Sunday, September 27, 2009

Life with a 2-Year-Old!

This is a story that Annabel told me in the car today. I added the parenthesis for clarification...

"My (I) eat Max. Mommy eat Max. Daddy eat Max! The Baby (Jake) eat Max. Bayeee (Bailey) eat Max. Doat (the goat) eat Max ('s).... EYES!!!" Insert hysterical laughter here. Poor Max! I'm not sure what he did to deserve such cannibalistic treatment!

Something else adorable she said this week...
"Mommy eyes bwoooo. Mine eyes.... no bwoo." At least she doesn't want to eat my eyes yet! :)

Life with a 2-year-old is challenging! I'm sure that's no surprise to anyone who's ever had kids! She tries so hard to be independent and do things "herself," but then gets frustrated by her lack of ability at certain things. She also knows exactly what she wants (wonder where she got that?!) but gets very upset if she's not allowed to do it right then. I'm amazed at how quickly the language development has come in the last few weeks. She's constantly babbling to herself, stringing words together that don't always make sense (see above!) or cracking herself up! Her language isn't always intelligible and she doesn't speak very clear, but she knows several words and I can usually decipher what she's saying based on context. Her new favorite word is "tractor" (sounds like "track") and she's always looking for tractors whenever we drive. However, in person she is terrified of tractors! 

She had her 2-year well visit last week, and it went well. She's in the 50-70th percentile for both weight and height, at 34" and 27lb. 

One of Annabel's favorite things to do is to read. She has a "cozy corner" in her room where she loves to snuggle into with several books. One of the more challenging things we have run into in the past several weeks is getting her down for nap/bedtime. She's always gone down without any problem, but lately its lots of crying, tantrums and begging. While I've never felt comfortable just letting her cry herself to sleep, I also don't want to get into the habit of rocking her to sleep every night. So, the solution I've come up with is to put several books in her crib with her when she goes down, and she basically reads herself to sleep. Maybe this isn't the best habit to get into, either, but its working for us right now and I really don't have any problem with it. She's funny, because sometimes I'll check on her 30 minutes after I put her down, and she's still sitting there looking at her books! Whatever. 

Annabel is still addicted to her pacifier! She calls it her "pa-pat." I've been making her put it in her dresser drawer after she wakes up and she gets it again at nap, and then again in the evenings. Some days she cries and cries for it, but I really think she's okay without it during the day! I try to supplement with lots of hugs and snuggles! 

In the early part of last week, I started the potty training hard core, using only panties during the day. We had several accidents (of course!) but she did end up going on the potty twice each day. And she would always tell me right away - "I pee!" and look so sad when she had an accident! Buuuut, I think I'm going to hold off on it for awhile. I don't want this to be a battle, and right now it it. She HATES going and sitting on the potty, and screams "no pee!" when I suggest we go try to go. While she's obviously physically ready to be using the potty, I just don't think she's quite there emotionally. And I know she'll get there; I'm just going to take a break for a while and try again in a few weeks. 

So anyway, life with a two-year-old is challenging, but also so much fun. I love that she can entertain herself for longer and longer stretches, that she's starting to get a sense of humor and can identify and recognize other's emotions. I would describe Annabel as sensitive, caring and creative. She definitely pushes her boundaries, which I understand is normal, but she's also obedient and helpful. She loves to put her toys away and throw things in the trash for mommy. She doesn't like change (i.e. moving from the nursery at church this morning to the 2-yr-old class! Traumatic!) and is slow to warm up, but she adjusts well and is pretty flexible. I realized how much I enjoy her when I had the option to leave her with Derek yesterday or take her to a baby shower. I chose to take her, just for the fact that I love being with her and genuinely have fun having her around. She's my little mini-me :)

Okay, so maybe she doesn't want to go to IWU, fine!

Can you believe she sat still long enough for me to do this?!?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Birthday Weekend

Last Friday was Annabel's second birthday! Since we weren't celebrating with a party until Sunday, I wanted to make it a special day for her. I decided to make it a "favorites" day, doing all of our favorite things around town. First, before Daddy had to leave for work, we opened presents! We don't have her "real" present done yet (a play kitchen) so I wrapped up some cheesy Dollar Store finds, and some presents from her friend Titus that she got in the mail this week... she loved opening presents! 

We also spent the morning at our favorite park in town, then went to McDonalds for lunch. I even "splurged" on a Happy Meal (normally I don't see the point in paying an extra dollar for another crappy toy we don't need!). After nap, it was time to head out to the camp because it was Ladies' Retreat time! We met Gramma Sue and Grammy, had massages, wonderful food, pedicures, made beautiful bracelets and enjoyed wonderful workshops and sessions. It really was a fun weekend.

