Thursday, August 26, 2010

Proud Mama

Lots of things have been changing around our house over the last week and a half. Some time ago I knew that my role in providing in-home childcare would be ending and have been looking for part time work. After what was turning out to be a hopeless search, I found the PERFECT job for me! A week ago, I started working at a wonderful Mother's Day Out program. I work on Mon, Wed, and Fri from 9-3. Both Summer and Brooke go with me. The reason it is so perfect is that it already works well with my school schedule (I up'd my load to 9 hrs this semester...YIKES!) and even after paying fees for Summer's and Brooke's tuition, I'll be making enough money to help cover all our bills. All the other centers I looked into would basically take everything I earned to cover tuition.
So, we've all been really excited about the opportunity that seriously came at the last minute. We are still adjusting to the new routine and although I am SO excited and happy about the job, it all just came at a time when there was SO much more going on. My own semester at OCCC just started this week, the JBF consignment sale has been going on; so there was hours spent getting our items ready and dropped off, and now my volunteer hours that I committed to. Needless to say, the last 7 days have been a bit overwhelming for me and the girls.
What does all that have to do with me being a proud mama? Well, Brooke has been doing REALLY well at school. She only briefly met her pre-school teacher last week during our teacher training/orientation, but was instantly attached to Ms. Holly. "Are we goin to Ms Holly's class today?" "We're gonna be late for Ms Holly's class!" are common sentences these days. Her first day of actual school was Monday and she was pretty timid according to Holly, but did really well. Wednesday, Holly told me that Brooke was a lot more outgoing and wasn't quite so reserved...yeah. BUT, here is what just filled my heart...OK, a little build up first. Lately, we have struggled and been frustrated because we cannot get Brooke to give hugs or even say "bye" to our family when we see them, i.e. her grandparents, her friends that she LOVES to play with, etc. When it's time to go she doesn't want to say bye or anything and it really upsets me, because it just seems so rude. Okay, so yesterday, as the girls and I were leaving our school she saw Ms Holly in the class next to mine with some of the staff's children. She said, "Mommy, there's Ms. Holly." I said, "Yeah, do you want to tell her bye?" I opened the door for her and Brooke went right up to Ms. Holly and gave her a HUGE hug! I nearly cried and told Holly she had no idea how big this was!
So, fast forward to today, we had gone with my mom to Chick-fil-a after she watched the girls while I was in class. After eating we went into the playplace where there was another little girl playing. Now, normally, Brooke would've have been VERY reserved, not said a word to the girl, and very likely not played very much. Today, she was a different child! Although I could not get Brooke to actually introduce herself, she talked to the girl...A LOT, played with her, was even trying to be the leader of the their play, "cmon, let's do this" or "let's go do that" Again, I nearly cried just seeing her interact and play with someone she didn't know. Later another little girl came in and asked if Brooke wanted to play with her. At first Brooke looked at the girl she'd already been playing with and said, "This is my girlie, we're playing together." The new friend asked if she could play too, and perfectly sweet, Brooke said, "Yeah, you can play too!" My heart just nearly burst open!!! I so wanted for her to be able to meet new friends and not be so timid and here after only TWO DAYS of pre-school and new friends she's doing it on her own!!!
I guess that was a bit of a long way to telling this story, but my baby girl is getting out there and I am just so happy and excited and proud of her!!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

One Year!

Amazing that it has already been a whole year since Summer joined our family!

Sunday, we invited our friends and family to join us at Southlakes park for a celebration. Yes, it was hot, but everybody had a good time in the shaded pavilion we reserved. The kids didn't seem to notice the scorching temps as they ran up and down the playgrounds and slid down slides that could cook eggs.



Summer was a little on the shy side from feeling overwhelmed at the crowd. She's been going through some stranger anxiety lately and was not sure what to do about all the attention from so many people, some of which she doesn't get to see often enough.

The ice-cream cone cakes were a hit! Several kids thought it was ice-cream and were trying to like the frosting instead of eating it:)

When it came time for her cake, Summer enjoyed being sung too, but didn't dig in to her cake until Bill took her out of the high-chair and held her. Then, she covered her face in icing and cake and loved every minute of it.




Summer got some really neat new toys to play with (Brooke is busy testing them all out for little sister), and a TON of ADORABLE clothes!! We've never seen so many clothes for one little girl! We were all feelin' the love:) Summer wasn't really sure what to think of the present extravagance and seemed mostly unimpressed.



After cake and presents the big kids got to pick out a small bank to paint and take with them. It was a great activity to get them out of the sun for a bit.

