Tuesday, October 27, 2009

changes ahead

We've had an interesting week in Bemidji. And we're just now starting to return to our normal schedules.

Some more than others.

Wednesday, I was at work when I suddenly felt as if I was getting warm. Within an hour, I was ill. I got my butt home and into bed almost immediately and slept 41 of the following 48 hours. And then, almost as quickly as it came on, it was gone. But it was a rough two days Thursday and Friday.

Saturday, I was finally feeling better and Ray had to work all day, so Lola and I had a Mommy and Me day at home. Which I so much needed after being sick. I hate being home and not playing with her or spending time with her. It is simply devastating to see her look at you with those big blue eyes, holding out a book or a toy. And I couldn't play. It was so sad.

But Saturday we had fun! Of course, Lola had a a weak cold that day (it dissipated by Sunday), but we played with all of her toys and made a nice mess in the house. Great times.

Sunday, all three of us were able to get together and watch football and play all day. We had such a nice time.

And Sunday became a day of change for Lola....

A few things to know: We're fairly laid-back parents. We have tried several times to get her off bottles and using sippy cups, but she likes warm milk and still won't drink it cold. But we haven't really forced her to change. We've suggested it in many, many ways, but never forced her.

So we began, on Sunday, the long - very slow - process to get her off bottles.

Step one: water. We replaced her milk bottles with water. She still gets her warm milk bottle at bedtime and once right before Ray and I go to sleep. But her other bottles (nap time, crabby time, etc.) all have warm-ish water.

This is where we are now.

Step two: (starting this Sunday) will be to replace all bottles with water bottles. If she wants her milk - warm or not - it will need to come from her sippy cup.

Step three (in a while, seeing on how step two goes): cold milk in sippy cups, water in bottles. Until she just loses interest in the water all together.

So how is step one going? Pretty well. Kind of. Sort of.

The first day was great. She loved the water and didn't fight it at all. She was happy for the milk, too, but it was nice to see her actually eating more real table foods than just snacking or trying things.

Yesterday didn't go as well. Something is going on. Lola is either teething or coming down with something or just plain unhappy. She went to bed at 7:30 p.m. (late) and got her milk bottle. But when she was done, she started to cry. And kept crying. And then cried some more. We gave her water at 8 p.m., but she just chucked the bottle at us. She finally fell asleep about 9 p.m., but woke up at 11:30 p.m. and whined and whimpered until 2 a.m. She wasn't thirsty or anything. Just sad and mad.

My guess is her teeth are hurting her so she just doesn't want any kind of bottle.

I guess we'll see how tonight goes.

The other big change from Sunday? SHOES!

Miss Lola, who had seemingly hated shoes (she has even taken to throwing mine in the recycling bins), was getting dressed Sunday afternoon (yeah, Sunday was a PJ day for the Wesleys) and Ray suggested that we try putting her in shoes again.

We put on the shoes ... and Lola smiled.

We stood her up ... and Lola grinned.

She took a step ... and fell flat on her face.

OK, it took a few minutes until she learned how to maneuver with the rubber soles. But once she got going, she didn't want to stop.

We all went out and celebrated. We went to Target (to look at buying even more shoes). Lola doesn't mind shopping, but she gets aggravated that we don't let her walk in stores. With socked feet, I just didn't think she should walk all around a store.

But now ... we got in the front door and I stood her up right away. She looked at me, as if wondering whether I knew I had bypassed the carts. And I let her run. She walked throughout the whole store. Yes, she fell several times, but she always got back up and ran to the next area of interest.

(We also learned that toy aisles are very recognizable, even to a 15-month-old. And they are nearly impossible to coax a child out of.)

Since Sunday, Lola has also learned that if she wears shoes, we let her play outside, which is her absolute favorite thing to do. So she is seeing the benefits.

It was cute Monday morning, when I got her dressed for day care. I was all done with her socks and ready to go when she threw a temper tantrum in her bedroom. I didn't know what was wrong, so I asked her to show me. She walked over to her dresser, opened the shoe drawer and handed me a pair of pink tennis shoes.

"Oos," she insisted, sitting down.

So I put her shoes on and she ran to the front door, ready for day care.

So my daughter is finally a shoe girl. And I'm happy to have a new shoe friend.

Now I just have to convince her to stop throwing my shoes in the garbage...

Have a good week!
- Bethany

Sunday, October 18, 2009

a very welcome fall afternoon!

