Monday, May 31, 2010

Last days as an Only Child!

Last Sunday after church, we headed to the reservoir for a picnic lunch and fun at the beach. It was a beautiful day and daddy even got to throw a line in a few times. :) Annabel enjoyed her first ice cream cone (we usually just do bowls) and it was so cute to see it dripping all over her! Not so cute when it didn't come out of her brand new swimsuit :( Ah, well. The joys of summer! 

Annabel's been having so much fun now that summer is here. She LOVES to play outside on her swing set and especially likes to push her baby doll on the swing and down the slide :)

As she nears 3, she gets mouthier and mouthier! I am always so surprised at the things that come out of her mouth! I know I put a lot of this on my facebook status, so I'll try not to repeat myself too much!
The other day I was wearing a tank top that kept riding up. She kept saying, "Mommy! I don't want to see your belly! Put your shirt down!" And pulling my shirt down for me. Sometimes as she walks by, she absentmindedly runs her hand over my belly and says, "Got a big belly?" 
*I told her I was feeling exhausted. She told me, "Exhausted is a fancy word for tired." (Thats for you, Tera, I know your girls love Fancy Nancy, too!) 
*She loves to tell people that her baby brother is coming "in June." And she's going to help change his diapers! 
*She's also very interested in cookbooks. She just sits there and flips through them... I hear her saying things like, "Mmm, that looks good!" and "When I'm big, I'll make that!"
*the thing that wears me out the most right now is all the changing of clothes. She will quite literally change her entire outfit (including underwear, shoes, etc) 9 or 10 times a day. I get so overwhelmed by the piles of clothes on the floor, not knowing whats really clean or dirty, that I usually end up washing it all (which is ridiculous, I know) and creating so much work for myself. I'm hoping that once I'm not so enormous and exhausted that I'll stay on top of it better! I've contemplated putting childproof locks on her dresser drawers, but I really hate to do that. I mean, she is occupying herself so well and she really seems to enjoy picking out outfits that I don't want to stifle her creativity! :)
*After she gets in trouble she often comes back with a hug and a "I do like you, mommy. Sometimes I don't like you, but I do like you." *sigh*
*She also tells me, "I didn't mean to hurt your feelings!" and my favorite- "You'll be okay." 

This weekend (Memorial Day weekend) we travelled down to my parents one last time before the baby is born. We went swimming several times and had a really nice time. The weather was sunny but HOT! I really needed the opportunity to sit back and let other people take care of Annabel for me ;) She's a lot of work! 

We ordered A's big girl bed this week! We did shop around in Indy for one, hoping to find better prices than online, but no luck. While we were shopping, though, we could tell she was really excited about getting a new bed. She kept shrieking at the girliest, frilliest beds telling us, "this my new bed!" So I guess we'll see how it goes when it gets here! I don't have any high aspirations for her taking to it right away, but at least there will be an extra bed for guests that stop by! 

I know all mamas are proud of their babies, but I just can't get over how beautiful and sweet my big girl is. She's tender and compassionate, while at the same time sassy and independent. She's a very special little girl and even though I'm not winning any "best mother" prizes these days, I sure do love her ♥

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bean Bags!

During my recent trip to Seattle, my brother humored me and let me visit my favorite little shop, Booty Land Kids. I love this little store for it's unique, handmade organic and sustainable goods for kids and babies. One thing that particularly caught my eye while I was there were these adorably handmade beanbags made out of recycled (upcycled) wool sweaters. I plopped three of them down on the counter, ready to pay $3 apiece for them, when I looked down and had a brilliant revelation. I could totally make these in about 10 seconds. I have a ton of sweater scraps, I have a sewing machine... I have creative ability and too many beans to know what to do with (thanks, WIC!). Sooo...

Voila! Okay, so they took a little longer than 10 seconds, but I did finish them within a few hours. What took the longest was filling them with beans, since I only have one size funnel and all the beans didn't want to fit through :) I used a variety of beans for different textures- lentils, pinto, and chickpeas. And a few with rice. 

Beanbags are great learning toys. They are a great sensory toy, as well as inspire creativity. Don't believe me? Google childrens' beanbag activities. There are hundreds of learning uses and games for these humble little guys. Counting, sorting, tossing back and forth, the list goes on. AND, they can be great little tools when a child is angry (throwing at the wall? Squeezing in your hand?)

