Monday, May 30, 2011

New Favorite

Audrey's favorite activity right now is removing books from the bookshelf. I put them all up there, lined up nicely, and she pulls them down, reads them, plays with them, and then I put them back once she's done.

...and then it starts all over! She started this about a week ago and now its all she wants to do. Hey, at least she likes books, right?

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Mischievous 
Curious

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Making Music

When Audrey gets bored with her toys or is particularly clingy or fussy, I like to pull out the music makers. In our house, that means Josh's guitar, two pots of different weight, and two wooden spoons. This entertains her for quite a while, and the "instruments" can be used in so many different ways. She figured out that she can tip the pots, and ended up stacking them upside down on top of one another. Smart, except that she couldn't figure out how to get the little one out of the big one. So cute. I love this activity because she controls it - unlike the plastic electronic toys that entertain her, here she is entertaining herself.

How versatile are wooden spoons?! Teethers, noise makers, pushers, scoopers - you name it and a wooden spoon can do it.
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Going Green

When I was pregnant, I never considered cloth diapers. Too much work, I thought. Then, when Audrey was around 3 months old, her diapers just stopped working, or fitting, and she was having massive blowouts every time she went. Yes, every time. She would come home from daycare with three dirty outfits with poo all over them EVERY DAY. We tried 5 different types/brands of diapers until we found one that mostly contained her mess, but she still had blowouts right up until we started her on solids when she was six months old. When we switched brands of diapers, we noticed that there were these little tiny gel beads in the diapers that sometimes got on Audrey. I researched it and didn't like what I read, I guess thinking of all those chemicals getting on her body.

Anyways, everything I was reading at the time kept saying that cloth diapers are the very best at avoiding blowouts (and obviously no gel beads). That got me interested in cloth diapers, even though the daycare said they can't use them due to state guidelines. So, after months of research....I purchased my first few diapers!

They are one size adjustable pocket diapers, so they will fit her until she is potty trained. The snaps adjust the size for a perfect fit. They are really soft and plush, and they have a pocket in the back where I put a cloth insert to absorb wetness. When I change her diaper, I just throw the dirty one in a wet bag until I do the wash. To start, I only purchased five diapers to make sure I like them. I bought Kawaii brand diapers, because they are less expensive than other brands, but have equally outstanding reviews as the pricier ones. I spent $35 on these five diapers, and I ordered two more from another site just to compare. There are so many out there that it was kind of hard to choose, but as you all know, I am very frugal so of course I went with the less expensive brands. We only plan to use them on nights and weekends, but I still estimate that we will save a bundle by not using disposables at home. Plus, they say that babies in cloth are potty trained sooner, so that's another plus!

So far I've only washed twice - once when I first got them and then again after the first day of use. I thought the wash was going to be difficult  - running extra rinses and things like that, but it turns out that my washer has a "sanitary" option that is designed for washing diapers and has the right temperature of water and the right number of rinses and everything. They dried in the dryer very quickly too, but I'll probably hang them to dry once I have enough diapers in rotation that I'm only washing every other day.

The only drawback I've noticed thus far is that they are bulkier than disposable diapers. She doesn't seem to notice, but in some onesies you can see the diaper sticking out a little on the side. I fixed it by pulling down the onesie a bit more. Josh hasn't yet changed her diaper with one of these, so we'll see. So far he says he "loves it". Hmm...

I titled this post, "Going Green", but honestly, that's not the biggest reason I am switching. I love to save money of course, but really, I was just curious. I wanted to see what it was all about! Why would so many people be using cloth if it was really that inconvenient? So far, it isn't inconvenient, but I'm only just starting. Let's see how I feel after a few months.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Busy Weekend

This past weekend Audrey attended her first wedding. We drove up to Annapolis to attend the wedding of Josh's cousin Robbie. It was a beautiful ceremony in a little church, and the reception was at a nice yacht club right on the water. I forgot my camera, but we did manage to snap a few pics on Josh's phone. I was a little worried about having Audrey there, but she did great! She loved all the lights and music, and I even sat her in a corner of the dance floor and she was practically shaking with excitement. She would wave her arms and bounce up and down like she was dancing. She got to meet much of Josh's family that we haven't seen in a long time. Josh grandma Lillian was one of those very special people, and Audrey just loved her.


Audrey and the Man of the Hour Rob

Baby Girl and Cousin Darnell
Sunday we celebrated the first birthday of my girlfriend's daughter, Ellie. It was an outdoor picnic style party, and the weather was perfect for it. I can't believe its been a year since she was born, and that Audrey's first birthday is right around the corner. 



Audrey also started swim class this weekend at the Cub Run rec center. It was So.Fun. First, I sat Audrey in the shallowest part of the pool (this pool complex is huge, so there was no one else even around us) and as soon as she realized she was in water she started screaming and splashing. The other babies just kind of looked at the water and fussed. Once the class got started, Audrey really got going. This child is so energetic and always excited, so while the instructor was giving some basic instructions, Audrey was splashing everyone around us and hollering and laughing. You know that annoying kid at the pool that always splashes people in the face even though you tell them not to? That was Audrey (except I wasn't telling her not to!). We started out with Audrey tummy down in the water and I walked backwards with her facing me...she instinctively knew what to do and was kicking her legs and arms. We also did another activity where we were supposed to dribble water on the baby as much as they could handle. I, of course, was dumping buckets of water right on Audrey's head. The class was lots of fun, but Josh didn't come with me so I don't have any pictures to share. I'll try to get some next time. Here are some pics to last you until then...
There's a Cheerio on your cheek!
And gnawing on a pork chop. I think she likes it!
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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Water Bowl

This morning I wanted to do something new with A, so I pulled out a bowl, filled it with water, and paired it with two wooden spoons. She loved it and this activity lasted about 25 minutes! We finally had to stop when all she wanted to do was flip the bowl over. When the weather finally becomes decent we can take this out on the back porch or the front yard and she can tip it over as much as she wants!
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Swinging

Finally the weather has become warmer! I'd like it to be much warmer - high 80's to low 90's - but I'll take these 75 degree days. In the evenings, we have been having dinner on the back porch. We just bring the high chair out there with us and Audrey enjoys her food while we enjoy ours. We have started giving her more solid foods. First I gave her toast and ripped it into strips for her to hold and eat as she pleased. Being able to feed herself was entertaining for her, but she didn't actually swallow much (if any) of the toast. This week we started giving her Cheerios. Its so cool to watch her reach for them and grab them with her open palm. The concentration on her face is adorable, and when she finally gets the Cheerio in her mouth she chomps on it with her little gums. So funny. Josie loves it too, because it means she gets the leftovers that fall (or are thrown) to the floor.


After dinner we go for our evening walk. Audrey sits in her stroller looking at all the trees, the cars, the sky. She heard a plane two nights ago and I took that opportunity to talk to her about airplanes for the first time, pointing to the sky and watching it go. She was very impressed until a car drove by, and then it was all about the car. We have three tot lots in our neighborhood, so we try to take Audrey to the swings every day. She just LOVES swinging. I was recently irritated about condo living and how we couldn't hang a swing anywhere, and then I realized (duh) that we have swing sets with toddler swings. It must feel pretty cool to a baby to be swinging. New sensations and all. Being a baby is fun, I bet.


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Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's day artwork

Beautiful mother's day artwork that Audrey made at day care. I love it!


I love her little hand prints! This reminds me that I have a project I've been meaning to do with her. 

Anyways, we also got the proofs for her school pictures! My favorite is #2. That's a real bunny. So cute! Of course I'm going to order them. 
Click for the up close look!

I do love our day care. They are so good to her.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

My first Mother's Day! Audrey and I got in from Dallas this morning at 1am and went straight to bed. We were so tired and Joshua was sweet enough to get up with the baby and let me sleep in until 11am (!!!) this morning. Once I was finally up and had my coffee, Joshua and Audrey gave me my mother's day gift - a new Singer sewing machine! I am so excited! I have been using a sewing machine that belonged to Josh's mom for a long time, but it isn't great for learning to sew. I am so looking forward to playing with this one and getting to know it so I can become an expert seamstress like my mama! After Audrey's nap, we decided to pack a picnic and head up to a nearby winery in Clifton and enjoy this beautiful day. We found a nice spot, laid out our blankets, grabbed a bottle of wine and ate some sandwiches. Josie was such a good girl and played with some kids that brought a Frisbee. They wore her out!
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It was a perfect day for photos, too. I took so many and can't put all of them up, but here are a few.





We can't wait to go back to the winery for many more picnics this summer. There were kids everywhere, and plenty of spots to let the dog run around. So glad we found this place!