Sunday, the day of the party, I opted out of going to church to get ready for the party! Annabel's party was a "bug" theme, so there were ladybug, snail, and ant appetizers! Her cake was a giant caterpillar, which was so fun and easy to make! Daddy also made hot dogs on the grill, yum yum. For fun we played croquet and cornhole, while the kids threw sand and stole the croquet balls... all until it started pouring! Everyone grabbed something and we ran inside, where Annabel opened her presents. She got lots of really fun stuff. New art supplies, stickers, books, play food, play-dough, a fishing pole, training panties, and an adorable new outfit/winter coat! Oh yeah, and did I mention a new BIKE!?! I have a video of her opening the bike, and I'll post it if I can get the internet to cooperate... she was so excited! We immediately had to go outside so she could try it out. She is still having some trouble with the pedals, but I have no doubt she'll figure it out soon. And it's adjustable, so she should be able to use if for the next couple years! While we were outside with the bike, Uncle Justin and Aunt Holly surprised us with their gift- a bike TRAILER, to hook on the back of Derek's bike! How much fun! We are very excited to get out on some bike rides! (I don't think I've ridden since I got pregnant! And we used to ride ALL THE TIME! At one point in Knoxville we only had one car so one of us always had to ride to work.. but anyway...)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Second Quilt

I promised to show pictures of the other quilt I made this summer, so here it is! I started this quilt in January of 2006, a long time ago! I bought the fabric in Iowa, and only worked on it while we were there over the years. It is a Kaffe Fassett design called 'Wallpaper Strips,' and the pattern looked like this:

So anyway, here it is. The colors in the picture seem a little washed out because it was so bright out... so in real life it is a bit more muted. 

The back is a print I love by Heather Bailey. The first picture makes it look more salmon than pink, but it is really a true pink in real life! And it has a thin scrappy border, because I was 4 inches short of my fabric!

And my wonderful quilt-holder-helper, Derek!
Throughout this process, I realized that I quilt in much the same way that I paint- in abstract! Some people like to use patterns, and matching fabrics that the patterns call for. Not me. I feel very constricted using a "line" of fabric thats all matchy-matchy, and I really don't even like using a pattern! Not that doing these things is any less of an art... I mean, no one would say that Rembrant wasn't an artist... he's just not my kind of artist. That kind of art is very "you get what you see," whereas you could stare at a Van Gough for hours and see many different things. So anyway, quilting is very much an art for me. Each fabric in this quilt makes me feel something different when I look at it, and that is the sign of true art. I hope you enjoy!

Busy Weeks!

I realized I hadn't posted since a few weeks ago when we were at the hospital! We have had a very busy few weeks! We took Annabel to the hospital on a Tuesday after doing several breathing treatments at the doctor  and her oxygen levels not improving. I believe they want ox. levels to be 96% and above, and hers were staying around 93-94%. However, she is what they call a "happy wheezer!" While we were admitting her, she was literally tap dancing across the floor! It felt a little silly to be admitting her to the hospital! That night she had to sleep with an oxygen mask because her ox. levels were dipping as low as 84%. Believe me, that was not a fun night. First of all, I had to sleep on a plastic pull out chair, and then every time her mask came off and her ox. went below 90%, the machine started beeping and she would wake up. So that was like, every half hour. Try to imagine getting a 2-year-old to fall back asleep every 30 minutes!
The next day they started talking about keeping her another night, because she was still really wheezy. We were all getting very bored and cranky, because there's just not that much to do in a tiny little pediatric unit! After her nap, however, she didn't require any oxygen, the doctor said we could go home. What a relief. 
It's got me thinking about what life is like with a "special needs" child. I mean, a kid with asthma is definitely mild compared to other things that could be wrong, but I still have to come to terms with the fact that my child may be on medication for the next several years, and that there may be even more hospital stays in our future. You never think about these things when you're pregnant and dreaming about your perfect baby! 
Here are some pictures from our hospital stay. The color isn't great, I know:)

Pulling a toy worm down the hall!

I think we took 5,000 wagon rides while we were there! Papaw sent balloons:)

The next weekend we left for my parents'. They are thisclose to being done with their house and I wanted to help my mom with some moving in stuff! Derek was able to stay until Wednesday and Annabel and I stayed until Friday. Annabel enjoyed spending a whole week with her Grammy and Papaw, and we did get a few boxes of kitchen stuff unpacked!
My grandma threw me a graduation party while we were there:

Annabel stealing food off her Uncle David's plate!

At Grammy's church on Sunday!

We also made a quick trip down to Kentucky to visit Derek's grandma while we were there. As always, Annabel loved playing on the farm!

Drinking from the hose!
And afterwards when I told her we were done playing in the water:

And if you can believe it, she did this to herself! :

Apparently she felt immodest without her shirt on!

This past weekend, Derek catered a wedding. I had the rare opportunity to help him, since my mom was able to watch Annabel. It was a lot of fun!

(It was my cousin's wedding, that is why Annabel was there with my mom!) Isn't she adorable!

After all our busy-ness, we're just glad to be home!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tonight we hail to you from the hospital. Annabel came down with a fever, runny nose and cough yesterday, which of course aggravated her asthma symptoms. After getting VERY little sleep last night, I called the doctor this morning. After three breathing treatments and 4 hours, she had not improved and her oxygen levels remained low. Sooo.... admission. I hate it, but I really just hate it because its inconvenient and boring! But, we've been having some fun, and the nurses are all really nice. Of course, she's really perked up since we've got here- running through the halls wanting to be chased, talking to the nurses and meeting the other kids:) And I'm taking advantage of the fast internet to upload some videos! Enjoy!