Thursday, March 31, 2011

Eleven months old!

Dear Katie Beth,
(Or "Spazzy Beth" as your Daddy likes to call you)

"Go big or go home" seems to be your motto. I do believe I've mentioned before that you are very vocal when displeased or having your diaper changed or being removed from whatever danger zone you are playing in. Vuh-uh-ery vocal.

But other people tell us all the time what a happy baby you are, and have we ever seen such a big smile. They are so right because when your world is good, it's oh so good. You scrunch up your nose, squeal, flap and gummy grin your heart out.

This has been a big month developmentally...you started waving, clapping, and taking your first tentative steps on your own. Maybe the raspberries you're constantly blowing are helping you along, like a little motorboat.

Here you are showing off your arsenal of tricks!

You still have no teeth, but it seems that they must be getting close...
finger in one side, medicine top in the other...ahhhhh.

You had such a fun trip to the beach, and we just know we have a little beach bum on our hands!
Very soon, we'll celebrate your first birthday. It was around this time last year that you were first showing your independence by refusing to turn in my belly the way you were supposed to. Now you show it by speed crawling back to whatever hazard we've removed you from, preferring to feed yourself chunks of table food over being spoonfed, and playing so hard with Ben that you've made his nose bleed!

Little Miss, we love your spunk and also your snuggles and are so looking forward to celebrating your first year of life this next month!
love,
Mommy


Sunday, March 27, 2011

More Benisms - such a boy

always up to something!
Daddy gave him "clown hair"

Talking about his pajama bottoms...
"These are not going somewhere pants"

Holding out his finger to me in the car while I'm driving...
B: "Here Mom!"
Me: "What is it, Ben? Ew, is it a booger?"
B: "No, it's not. Here, take it!"
I quickly turn to really look
Me: "Ew Ben yes it is a booger!"
B: "No! It'ssssnot!"
Oh...snot.

telling me something that I don't understand...
"Can you say 'Aaauusstttinn'?"

When Tyler tried to lie on the couch with him...
"Nooo, Dad. I don't like when you put your big, giant hand on my belly."
And then he tooted.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

(Cover)ed for Caroline

A very dear friend of mine, Kelley, is getting her family prepared to make their second trip to China to bring home a new daughter. Last time, Grace was one...
this time, Caroline is twelve!

Obviously traveling to China is quite the undertaking, and in an effort to fund their travels, Kelley has joined up with a local company that makes personalized hooded towels just for this sort of thing! It's called (Cover)ed, and you can read all about it (and shop!) here!

I'd also like to ask you to pray for Scott, Kelley and their children while they continue to follow God's leading as they add to their family in such an extraordinary way. Love and miss you KBB!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring Break part one

What - two blog posts in two days? Either my house is unpacked and organized, or I'm procrastinating doing so. Hmm...

As I said before, we had lots of Chatta-fun with Mom and Dad P. before heading south (or further south, in their case). We put them to work as soon as they arrived, getting reacquainted with Katie Beth and the dozens of superheros in Ben's books.

And since warmer temps are still a few weeks away up north, we knew they wanted to enjoy spring weather as much as possible; so we hit up the playground and cruised around the waterfront.

After such a long drive, I think they were happy to get what they came for - lots of snuggles with grandchildren #9 and 10!
As luck would have it, the circus came to town while they were here! Ben had been super pumped about it, but the day of was in a funk of a mood. Despite Tyler's insisting we would just go home and not see the circus, my you're-going-and-you're-going-to-like-it persistence won out, and Ben complied. Although he didn't speak a word during the show other than to point out where the elephants were, his eyes never left the ring and when asked if he was enjoying it, he nodded with big eyes and a serious face.

Kinda like this...
Nothing like this...
This smile was generated by a Nana-tickle.

Katie Beth also surprised me by LOVING it! I was sure we'd be taking turns strolling her around the concession stands, but she sat on my lap for the whole first half and even squealed and flapped when the animals took the stage. Act 2 was more of what I expected, with Papa taking her for a walk, but all in all, I'd consider it a success!

Let's see, what else can I write about? My sister's visit next week? The summer-like weather? Taxes? Still have that Christmas post to do...nah, think I'll keep procrastinating that one. Fine. I guess I'll unload the dishwasher. Where IS that cleaning fairy?!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Break 2011 - beach or bust!

"We are having so much fun at da beach!"
Can you tell?

Tyler's parents came for a visit last week, and after a few days of Chattanooga fun (post to follow), we headed down to Seagrove Beach for a few days of fun in the sun!

With his new carseat and cushy headphones for the DVD player, Ben's never enjoyed a road trip so much.

