't see on a too regular basis. She also, of course, got lots of time with her grandparents (except for her Grandpa Al; Lola still doesn't quite know what to think about him ... any ideas on fixing this situation would be greatly appreciated. I feel so bad.)

We had the party in Maple Grove, which we figured would be much more manageable for (most) family members instead of Bemidji. It was a very nice park, with plenty of room for food, eating and playing games outside. I think the kids, in particular, enjoyed the free space to run and play.

Since I'm usually the one with the camera at home, it was nice to get some shots of our little family and me and Lola.

A friend of mine made the cake for us, which was so beautiful! We just loved it! Aren't the butterflies just perfect?

And, Lola was special enough to get her own mini-cake to break into! She did it with gusto, as she does most things.

She got very nice gifts, which we all appreciated so much! We also had fun with all our little gift-opening helpers!

So, in short, it was a great party! We are so pleased and appreciative that people took time out of their day to come and celebrate with us.

Thank you, everyone.

- Bethany :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lola's first birthday!

Lola's first birthday, hopefully, created a lot of special moments for our family. OK, I know she won't remember any of it, but I think us adults enjoyed it!

It started off about 7 a.m. as Ray and I went into her room and sang "Happy Birthday" to her. She was less than impressed, but tolerated us pretty well:

She had a special Birthday Girl dress that she wore, just in case anyone who saw her didn't know it was her special day!

Lola went to daycare from about 8 a.m. until 11 a.m., when her Grandma and Grandpa Evans arrived in town, along with Lola's favorite puppy dog, Roma. We all got some special time with the birthday girl before we went for her one-year doctor's visit.

The doctor's appointment went well enough. Lola was particularly impressed with the fish in the waiting room. (And was much less impressed later with the doctor and the subsequent shots.)

The day wrapped up once Ray got off work and we all went to Applebee's, where we scared the bejeesus out of the birthday girl when we had the waiters/waitresses sing to her. I should have known better, I know, but it was worth it. And, Lola did get to enjoy some ice cream!

What a fun day!
- Bethany :)

the 'first' first birthday post!

Hi everyone!

Lola turned one year old exactly one week ago and my head is still spinning. I've yet to really get caught up on photos, etc., so you'll see a few posts today, if you check back later this afternoon or early evening.

We had a stupendous week, as we started her celebration with the three of us Tuesday morning and then Grandma and Grandpa Evans made a spontaneous trip Bemidji Tuesday evening to celebrate her first birthday with us.

Of course, the party continued to this weekend, when we held her first birthday bash at a park in Maple Grove. Thankfully, it didn't rain - but we could have had it about 25 degrees warmer maybe! :)

Anyhow, I did bring Lola to the doctor on her first birthday. (Yes, I know, I'm a cruel mother. Trust me, I've heard it all in the last week or so. Personally, I thought it would be fun to have her exact measurements taken on her actual first birthday - but apparently people just focus on the part that had me making her get her shots on her birthday.)

Oh well. Here are the latest stats:

weight: 22 pounds, 15 ounces
height: 29 and 3/4 inches
head: 18 inches

*** she was placed in the 75th percentile for all three ***

So basically, she is growing. Still not walking, but she's growing!

She did get her shots, including her first MMR. And, for Lola, she did pretty well. Screamed a bit at the doctor and his evil stethoscope but I think she wore herself and was too tired to let the nurses have it when they poked her a few times. No fever (yet) and no real problems with the shots, so that was good news. (Doctor said it could take 5-10 days to see a reaction or fever from the MMR, but I'm figuring that we're out of the woods by now...)

We are going to enter, beginning tonight, a new phase in parenthood. Basically it's called "Making the 'spirited' and 'strong-willed' child somehow understand that she doesn't rule the world." More on that to come.

No pics with this post right now. I think I have four posts (!) coming today, or at some point this week: this one, one on her first birthday day, one on her first birthday party, and the one looking forward to this coming week (hint: it apparently involves a lot of earplugs).

Thanks for checking on us! And thanks for thinking of our Miss Lola last week!

- Bethany :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

First birthday!!!

My little Lola,

Happy birthday Boo-Boo! I can't believe you are already one year old!

This year has been the most wonderful year ever for me. I can't imagine having lived it without you (sure, I might have gotten a lot more sleep, but I also would have had way too many less smiles and laughs).