We were afraid we wouldn't get too many fall days after some of the recent snowfalls. But today was gorgeous! We took advantage of the weather and went over to Lake Bemidji State Park with the intention of taking a hike.

Well, Lola wanted to do the walking herself. So while her mother and father may not have gotten much exercise - Lola herself ran for more than hour straight.

It's amazing to think that this coming Tuesday, will be two years to the day that we found out we were pregnant. So much has changed. To see Lola walking and running around - becoming a little girl - is just extraordinary. It seemed like just a few weeks ago she learned how to sit up, how to roll over. Now, to see her running (usually away from us) and learning to talk, telling us "No no no!" when we try to pick her up - it's simply amazing.

Lola won't wear shoes - she's stubborn like that. (Hmm, I wonder where she gets that one?!) But we now have here wearing this heavy sock things with ribbed bottoms (I'm sure there's a name for them, but I can't think of it right now). It makes it possible for her to walk outside - like today - but we decided today that we really should get her wearing "real" shoes soon for winter. We want to be able to go snowshoeing or hiking this winter - and the socks just aren't going to cut it. Still, they sure are cute! And without them, it would have been very difficult for her to navigate the pine needles and pine cones.

We had so much fun today, even though Ray and I didn't get the exercise we had counted on. But it was even greater to see Lola having such a wonderful time outdoors.

Well, the whole afternoon wasn't perfect: Lola didn't always want to stop for pictures! Here, she is actually mad because Ray wouldn't let her run down the very steep hill. He had her stop for a picture. Didn't quite turn out like I'd hoped!

After more than an hour of having Lola run around free, she crashed. Literally. She tripped on a rut and got her hands dirty. She hates getting dirty, so that was the end of her adventures for the day on foot. From then on, I strapped her to my back and we hiked back toward home.

Just a wonderful afternoon.

- Bethany :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

15-month appointment

Lola had her 15-month check-up today. What an experience these doctor trips are becoming! Really, I'm starting to wonder if it wouldn't in some ways be better if she was ill more often so she wouldn't just know right away what she is in for when we get to the office.

But I'm being a little dramatic: Of course we know we're so incredibly fortunate to have a healthy child.

Lola, our adorable intense and spirited child, screamed as soon as she saw the nurse.

And began shrieking as soon as the poor nurse tried to measure her head.

The appointment went downhill quickly thereafter. The nurse thought it would be best if she left the room while Ray and I weighed Lola on the machine. Well, I sat her down on the scale and Lola stood up and jumped back into my arms. Screaming, of course.

Ray had to take over at that point.

Anyhow, the stats:

Height: 31 1/4 inches (75th percentile)
Weight: 25 pounds, 9 ounces (80th percentile)
Head: 18 1/4 inches (70th or 90th percentile - Ray swears it was 90 and I thought I heard 70; take your pick)

She got four shots today, two in each leg. Our regular nurse, Nurse Helpful, is wonderful and we love her as she knows Lola pretty darned well. She was accompanied today by Younger Nurse, who was a bit less accustomed to Lola's very vibrant personality.

Younger Nurse had a difficult time keeping Lola still for her shots, as Lola would wrestle herself free and kick at her.

Finally, afterward, Younger Nurse half chuckled and said, "I think she is the strongest kid I've ever dealt with."

Yep, that's Lola. Strong.

What a compliment. Strength (I, obviously, mean this beyond just the physical sense) is underrated. Life takes strength. So much strength.

So, yeah, Lola might still be taking the occasional warm bottle and not wearing shoes or boots ... but she's strong.

I'll take that any day.

Have a great week!
- Bethany :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


OK, I think I will post a few videos today, some that have been way overdue!

The first one is from before we went to South Dakota. We must have been getting ready, though, since the Toys R Us bag is on the table and we only use that for Lola's toys during trips. I don't remember even taping this video. But it made me chuckle.

Lola loves her books. More than anything else, she is a bookworm. (I, myself, read an average of 2-3 books a week. So she probably gets that from me.)

Anyhow, here is video No. 1, taken roughly one month ago:


The following three videos were taken during a "bonus day" last month when Lola wasn't feeling great so I took the day off of work and kept her home with me.

I decided to let her have a treat and play with her Bag o' Balls. But I hate cleaning the darned things up because they end up everywhere in the house (in fact, I found one yesterday hiding under her toy box). So we compromised: she could play with them in her crib, where the balls all stay in one location and are much easier to clean up.