So, at one year old, Summer is just barely off of formula. Last Friday, she threw a toddler-sized tantrum after nap when she didn't get a bottle. It only got worse when I tried to give her whole milk in the bottle. So, thinking it would take some time to completely wean her off of formula, we bought a couple more cans since we were out. And of course, the next day, Summer acted like it was no big deal and downed an entire cup of milk after nap...go figure. Guess those cans will be going to a table at the next JBF sale:)

She eats like a champ and is eating all table food now. Sometimes, however, she still isn't satisfied after a full meal so she'll get a jar of baby fruit which she still loves! Just this morning (which I know is technically AFTER her birthday so she didn't do it in her first year) she fed herself a bowl of cereal with a spoon. Her hand-eye coordination is astounding!

In a short two weeks or so, Summer has cut 4 teeth and has two more close behind! That explains a lot of the recent fussiness...or so we hope!

She is also taking just one nap now, unless of course she falls asleep in the car. For the most part, she is handling the change well but the hour or so before lunch is the hardest time for her. Usually the paci helps, but we're trying to break her of the need for that except while sleeping. One thing at a time I guess!

Summer is a full time walker and has been for a couple weeks now. She loves to play outside just like Brooke and squeals when we get her shoes out!

Some other things Summer has been doing for quite some time are waving, dancing, and using the sign for "more".

Summer just had her 12month checkup today and is doing well. She is taller than Brooke was at this age, but doesn't weigh much more so she still seems pretty tiny. I guess we just grow 'em petite around here;)

So, without further wait, here is Summer at 12 months....


Oh, and because they're just so cute...here are some pictures of Summer stylin' some of her new diggs.



Saturday, July 3, 2010

Month Eleven

Well, we're a little late in getting this up here, but we have all had a busy month. Especially this adorable little girl here!

Month eleven has been a BIG month for Miss Summer E. She is growing like crazy from all the food she eats. She just LOVES her food (see below)!

Summer had several firsts this month.
She had her first taste of ribs. The girl likes her meat! She was so sad when it fell on the floor:(
She also had several opportunities to go swimming and visit splash parks. Here, she's not so sure about this life jacket business, but she LOVES the water! In our little family size pool we have outside, she just can't stand it if others are playing in it and she isn't. And she wants to be free in the water for sure! She loves to splash and kick as much as she can and doesn't care how wet she gets in the process. And the last time we visited the splash park, she was getting right under the fountains getting completely drenched and LOVin' it.



In just one day Summer learned how to push buttons to make the characters from her toy appear, AND, she also worked and worked at figuring out how to put two nesting cups together. She would get so frustrated with them but would eventually come back to them and work at it again until she finally got one inside of the other. She is so proud of her new skills


Her biggest achievement this month has been her first steps! A few weeks ago she took her very first steps. She still crawls quite a bit now, but is walking more and more. The video of her very first attempts is really too dark to see online, but this video was taken about a week ago when she really started walking good distances all on her own without being prompted. Her friend Mollie is happily cheering her on in the background.


video


A cute story from the month is a recent attachment Summer has formed with her Cabbage Patch baby, Christa. We have a toy net holding all our stuffed animals and dolls that hangs above Summer's changing table. When she's being cranky during a diaper change I'll grab one down for her to play with. Well, a few weeks ago during a pre-nap change Summer was especially cranky and I grabbed Christa down from the net. All was fine until I tried to put Christa back and lay Summer down. Now, Christa is a regular in Summer's bed and during other cranky moments.


About the only thing Summer hasn't done this month is cut any teeth. Poor girl still has only two teeth to chew with. She's now got three that I can see just below the gums but they aren't coming through yet and they've looked the same for several weeks now. There is no telling when they will actually come through.


As cute and sweet as our Summer is, she has a wicked temper this girl. Hopefully as she gets older we will be able to help her control it a bit, but right now there is no reasoning with her.


We can't believe our baby is almost a year, but we are so excited for the next phase of babyhood!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dishes and Prayers

Oh, our dear sweet Brooke had some special moments today.
On Saturdays we stay at church for two services; once to attend church and once to volunteer with the kids. In between the two, I usually check in on Brooke to see how she's doing. Usually she is running around with a friend, or running up and down the climbing structure. Today though, she was sitting by herself at the play kitchen. After a minute I realized that she was washing the toy dishes very carefully and very methodically. Hold dish under faucet, pour imaginary water from pitcher, rub with hand, place on tray on floor. I watched amused for a moment when one of her teachers came to the window thinking I was there to pick her up. After I told her I was just watching and remarked at what she was doing, her teacher told me how Brooke came to be washing the dishes. She and her friend Mea had been playing and started arguing with one another. To distracted them, the teacher said, "Hey, whose going to do these dishes? They're dirty." Next think you know, Brooke is doing the play dishes.
Tonight, after reading our Bible story and praying, Brooke asked me what I had said during the prayer. I told her that I had thanked God for this and that, and that I had thanked Him that we got to go to church tonight. I tried to explain that I was thanking God for that because there are some people who don't get to go to church. I may have gone to far in trying to explain that in some countries there are laws that tell people they can't go to church. She got very concerned about the law and I tried and tried to explain that it was just like a rule. Well, going to bed after that was a little difficult and she was getting very upset and scared. I told her she didn't need to worry about a law, that it was just a rule. I told her to talk to God and ask him to help her not be scared or worried. In her quiet, crying voice, she said, "I want you pray for me." Break.My.Heart!! I truly hope I didn't go too far in trying to explain to her why we should be thankful for the opportunity to attend church and worship God. I hope that she is not terrified to go to church tomorrow!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Goody!! Two Shoes

