Monday, December 31

Beautiful day!

Today has been a perfect day! To begin with, Beth only woke up ONE time last night- at 11 pm (before I went to sleep) so I brought her to bed and she and I fell asleep together and woke up together at 7:15. I think this is the longest I've slept in over a year! She woke up so incredibly happy and I was refreshed. A very nice way to begin the day!

We ate breakfast, cleaned up a bit, got dressed and went grocery shopping. Then the rest of the morning/day was spent cleaning the house since we still had things to do leftover from the party on Saturday. Speaking of, I feel so blessed that we have such wonderful friends! I've been smiling all day because I'm reminded of the numerous people that care for Bethany. While we missed some people at the party, we had a wonderful time catching up with old friends and watching Beth devour an entire vanilla cupcake!

Today I've just felt very at peace. Nothing amazing has happened- I've just been doing my vocational duties of taking care of baby and house. But everything has happened with joy- and it's much MUCH easier to be joyful when you and baby have a full night of sleep!

Friday, December 28

Our Christmas

I know Christmas came before Beth's birthday, but I didn't have time to update before then so my posts are a little out of order. :-)

We had a wonderful but very busy Christmas! We traveled to see my parents and family, met up with some long-lost but much beloved out-of-state friends, then to see Ryan's parents and family, then drove back to our house on Christmas morning to attend Mass at our parish, opened presents with our little family, then had dinner with my extended family at my grandparent's house! All this within 7 days! Beth was a trooper though, she loves visiting everyone. She had so much fun playing with my younger brothers (who are 7 and 5- just the right age to act completely goofy around Beth) and of course she loves seeing all of her grandparents!

Ryan and I also had a great time relaxing and hanging out with the fam. We both played a Wii for the first time, that was semi-addicting. He's better at baseball than I am, but I totally kicked booty at the coconut-dropping thing!

She got some great presents that she'll enjoy for the next few years- a Red Flyer Rocking Horse, a baby lawn mower, a stroller for her new doll and lots of clothes! I think Ryan's favorite gift this year was a Dirk Nowitski bobble head (to be proudly displayed at work!)and I've got lots of cookbooks to dig into! Also, Ryan got me a beautiful statue of Our Lady of Lourdes for our front yard. We've been looking lots of places for a Marian statue and I couldn't be happier with the one he found for me. :-)
A good girl in the car!

She played lots of piano while on vacation!

She went crazy over the lawn mower!

Coal or candy?

After Christmas day mass. Don't be fooled- she was awake for all of mass until the last 5 minutes!
Beth and Mary having a chat.
My beautiful house. I will be sad to take the decorations down after Epiphany!

Thursday, December 27

Happy First Birthday!!!

Our little Beth is one today!!!!!!!!!!

I can't believe it! Cliche, I know, but this year has absolutely flown by! We had such a fun day today- everything was all new again it seemed! I kept thinking of how quickly time has passed and it reminded me that I need to SLOW DOWN every now and then and just watch her be a baby! So that's what I did today- well, on top of other things of course. :-) I rocked her to sleep for a nap, and really enjoyed it- took the time to smell her head and take a photograph with my mind, because I know soon she won't want to snuggle with mommy. I watched her play with her books and talk to herself- in her own little world. I know the cogs in her brain are turning... She knows now that shoes go on feet- when I take her shoes off she grabs them and tries to put them on her toes. Even the fact that she's being super-duper clingy right now isn't so awful, because I know that this too is a phase that'll pass. It was so refreshing to me, as a mom, to just realize that my baby girl is only going to be so little for a short period of time, and I really need to enjoy every.little.part of it!

Today we had both sets of grandparents and my siblings over for pizza and cake. It was a small party but oh so wonderful! Beth enjoyed it so much! Of course we let her dig into the cake- her very first taste of chocolate and boy is she her mother's daughter! She really enjoyed smearing the icing everywhere! For her birthday she received some nice clothes, a baby grand piano which she loves, and a baby doll that she adores! I didn't realize that the love for babies is innate in kids- she has loved baby dolls for about a month now so it was time to have one of her own. It was so funny- she was trying to play the piano AND hold the baby at the same time! It wound up that the baby was thrown on top of the keyboard while Beth had his hand in her mouth so she could still press the keys. Yes, the baby is a boy doll (they were out of girls!) which means he's dressed in blue instead of pink. I don't think Beth minds!!!

We'll have another party on Saturday with friends and more family. I have a feeling this one is going to be crazy... I'm not sure we'll be able to fit everyone in the house!




This is a funny pic of Beth- eating the baby over the piano. That was pretty much how it went!

Sunday, December 23

Almost Christmas

Technically, Beth's first Christmas. :-) We had a nice time at my parent's house, and last night it *finally* got chilly! It blew in- the whole day was very blustery and then at night the temperature just dropped. FINALLY it feels like holiday weather! We're currently at Grandpa and Grandpa's house and will stay here to enjoy opening some presents, then head home to visit other family members and celebrate at our home parish. I'd post pics right now but I don't have the USB cord to download photos! We'll hopefully have some very cute ones soon. :-)

I probably won't post again before Christmas, so MERRY CHRISTMAS! May Christ be born again in our own hearts this year. :-)

From my dad's camera:
Our family
She was dancing to "Jukebox Hero"

Sunday, December 16

A lazy weekend

This weekend has been excellently lazy! We've relaxed around the house but gotten some good cleaning done also- it's nice not to have to go out to public places this time of year! Everything is so busy around here- the mall here is known for being one of the busiest in our city. I've tried to be efficient and get my shopping done early, and at this point I have gifts bought and wrapped for all but two people. And all of Beth's birthday shopping is done too! Tuesday we're off to visit my family for a few days, then to visit Ryan's family for a few days, then we'll make it home on Christmas day!

