Monday, August 24, 2009

Lola's first camping trip

After nearly two years of not really camping at all, Ray and I decided that we would try. Just try and see how it goes.

We spent the past week trying to cool down Lola's bottles. (Yes, she's still on bottles and, yes, we are still somewhat warming them up. We've made progress, but it's just been inching along...) We bought a new Peapod tent for Lola and a bigger tent for our whole family -- was just going to be too tight a fit in the backpacking tent, we figured.

This was supposed to be a practice run. We have four days off in September, during which we would like to take a family trip to the North Shore. So this was to see what we would need to work on. We didn't have any expectations that this would just go overly well, although I think we both had secret hopes.

I had to work Saturday, so I got home about 3:30 p.m. and we packed up the car.

This is why we went drive-in camping and not backpacking:

While Ray got the tent and most everything else set up, I played with Lola, who had a fantastic time playing on her blanket and eventually exploring her surroundings. She was so excited to be in nature and was having a great time crawling and walking around. (She preferred to walk, but I think the uneven ground was a bit too tricky for her. She did find it much easier to walk around inside the tent.)

So at this point, we started getting, perhaps, a bit too confident. Things were going wonderfully. Lola was laughing, smiling and talking. She was having a great time, which meant Ray and I were, mostly, relaxed. We made dinner for everyone - hot dogs of us adults and baby food for Lola. She, of course, tried to eat the ketchup bottle and was mad that she wasn't allowed any hot dogs.

Then, as nighttime neared, all three of us went for a nice, long hike. We wore Lola out to the point where she finally fell asleep in her stroller. This was the goal. Get Lola to fall asleep and then transfer her to the Peapod.

Did it work?

Um, no.

As soon as the stroller stopped rolling, she woke up and cried. We gave her bottle, but she wouldn't take it. We moved her into the tent and then into the Peapod and that is when things went downhill.

Lola was scared, I think. The Peapod, perhaps a little too closed in, was just something that she wasn't used to. We tried letting her cry herself to sleep, as we would sort of do at home, but she was not to be consoled. Ray eventually went in with her and sat near her, comforting her with "shhhhs" and it worked - until he tried to get out of the tent. The screaming then started again.

After an hour, we gave up. We left. We would have, maybe, stuck it longer had we not had so many camping neighbors, but I just couldn't do that to them - or Lola - any longer. We were home by 10 p.m.

So was it a success? No, not really. But it wasn't that bad, either, to be honest. We got her into the woods, which she enjoyed. It's just going to take some work for nighttime. We're planning for some naps in the Peapod at home, until she gets more accustomed to it.

We returned Sunday morning to gather up our stuff. While Ray and I broke down "camp," Lola was placed back on her blanket. I think she was confused as to why we returned!

We're still planning on September trip. Might take some work, but both Ray and I need to get away from the house for a few days and enjoy what is left of the warm weather before the snow comes.

- Bethany :)

Monday, August 17, 2009

fun times!

Some days you just won't forget. Or at least you hope not to. Sunday was one of those days.

Lola was an absolute joy. The melt-your-heart, cover-in-kisses kind of joy. We made the most of our day. We went to the Headwaters Science Center, cleaned the house (with Lola's un-help of emptying every laundry basket, cabinet and drawer within her reach), and had playtime with Lola. Lots of playtime with Lola.

Something got into Lola and she had a burst of energy. The kind of energy us adults could use, particularly on Monday mornings. But Lola just grabbed her horsey and began running throughout the house. Really running. She went from the living room to the kitchen to and back again for 20 minutes straight. I tried to make her take a break - she was just sweating! - but she was into it and would not be stopped.

Here's a video of her toward the end:

One of the cutest things about her run was that she would encounter something interesting - a red ball, board book, etc. - and she would stick it in the horsey's basket, as if she was saving it for later. Nothing would distract her from her walking practice! So cute.

Then, when I thought she really had to take a break, I gave her some rides on the horsey, which she absolutely loved.

I smile just thinking about it.

The Headwaters Science Center was great fun, also. Lola was quite into the fish and the reptiles. And she enjoyed some of the exhibits. At the time, it was raining outside, so it was a great way to spend the afternoon. What a great place for Bemidji.

It was just a great day. Everyone had fun, even us parents!

Have a great weekend!
- Bethany

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

as close as she's gotten...

No news here, really. Just had to share this one photo of Lola getting around the house. She doesn't yet walk, but she is learning to use her pink horsey as a walker.