This is a recent trend around our house and out and about these days. It all started last week when we were getting ready to go to the zoo. Bill told Brooke to go and get some shoes and told her to get something comfortable that wouldn't hurt her feet. A few minutes later she comes to show me that she chose one black flip-flop and one purple striped flip-flop. I asked her if she was sure that's what she wanted to wear ALL day as we wouldn't be home until much later after visiting family. After stressing to her that she would not be able to change them once we left the house, I asked her again if she was sure that she wanted to wear two different shoes all day. This time she looked a little worried and asked me, "They gonna hurk my feet?"
No, Brooke, I promise they won't hurt your feet, but they will boost your creativity and independence!!


Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Brooke

I've been so busy and have had hardly enough time just to keep up with posting monthly updates about Summer, that I've nearly completely ignored our amazing, beautiful, blue-eyed 3 1/2 year old.
What a difference a year and a new baby make in the life of a toddler. This time last year, Brooke was just finally starting to talk really well in sentences and building her vocabulary. Well, the girl has words for everything now! She is a parrot now and talks just like Bill and I do. We'll wonder where in the world she picked up a phrase or word and then we catch ourselves saying it. As a result, we are all trying to be more polite when speaking to each other.
Bill and I still count our blessing at what a well behaved toddler we have, but this fourth year of Brooke's life has been much more challenging than the third year was. She's had a lot of changes in her little life and is handling them as best she can I suppose.
She is quite the deal maker around the house. We tell her she can do "a" and she says, "Or we canna do "b?"
Brooke can be quite shy around new faces and sometimes, sadly, she will refuse to play on playground equipment if there are too many older, rowdy children. I know, of course, that she has inherited this from me, whether by gene or observation, I don't know. I hope to help her overcome this so that she doesn't spend so many years being on the outside of life as I did. We try to attend storytime at our local library once a week so that she can meet new friends. She has begun to participate a lot more over the last several months, but she still isn't very likely to speak to or introduce herself to the other children.
Brooke is still quite adventurous and brave (except in circumstances like mentioned above) and likes to climb and jump on and off of things. Recently she decided, quite suddenly, that she wanted to be pushed really high on the big kid swings. The resulting laughter is nothing short of contagious!
Brooke loves to do anything halfway crafty, or, as she calls it, "actibies." Translation: activities. Play-doh, painting, coloring, cutting, cutting, cutting, gluing, and cutting. Yeah, she REALLY likes to cut. Recently I threw out ALL of our "coloring books"--GASP, shame on me--to encourage her to be more free and creative with her drawing and coloring. I've seen a big difference already in the amount of time she spends with drawing and what she has to say about her creations.
Brooke loves to play outside, digging in dirt for bugs and worms, playing chase with..well, anybody, swinging, sliding, riding bikes or scooters, or driving the Barbie Jeep that Hannah passed down to her. When she digs and finds a bug or a worm, she has no problems touching or even picking it up. The other day she and our friend Natalie found a worm in the dirt and she was picking it up to show Natalie, who grimaced and backed away. Brooke asked her, "Why you no like worms Naalie?" The funny thing is, she doesn't really care for bugs at any other time.
Brooke loves to play with Summer. Their favorite activity is to wrestle on the floor together. Unfortunately, Brooke doesn't realize that she can really be too rough with Summer and we have to intervene quite often to avoid somebody being injured. I guess it's all just part of growing up as siblings.
Well, here are some pictures of our precious Brooke Makenzie. She is just so much fun to watch!!




Posted by Picasa

Ten Months



I just can't believe I'm saying that Summer is 10 months old. It seems like she gets bigger every day but I just don't know where the days have gone. Again, she was not cooperating for her picture and kept scooting down into the chair. What can you expect from a busy, moving baby??

Summer wants to walk so badly she can hardly stand herself. Last week was her first attempts at walking behind a toy with wheels. We were in the backyard and she almost immediately figured it out.


video

She loves to push this all the time now and get II-rate when make her stop. We always said she was our drama queen and she hasn't disappointed that prediction.