Mommy doesn't have a whole lot of patience, so this past year has been a learning experience. From early sleepless nights, to gassiness and hiccups, to stranger fear, and to (eventually) teething. If anything, this first year has probably gotten me ready for the toddler years (or so I hope).

First smiles, laughs, claps and more. The first year is just a blur of fabulous memories. Thank you.

Have a great birthday!

Love you tons,

Editor's note: I e-mailed Ray this morning and asked if he wanted to add anything to this post. His response is as follows (with some editing).

The top 10 most commonly heard phrases at the Wesley household:

1. Love you.
2. Stop!
3. No!
4. Help!
5. Stop!
6. Boo-Boo.
7. Lola (usually followed by Stop! or No!)
8. Mmmmmm (as in nummy).
9. No, don't chase the bug! (Followed by "No, don't eat the bug.")
10. Watch out she's gonna fall! (Bethany's favorite)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Just a few more days...

... left until our baby officially enters toddlerhood!

(Doesn't she have the most fantastic pout face?!)

And we're already seeing signs of what's to come. Lola is throwing tantrums, little bitty cute ones mostly. But every now and then we do get a few full-blown meltdowns. Usually because she wants to pound on the laptop, but also when we won't let her suck on batteries or steak knives.

Despite that, she's still adorable. She is dancing more and more and trying to jump. No interest in walking, of course, but she is a total copycat. She's getting better and better at waving and is very slowly learning to blow kisses. (Slowly meaning she has no idea, but smiles when I do it ... so I figure it's only a matter of time.)

Some interesting facts about Lola, in honor of her upcoming first birthday:

- Her favorite color is blue. Really.

- Her favorite toys, out of everything she owns, are balls. She loves to roll them around the house and chase after them. (Sometimes I wonder if Ray and I are raising a little puppy dog; well, a really cute puppy dog...)

- She has no interest in walking, would much prefer to just crawl, probably because it seems like she crawls faster than both Ray and I can walk/run.

- She is still obsessed with gift bags.

We are still trying to get her eating more solids, or "real" people food, but she plays with it more than actually eats it. Although, we did have some success Saturday with mac and cheese:

I am still learning about baby hair and what to do with it. I usually just let it go wild, but I've been playing more with clips.

But I haven't quite gotten it all figured out.

I'll comb it and clip it and make it look pretty:

... but then, after a nap:

Really, I think the wild child look fits her much better!! :)

Well, that's about it from here!

Check back on Tuesday! (I still can't believe she will be one year old is just two days...)

- Bethany :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lola was unimpressed...

A three-day weekend with beautiful weather, lots of exciting things happening around town - and my kid wanted nothing to do with it.

Not that she isn't adorable. But, she would have been much happier had we all stayed home all weekend long.

We started off on a good note, having lunch out on Friday and spending all day in town. Lola had fun shopping, although she got quite mad when we walked past the toy department without stopping (seriously, the child is getting awfully close to throwing tantrums...). And we had a good time driving around town and seeing what was going on.

Although by then, I think, Lola had had quite enough!

Saturday, we hung around home and played lots outside and inside. We, again, went out to eat -- and (drum roll) found that Lola got her first tooth! Finally! Yay!

We really weren't going to go to the fireworks, but Lola was wide awake at 9 p.m. and wanted no part of sleeping, so we packed everyone up and headed to the state park. (The fireworks are actually lit off in town on the other side of the lake, but we didn't really want to fight the crowds or anything, so we stayed near home.)

Ray and I brought the bug spray for ourselves, but kept Lola in her stroller, adding instead a barrier of mosquito netting, which Lola tried to eat.

Of the fireworks themselves, Lola was ... very unimpressed. She couldn't have cared less.

And, on Sunday - after Lola popped out her second tooth, she and I headed downtown for the parade. Ray isn't much of a parade-goer, so we met up with my friend Laurie and her granddaughter, Jada. The two girls have gotten together a few times now in recent months, and Lola always has more fun hanging out with fellow kids than us boring adults.

Then, it was time for the parade. And ... that did not go very well. It started out with the police cars, ambulances and fire trucks. All of which scared Lola. She was already kind of on edge because of all of the people, but when the horns got going, she was positively frightened.

The Shriners' go-karts didn't help matters, and by the time Ronald McDonald came by, Lola was screaming pretty good. But Ronald tried, even giving her some cookies, which she was at least somewhat interested in.

I couldn't even get one good smile for a picture.

Oh well. We tried!

Hope everyone had a great Fourth!
- Bethany :)