But, one of these days!

- Bethany :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

back home in Bemidji

I love this picture. Ray and Lola have a special bond and it's so sweet to see them playing together, especially outside where Ray is happiest.

We had a great weekend, although it didn't go quite as we had planned.

Lola and I made it to the Cities Friday afternoon, thanks to a ride from a friend of mine up here in Bemidji. Ray joined us later Friday night, about 11 p.m., after he finished his laundry.

Saturday, we had two first birthday parties to attend, which were fun! But it was so hot! We spent a couple of hours in Maplewood and then booked it to Bloomington, where I swear it was even hotter. Lola was miserable in the heat and she was overtired. So we, unfortunately, didn't stay as long as we'd planned and left early.

And decided to just go back home. So, our usual 4-hour ride to Bemidji took us about 5, and the air-conditioning decided to quit on us about 20 minutes into the drive. Ray was thrilled. I just slept it off.

Yesterday, we spent some much-needed time just hanging out at home. And grocery shopping, but mostly just sitting at home and playing with Lola.

Who still is not walking yet. But she is getting close. Just needs a bit more confidence.

She is talking up a storm though, now. She say "ball," "Mama," "Mum" and "Yum" - but yum is really more of "Ymmm-ymm" as she tries to mimic "num-num" and "yummy" and just squishes them together. It's super cute, though. She doesn't really say "dada" ever, which is frustrating to Ray, but every now and them she'll say "Da" and reach for him.

Besides that, live continues. We are trying to make some new recipes at home, one of which Lola really liked last night. Just look at that smile!

Lola, for the past week or two, has consistently been sitting at the dinner table with us for supper. (Which is new for Ray and I, too, since we're used to eating on the couch, but whatever...) She has now learned that when you put her in the high chair and the table is set, she knows she is getting some new foods! She loves chicken (especially chicken tacos), potatoes, onions and watermelon. She also enjoys pizza, but I can't get her to eat any pasta noodles. Yet. We're working on it!

- Bethany :)

P.S. When I changed the blog's appearance, a few things changed as well. Just if you're interested, you can still make comments, but the "comments" button is really light. FYI.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

getting closer...

Well, we're getting closer to having a full-fledged walker, but we're not there yet.

Lola has now learned that it is much easier to stay verticle than to crawl, so she is finding lots of different ways to walk around without really walking. She had been doing this by holding onto furniture or walls. Or a parent's leg.

Until now.

One of the gifts that Lola received for her birthday was a horse on wheels, which is designed to have her sit on the saddle and push herself around with her feet. Lola hasn't quite figure out the sitting part yet, unless I'm pushing her around the house, but she has figured out how to use the horse as a walker.

(I would insert pictures here or maybe even a video, but someone left the camera at his office yesterday...)

So now we have a mini-walker scotting all over the house pushing on a pink horse. But she also has been getting more comfortable being upright and is more often taking a few "real" steps without prompting from her mommy.

Too cute!

In other news, we head south tomorrow for the Cities for the weekend! Should have some new pictures and/or news early next week!

- Bethany :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

dragon boats ... and first steps!!!

What a fun weekend! My parents were in town, so we all went to the local dragon boat festival Friday and Saturday. It was fun, although the weather was interesting.

Strange to think that we went from this:

to this:

... in just one day!

But it was fun, although Lola was not too impressed with our local politicians. She screamed at the mayor, his wife, and a city councilwoman. She just gets a bit overwhelmed. (And, yes, the dragon at top scared the bejeesus out of her, too.)

Life has been getting a bit crazy at home. Lola officially took her first steps on Wednesday, walking three steps in a row at three times (with me) at home. She's been doing that a bit more and more. And the record is now four steps. Basically, she'll walk if she is already standing and if there is something just a little bit in front of her at her head level or higher. If it's on the ground, she'll just crawl.

We continue to work on solids. Last night we tried to give her real peas and she just screamed like I was poisoning her or something. So Ray (the smart one, apparently), got a container of her baby food peas and snuck real ones in with each scoop. She did well with that, but if there was more than one real pea per spoonful, she spit everything out.

This week is a short one for me, as I have Friday off, and then we're heading down to the Cities for birthday parties and to (maybe?) meet the newest member of Ray's extended family. Should be loads of fun! (Plus, my family has an extra-special visitor that I haven't seen in way too long, so that should be fun!)

- Bethany :)