Tyler stayed behind to work for a couple of days (somebody's gotta do it), and when he arrived, Ben ran and ran to greet him.
I think Tyler was happy to see him too. :)

The week was filled with sand castles, bike rides, special treats and lots of R and R. Both Ben and Katie Beth loved being at the beach, and she especially surprised us by not even giving a shiver when the chilly water splashed her tummy or trying to ingest the entire beach by the handful. They could've stayed out there all day!

Yep, we are a beach-loving family and look forward to many trips to the gulf in the future. But getting to make memories there with Nana and Papa was especially "grand", as she would say, and we are so grateful they could come!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Superhero Ben!


When Ben says, "Hey Mom. Watch my Superhero dance!", I get the camera, because I know it's going to be a good show.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ten months old!

Dear Katie Beth,
I was surprised to find you pantless when I picked you up from the nursery after my Bible study today. The three teachers all were smiling and shaking their heads, peppering me with comments about how you worked up such a sweat, you are so curious, into everything, a little spider, so busy, how do I get anything done at home, took two to change your diaper, etc. I grinned, feeling as though we'd formed a sort of sisterhood of Katie Beth Wranglers. Then I scooped you up and smothered you with kisses, because you're my girl, and I wouldn't change a thing.

To highlight the past month that flew by:

Ding dong, the reflux's gone!
Apparently when doctors and other mothers said you'd grow out of it in nine months, they'd done some research. One day I realized that the drawer of bibs and burb pads that always seemed empty, was overflowing with terry cloth. The dalmatian pattern on the floor was getting fainter, and I was able to leave the house without a change of clothes...for myself. Hallelujah!

Early riser
As in if the first digit on the clock is a "6" when I hear you waking in the morning, I feel as if we slept in. Usually it's 4:45...5:15. That was all fine and good back in the day when you'd fall back asleep nursing. Now, as soon as the bottle is gone, the game is on! And we're not talking "Quiet Mouse". Which usually means Ben is joining in on the action well before the sun too. And while your morning naps are usually a solid 1.5 hours or so, your afternoon nap is not predictable, which can make all of us slaves to your bedtime routine or else you get a wee-bit temperamental.

Bow boycott
As hard as I've tried to prevent it, I knew this day would come. If you are frustrated, if you are tired, if you feel it in your hair, if you see a bow across the room... you frantically search the right side of your head to rip out any ribboned accessory you may find. It's maddening really, especially when I don't know you've done it until we get home and I realized we've donated yet another bow to the Target parking lot or chimp exhibit at the zoo. These things don't grow on trees after all. So, until Grandma decides to pick up bow making as her next hobby...cut it out missy.
Fortunately, I've got more tricks up my sleeve.
Allow me to introduce the ponytail!

The Cheerleader

The Pebbles Flintstone

Power squats
Hands down, your favorite pasttime this month has been cruising, pushing buttons on the cable box and practicing your balance in standing. You're taking a calculated approach and keeping your knees bent, which allows for maximum stability...sometimes lasting 30 seconds or more. Usually at that point, you get excited, squeal and flap your arms and pop down on your cushy Huggies butt.
hold it, hold it...and pulse 2, 3, 4....

weeble wobble!

Don't worry Zoe. I'm sure she's not about to smack your head.

Or grab your tongue.

just hanging out

Combining all your moves to try to hoist baby Stella into her stroller

Dairy farm is closed
It was a good run, but your curiosity with the world around you led to shorter and less-frequent nursing sessions, which led to a lower milk supply, which led to your weight plateauing, which all led to the switch to formula at 9.5 months. I had some milk saved up, but you are now officially a Similac baby...and a bit of a binge drinker. You start panting and squirming as soon as you see that bottle coming, and have mastered the art of holding it yourself. I have to say that, although I was hoping to nurse for your first year, I am enjoying the convenience of handing the bottle to you in the car, letting Daddy take the early shift on Sundays and also the fact that I know exactly how much milk you are getting every day. Bottom line is we want you to be healthy and put a little extra meat on your bones.

But maybe not on your thighs...
Getting ready for swimsuit season!

We actually had some pleasant-weather days in February, which drove us outside as often as possible. Since birth, you have been an outdoors girl - the only place that could calm a newborn scream session still has that effect during baby meltdowns. But it's been fun to play in the backyard instead of just pray for quiet!

Watching you really look at the sky for the first time, feel the wind, stare at tress, laugh at birds and squirrels has been some of my absolute favorite moments...not only of the month, but of being a mother. The awe, the wonder...there is something truly sacred of rediscovering the world through the eyes of a child.


Your family loves this journey, Katie Beth...thanks for taking us along!

love,
Mommy

P.S. Monthly chair-picture outtakes...you can see why the one at the top was the best I could do. Someone doesn't sit still for too long, and I did what I could to corral!