She had a blast!

Whew. That was a lot of uploading for today!

Oh well, maybe it will get some of you Twin Cities-based family members through the week until we see you guys this weekend!

- Bethany :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

first snow!

This was it. We saw it falling last night (Friday) and woke up this morning to see our new, white landscape.

After playing for about an hour this morning, Lola finally noticed the snow through the window and was mesmerized. She kept pointing outside, which is her way of telling us, "I want to go over there!"

After about 15 minutes, I gave in (I kind of wanted to wait for Ray to wake up). I got her into her snowsuit, I put boots on her for about 2 minutes while she shrieked at me (have I yet told about the shoe situation? How much she hates them?) , took the boots off, added four more pairs of socks, and off we went.

Meanwhile, I went outside in a T-shirt and sweatpants. I mean, it's not *that* cold, only about 25. (OK, I figured it would be about 35, so I just checked - yeah, 25 is fairly cold. Probably should have worn a sweatshirt, at least.)

Anyhow, we went outside and I set in down and she seemed OK. Then, quickly seemed irritated with her hood (that one was non-negotiable, so it stayed on) and then touched the snow. She quickly pulled back, looked at me, and did it again.

All that took about 4 seconds. About a half-second later, she fell backward. Apparently, it's hard to stay in a sitting position while in a snowsuit. She just laid there with this sad, confused look on her face.

So I took her back inside.

And she screamed. Loudly. For a long time! (OK, it was probably only 3-4 minutes, but it felt like 30. I asked her what she wanted and she ran to the door, pointing outside with vigor. So I gave in and took her back outside.

What did she want to do? She wanted me to hold her and take her to see everything that was covered in white: the shovel, the grill, the car, etc. She didn't believe me that it was all the same, cold snow. She just wanted to double-check it all.

I humored her up until the point she started pointing at individuals leaves.

And we went back inside, where she cried for a few moments until she realized cartoons were on TV.

Now we're doing fine.

(Although I did shut the blinds on the windows.)

Happy winter!?
- Bethany :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

a fun fall, so far!

I'm still blogging, more or less. Things have been busy at work and at home. And Ray has been using the camera for work from time to time, so I haven't taken too many pictures lately. (I did take some videos last week that I want to share, but I haven't been able to get them on our home computer yet. Soon, hopefully.)

So .. anyhow. Life is going well as we all are preparing for winter. Fall never lasts long enough up here!

We just returned this morning from a trip "home" to the Cities. (Ray hates when I call it that, but I can't help it.) It was super fun to see everyone, but it was unfortunate that Lola suffered through a bit of a cold the entire time. But she was a trooper.

We got into town Saturday evening as I had to work Saturday afternoon. We reached Maple Grove about 10 p.m. The best part of the weekend? Lola met her first police officer! (Ha, OK, I'm kidding about it being the best part. But it was rather funny.) Turns out that one of headlights wasn't working, so we got pulled over about 2 miles from Ray's parents' place. Policeman was very nice. And Lola didn't seem to mind the flashing lights at all.

We spent late Sunday morning at a pumpkin patch with some of my family as we visited a petting zoo and toured the pumpkins. Super cute. It was a little damp and cold, so it wasn't a wonderful day to be outside - but Lola and her cousin Amber were great sports. Aren't they cute?!

Sunday evening we had a party for my mother's birthday. It was a great time. So nice to have everyone get together, even though some of the kids were still not feeling 100 percent. Ray and I try very hard to make it home for family holidays and events -- but our favorites are the laid-back family gatherings. Where the kids can play and run around and the adults can try to hold some pieces of conversation in between the emergency sprints after wayward children. Boy, Christmas is going to be i-n-t-e-r-e-s-t-i-n-g this year. But so much fun!

Monday, we spent the day at Ray's parents' place, where his mom and worked our tails off to complete my first-ever scrapbook! Yeah, I'm really not a scrapbooking-kind-of-person, but I had so many cute pictures from South Dakota that I got the urge. So she graciously helped me out by taking me through the entire process. I just love the result! And we both were surprised to learn that we have more pages we can fill later! :)

But I didn't take any pictures at the Wesleys' - us women were just working too hard! Next time we'll have to have a play day for Lola and her grandparents.

Enjoy the fall - whatever is left of it, anyways!
- Bethany :)