I found some tutorials on the internets for different kinds. I'm not going to make my own tutorial, b/c mine are obviously pretty simple. I cut two squares the same size, laid them wrong-side-together and stitched with the overlock function on my machine (a serger would work even better, obviously) leaving a hole for the funnel. I like the look of the serged edge, but you could turn them inside out if you wanted a more polished look. 

So anyway, here's some other super-cute bean bags -with tutorial linked- if you're interested! 

eta: Derek and I had a conversation last night about whether we felt it was okay to throw things when you are mad. I totally understood where he is coming from, and I thought I might clarify what I think about this in general. 

Like most things in life, I can see how this has the potential to be a really, really bad habit, and has the potential to turn into abuse if used incorrectly. However, within a certain perimeter of boundaries, I think it can be a healthy and helpful tool for physically expressing anger. Anger is a really Big Feeling for a kid (for most of us, really) and it is so difficult for children to know what to do with it. Most kids are shut down by "helpful" adult when they try to express any anger, and consequently never learn an appropriate way to let it out. The truth is, angry is just a feeling. It's not better or worse than happy, sad, excited or frustrated. But there's something about our child's anger that stirs up all kinds of emotions in ourselves and takes us to a place we'd rather not deal with. 

So these are the boundaries for physically expressing anger in our home: hitting/punching/kicking/stomping - a pillow, a bed or the floor- are all acceptable. 
throwing a bean bag, a stuffed animal, a pillow or similar- at the floor or wall- is acceptable. 
Other ways- coloring really hard with a crayon- even if the crayon breaks. Blowing and stomping on bubbles. Jumping up and down. Screaming in a room by yourself. 

The catch is- no physical expression of anger may be used to hurt or intimidate another person or animal. And nobody can destroy property. Even in our anger we respect others and others' stuff. And we respect each other's need or desire to talk or not talk about it afterwards. 

I think it is a worthwhile conversation to have with your spouse and children about acceptable and unacceptable ways to express big feelings. I recently heard a mother tell her young son, "we don't get angry in this house!" and I just thought that was so sad. But I can empathize, because if you don't have a plan in place, it is very difficult to know what to do in the moment of intense feelings. So that's just my two cents, anyway. :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Official May Post :)

This spring continues to fly by! I can't believe it's May already! I should have only about 6 weeks of being pregnant left, so it is kind of nice to see time going by so quickly, considering my dislike of pregnancy in general :) I try to remind myself to enjoy this time, that babies are much easier inside than out, and to appreciate the one-on-one time I get with my sweet girl right now, but truly, I am done. 

I know that once Baby Asher gets here, the time I get with Annabel will be different. One of the ways I'm trying to make this easier on both of us is to by doing as many fun things right now as possible. We have been going to the park, museums, lots of walks, trips to grammy and papa's and playdates, and lots of outside time. Even though it wears me out, I know how guilty I'm going to feel in a few weeks when we hardly get out of the house!

a few weekends ago we headed down to Sullivan for my grandma and grandpa's 50th anniversary. 
It was a quick trip, but the best part was that we were able to pick up a swingset that had previously belonged to my cousins Bonnie and Boyd. Derek took three days off work last week to put it up and build a new fence along the back. It looks really great! Annabel loves her new swingset, too! She kept saying, "Thanks, daddy, for my new swingset!" 

Playing while daddy's working!

Who can resist a fudgecicle on a hot day?!

And here it is completed, with the completed fence! It makes our yard look so much nicer!

Later in the week Annabel and I headed back to the Muncie Children's Museum on a rainy afternoon. This time she focused on the choo-choo trains and probably would have watched them for hours if I would have let her! She does love to watch trains; We can see one from her bedroom window and it is so cute to see her standing on her tiptoes peeking out to see the very top of the train rushing by. 

Very excited to drive her own tractor! She always tells me, "when I'm big, I'll drive a schoolbus/tractor/big truck (semi)/etc" :) I tell her it's good to set your sights high! 

Petting a real snake! She assured me it wouldn't eat her.

Last weekend I went to Seattle to see my brother. I didn't take any pictures so you'll have to take my word for it that we had a good time. Gareth was very obliging and let me shop almost every day ;) We also saw the movie "Babies" which was really cute and ate really great sushi. But as much fun as it was, I don't think I'll travel this pregnant again. It was pretty rough on my body- I'm still recuperating! Even after a trip to the chiro today, I'm still sore everywhere and exhausted. 

Anyway, hopefully I'll get back into the swing of blogging after the baby gets here and I have more energy. 

Who doesn't enjoy a good drink of water from a shot glass?!

Walking baby through the neighborhood :) Continuing to love the crazy outfits she comes up with!