Just this week she learned to clap and is quite proud of her dainty and quiet clap. That is about the only thing about her that is quiet. Last weekend, we attended a wedding for Bill's cousin Danny in Tulsa. During the reception, Summer's excited squeals and shrieks could be heard over the very loud music and conversation. And that girl danced like no one has ever danced before. It was hard to keep a hold of her at times because she was dancing so fiercely. I have a video of it, but it is so dark that you can hardly see. We stayed overnight in Tulsa and the next morning, Bill and the girls got in to the pool. Unfortunately, I didn't take the camera down with us. Summer really enjoyed her first pool. She was no less quiet in the pool than she had been the night before, splashing and squealing while Bill swam her around.


Summer is really starting to enjoy finger foods more and more, and is occasionally eating complete finger food meals. Recently she had baked ravioli and LOVED it. However, she is not quite ready to give up her purees. She seems certain that her meals are not complete until she has consumed both. Summer seems to be following Brooke's unique order in which she will cut her teeth. It hasn't popped through yet, but it appears that the next one will be the one just to the right of the top middle.







Summer is so fun and playful and especially loves to play with big sister Brooke. We just can't believe how blessed we are to be able to love on her!

Posted by Picasa

Exploring the Sand

A while ago, when Brooke was playing outside, I decided to let Summer sit in the sand box with her and explore. She was pretty mesmerized by the sand when it would run through her fingers or on top of her legs. She loved rubbing her toes in it's coolness. Here are some cute pictures I was able to get of the experience. And of course, what kid doesn't love tasting sand:)





Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Nine Months

We are a tad late on getting our nine month photo and updates. Boy, this was not an easy picture to get! She was having way too much fun with the bear to sit still for a good shot. And of course it's blurry for all her gyrations, but she's obviously happy! She saw her Pediatrician last week and she's healthy as can be at 17lbs 6oz and a little over 27in long. Incidentally, that is the same size that Brooke was at 12 months!
She is really moving these days and there is nowhere that she can't go. She is pulling up on everything and can get herself down with ease now. She recently had her first experience in a swing and seems to enjoy it.
She is starting to try more and more finger foods. If she didn't already love her bananas, she definitely does now! And, after lots and lots of trying, she is finally doing pretty good with a sippy cup.
She is a very happy baby, loves her baths, her sister, and anything she can chew on!

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Look who loves her bath

Here is Summer impatiently waiting to start her bath! She LOVES bathtime:)

P.S. sorry about the bad camera angles, it will turn the right way about half-way through. Our camera is not the best for videos...oh man the lighting is worse here than when I watch it on my video viewer...sorry again. Really it's the sound that is so funny anyway.

video

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Tooth

After what seems like FOREVER Summer has cut her first tooth. We could just feel a tiny edge of it on Wednesday and this morning we can feel the whole top surface. You still can't really see it because the gums are still so swollen. She's had a bit of a rough time with this one...I hope the other's aren't any worse!!

McAlester Trip

We took our annual trip (of course it's not our only trip of the year) to McAlester to visit Bill's family and do some crappie fishing in Eufaula. We missed a couple years while Larry and Vickie were in Colorado and this was Brooke's first time to fish. She was so excited about going and for a week leading up to the trip would ask if it was time to go fishing with Papa and Mema yet. Her and Bill picked out a purple and green Dora fishing pole that she was crazy excited about.
We all had a great time fishing and hanging out with family.

Brooke, as always, loved playing with the boys, but can't quite keep up with all of them. When all six of them are together they are quite rowdy as you can imagine and don't have much to do with a little three-year old girl, but she sure tried. I laughed and smiled as I watched her chase after them in the yard saying, "Hi guys, hi guys," over and over waiting to be noticed. But, when it was just Cody and Cordell, who spend most of the week at Dad and Vickie's, she and they had a blast. Every morning, her first question was, "Where da boys at?"

Brooke also did really well when we took her fishing. Without hesitation, she plunged her hand into the minnow bucket and grabbed hold of minnows to hand out for bait. She was not so good at casting her line out, but she didn't complain. Obviously she isn't patient enough to wait for a fish, but she happily found sticks, dirt, rocks, and bugs to occupy her.
Tuesday morning we headed to our favorite cove.



Summer hanging out with Papa


Now that Dad and Vickie live in another area this spot along a creek is less than a mile away. We hung out here a couple of times.

Cody, Brooke, Cordell
A sweet, but lonely and hungry, dog became our friend one evening. He was evidently lot or abandoned. He was a hound dog, and really very sweet. Sadly, the next morning we found him on the side of the highway about the creek:((

The crappie weren't jumping out of the water for us, but we did pretty good for the whole week.

Summer playing with Jackson (born exactly one month after Summer).

The girls with Papa and Mema just before we headed home.

Can't wait for next year!!