This time last year I was two weeks shy of giving birth! I've gone back and looked at photos of myself from this time last year, and remembered the anticipation I felt waiting for Beth to enter our world. I can't believe it's almost been one year!!!
Beth with her new love- Pooh Bear!
Still learning to use her sippy cup.
Oops, someone had an accident before bath time!
She doesn't quite fit anymore!
Bundled up with daddy

Friday, December 14

The excitement of eating

This video is actually from a few weeks ago. But it's so cute!

Monday, December 10

Busy week

Not much going on around here because we've got a busy week! Today I had a meeting at a neighboring church so we had to travel over there and Beth was a good girl and slept there and back. :-) After the meeting we went to the dollar store to find some goodies for her party- plates, napkins, cups... Wouldn't you know they're all out of pink? I bought some Christmas wrapping paper and called it a day. After that we went to Hobby Lobby and had an odd experience. We were in the cake decorating aisle- I was looking at stuff and Beth was walking (ahem, pulling things off the shelves) when this woman walked by, stopped and came back and started gushing about how beautiful Beth is! I am completely fine with people telling me I have a beautiful baby, don't get me wrong, but she went on and on to the point that it was uncomfortable! As she kept talking, Beth grabbed my leg and sunk down onto the floor while staring at her, and the woman said, "Oh you should see this face she's giving me! She's so beautiful, can I take a picture of her on my cell phone? Or could you email me a picture?" I said no, thanks, I'd rather not but on the inside I was thinking "Get away from my baby weirdo!" After that she left. I don't like the idea of strangers taking photos of my baby! A similar thing happened at the Planned Parenthood clinic when we went to protest, but they were taking pictures of us on the sidewalk as "proof" that we were blocking the walkway (which we weren't!). Anyways, from that I know that photographing your child without your consent is illegal. Not that this woman wanted to do anything illegal, but you just never know!

The rest of this week we have three more meetings and two lunch dates! On top of that I'm trying to finalize birthday party plans- food especially. We're considering moving the party to an outdoor pavilion if it's a nice day, so be on the lookout for that change!

Saturday, December 8

My giving baby

Beth is at such a cute stage right now. I know, I say that every week, but every week just gets better and better. :-) This week has been all about sharing. She'll pick up an item, offer it to you with a questioning face, and is very satisfied when you take the item and say "thank you!" Actually she becomes quite frustrated if you don't take the item, so you have to take it! She'll go to the toy box, grab an item, give it to you, then walk back to the toy box and rinse, lather and repeat. Over and over again! And she's so proud of herself!

She's improving her walking as well- she now on a regular basis will stand up on her own without the help of a wall or something. It's really cute because she pushes up on her hands and then sort of walks her hands backwards until she's standing- sometimes she'll do this while holding onto an object! Speaking of, I think we FINALLY have a lovey! And guess what it is- my old Winnie the Pooh bear! Pooh Bear was my lovey...well, in high school. ;-) (Old habits die hard.) But she carries that old bear around with her everywhere, and when she's not holding it she wants you to hold it. I'm so happy she's chosen a lovey and I'm flattered it has such a special meaning to me. :-) Hopefully now she'll use this lovey to help her fall asleep at night- currently she strokes my hair. It's sweet to me but obviously she can't keep my hair with her all the time so when she wakes up and I'm not there... Well you get the idea. I'm praying, begging actually, that Pooh Bear will take my place!

These are the only photos I took this week. Beth's been sick with a runny nose and bad cough so it hasn't been the most pleasant of all weeks. She's acting normal but her nose was running like mad... She's getting better.

What every mom loves to see when she gets home! She was passed out!
Our finished tree!

Sunday, December 2

Walking is not enough

Advent has begun!

Advent is here! Let us prepare for the birth of Christ our Savior!

We like to begin to decorate our house once Advent begins, so today we decorated. :-) Actually yesterday we put up lights on our house but haven't been able to light them yet since we don't own an extension cord (how embarassing!) We also went to pick out our tree from a local Christmas tree farm- the same place we cut our tree last year. We wandered the fields a little bit looking for the perfect tree and once we found it, cut it down and strapped it on top of my little 4-door car. It made it home!!! I was very worried about this since in past years we've taken Ryan's truck. But it made it! We had to rearrange the furniture in our living room to make the tree fit! But everything looks nice.

Today we went to mass and Beth slept almost the entire time! What a blessing to be able to sit still again and listen to a homily without having to worry about Beth! Later this afternoon we pulled out the Christmas boxes, turned on the Christmas music and decorated our little house. :-) Beth was a little cranky so I didn't get many photos of her! She was intrigued not so much with the tree in the living room but with the red and white lights on the tree. Of course, there are no ornaments on the lower 2 feet of the tree- but alas, such is life with a walker!

We also purchased an Advent wreath this year- this will be our first time to do this on (hopefully!) a nightly basis. Tonight we said a prayer and lit the first purple candle. :-)

Not everything is done yet but it's feeling very festive around here. I love the Advent season! Last year I was able to join Mary in the anticipation of Jesus' actual birth; this year I think I'll focus on something else!
Going to get us a tree!

How about this one, dad?





She was pointing at a mama and her two baby goats! