Thursday, December 22, 2011

Peek a boo

Video Update: Audrey is cute as hell. You already knew that, though.

Here she is playing peek a boo at dinner the other night. She's been doing this for a while but this is the first time I've gotten a good video of it. I love how she feeds off our encouragement, she just eats up the attention!
I am working on uploading a new batch of videos to youtube so if you get bored, watch Audrey being cute!


Monday, December 12, 2011

Favorite Toys at 14 Months

As Audrey gets more and more into specific toys, she has started to gravitate towards a few favorites. This is kind of a new thing, because she used to just play with whatever was there. I think its really interesting to notice which are her favorites and speculate why she likes them.

1. Her favorite thing is still books. She loves them. They are the first thing she goes for when she walks into the playroom. She usually starts by taking them off of the bookshelf and digging around for the books she loves. She has a few favorites that she would be happy reading over and over again, mostly books with pictures of other babies or real life animals. I love watching her while she "reads" them. She brings books to me to read to her, but we only get about halfway through it before she is off again looking for a different book.

2. My BarnYard Friends - This was a gift from a friend, and Audrey actually has two of them. One has farm animals and one has pet animals. We keep one in the diaper bag and one in the house and they are her absolute favorite toys. She loves opening the house up and putting all of the animals in and taking them out or dumping them all out together. Each animal makes sounds if you squeeze them and we try to imitate the sounds together. She likes to take each animal and hand it to me to name, then I line them all up one by one and she just keeps picking them up and handing them to me. She waits for me to say what it is. So cute. Lately she has figured out how to line them up herself, too.

3. Shape Sorter - This was a gift from Lexi for Audrey's birthday. Audrey doesn't yet even attempt to put the blocks through the holes, she just entertains herself by putting them in the top and dumping them out. I follow her around picking them all up and putting them back into the box, then she immediately runs over and dumps them out again. Fun?!

4. Picnic Basket - This was another birthday gift and I was really surprised when Audrey started playing with it. She doesn't really play with her other electronic toys much very much so I guess I expected the same from this one. Like the two toys I already mentioned, her favorite thing to do is put them in and take them out. She also pretends to eat the food and drink from the cup. She prefers to do this one alone, though (odd?) and usually walks away if I try to join her for a picnic. Whatever, fickle little thing.

5. Bath Stacking Cups - I pulled these out when we moved into the new house and I didn't think Audrey would be interested. Maybe I thought it was too simple? Of course she surprised me and every time we go into the bathroom now she goes right for the stacking cups. These toys came in handy at the perfect time, too. She had been fighting bath time for a couple of weeks and would cry and try to climb out of the tub. Now she plays quietly and works intently on fitting the cups into each other. Always surprising me!

She is just now starting to get in to the puzzles she got for her birthday. Her favorite is the colors and shapes one - I assume because it has big knobs and the shapes are easier to identify. She gets so proud every time she successfully gets a piece into the puzzle!

But even with all of these toys, Audrey's absolute favorite thing in the world is:

Sticks. And rocks. And leaves. And dirt. Thus, we spend a lot of time outside. Hey, free entertainment right?!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Playroom

Our next big project is just about complete! This was a big one.

Josh has been laboring away working on Audrey's playroom. This is the smaller of the downstairs bedrooms. It is next to the bathroom, in the back corner of the house. We chose this room because we can see directly into the room from the living room. Perfect since Audrey is old enough to play independently now and we can continue doing what we want, but are still able to watch over her from a distance. The room was in pretty bad shape when we moved in. Like the other rooms, the carpeting in here was disgusting and was immediately removed when we took ownership. There was some ugly brown vinyl flooring under the carpet that wasn't too bad, and we could have cleaned it well enough, but we decided it had to go, too. In addition to the furniture and other random junk the previous owners left in here, there were also a bunch of random wires hanging out of the wall that seemed very questionable.

I can't remember if I have mentioned this before on here, but when our inspector did his inspection on the house, he was checking out the roof and his foot fell through it. There was a corner of the roof that wasn't installed properly and had rotted out. So when his foot fell through obviously it left a big hole and the owners weren't about to fix it, so the hole just sat wide open for the next month until we closed on the house and got our roofer out here to fix it. We had lots of rain in that month and the rain poured through the hole and into the walls on the back of the house. Once we got the roof fixed we tore down the drywall on the back walls (because they were visibly wet) and discovered that there was mold growing. Luckily these beams hadn't rotted yet so all we had to do was treat the mold so it wouldn't return. That left us with bare open walls and ceilings though! Good thing Josh is super handy.

This room actually sat destroyed and in ruins for about a month and a half while we worked on other things - while the bathroom was being built, while we were settling in, while we were doing Audrey's birthday stuff, etc. Josh didn't have the time to devote to it, but when we decided to host Thanksgiving at our house, we made finishing this room a priority.

He hung the drywall on 3 walls and the ceiling in here, then together we mudded it up, sanded, mudded, sanded, then finally painted (ok, Josh did most of that, I pretended to help but mostly walked around complaining about getting dirty). Once the painting was done, Josh put up the crown molding and installed the laminate floors. We had all of this done by Thanksgiving. Actually, he finished it Thanksgiving morning. He's amazing. He did the baseboards Saturday morning. We still have to find a new door (we are thinking of getting a half door), get new windows, new light fixture, paint the closet, decorate, get some functional shelving, and possibly put up trim around the windows and doors. The issue there is that the window and door frames are metal and can't be nailed, so we're looking into finding a way around that. But for now - Audrey has a playroom!! Her toys are not in the living room! I'll be honest - even though I wanted a playroom, I thought for sure that she would just go in there and drag a toy out to the living room and that eventually they'd all be sitting in the living room like they were before. Or that she'd play in there for a minute and then realize she couldn't see us and come running out whining right away. But this is not the case so far! She actually goes in there and plays quietly with her stuff and occasionally comes out with a book for us to read together. She's so sweet. She loves her playroom, and we love the space we now have in our living area.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Thanksgiving and catching up

I haven't posted much family stuff or Audrey stuff on here recently. Lets change that!

Two weeks ago Audrey and I headed down south to Virginia Beach for my cousin's son's 2nd birthday. Zach is such a sweet heart and Sarah put on a great party for him! The theme was trains and Sarah made these awesome conductor party favors for the little ones. Audrey had fun and was being generally cute along with the other little ones (they were each a year apart!). She loved all of the food that Sarah made, and the cake was so delicious that she even insisted on stealing the birthday boy's last bite right off his plate! Rude! Luckily I had a small piece that I quickly dropped on his plate to avoid catastrophe.

Our Thanksgiving this year was rather interesting. We decided about a month ago that we would host our families and cook and the whole nine yards. I even bought fancy tablecloths and cloth napkins (that never even got ironed). I bought a ton of food and found the yummiest recipes. And then Audrey started coughing. The cough started about a week before Thanksgiving and we didn't think much of it until she got a low-grade fever Monday night.  We gave her some Tylenol and the fever came down and we all went about our days, but that cough kept getting worse. Wednesday I decided to see the doctor and was very surprised to discover that she had RSV, bronchiolitis, and a double ear infection. Apparently RSV is pretty serious so I felt terrible for not having taken her in sooner, but of course my happy girl never acted sick once! She is always so energetic and generally even tempered so I know that if she is overly fussy or whiny then something is probably wrong. Of course, she WAS fussy and whiny all weekend, but I attributed that (and the fever, and the coughing, and the runny nose) to the fact that she has two molars and two eye teeth cutting through right now and those are her usual symptoms for teething.

We left the doctor's office with a nebulizer and a prescription for her ear infections. The doctor says that this ear infection was likely caused by the other infections going on in her body and therefore it does not count towards her total number for the year (we are tallying to keep track when/if we decide to get tubes). Audrey really fought me the first two times we did the nebulizer, but she calmed down for Josh and took it well. We went back on Friday for a follow up and she is done with the nebulizer and her ear infection meds now.

Thanksgiving day was particularly interesting. Wednesday night I called everyone to inform them that Audrey was sick and although it wasn't serious for older kids or adults, it was an issue with Cristina due to her being prone to respiratory infections. We didn't want to get anyone sick, so we all agreed that we would cook the food at our house and then send it back to Dad's where everyone could eat together. So Wednesday night I kind of gave up on Thanksgiving and didn't do all the things I was supposed to do (clean, iron, prepare the food). Josh and I got up Thursday morning and puttered around the house in no real hurry. He finished working on Audrey's playroom and I dealt with Audrey and tried to get started on some food. Dad came over around 11 am and I informed him that I hadn't started ANYTHING. How's that for time management? Then Josh went out to fire up the turkey frier, only to discover that it had a hole in it. Uh-oh. How will we cook a 20 lb turkey for people in 3 hours? Well, luckily these two men happen to be stars in the kitchen and they got it done! They cooked an entire Thanksgiving dinner in 3 hours! Turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, gravy, green bean casserole. Yum! Most of the family came by for a little while just to see the house and say hello while they were still cooking. After everyone left, the three of us sat down and enjoyed some Thanksgiving dinner and rested for the rest of the day. It was a crazy day, but fun. Definitely an interesting story for our first Thanksgiving.

We have been spending so much time outside lately with all this beautiful weather we've had. We love our house, but I think we love our yard more. We inherited a wood stove with the house and Josh and Dad set it up out back to be a make shift (redneck) fire pit. It is actually pretty nice and we have enjoyed sitting out there in the evenings and chatting. Josh has taken well to the yard duties, Josie gets a ton of exercise, and Audrey's favorite activity is being outside finding rocks and leaves. I love all three of those things!


More updates to come soon!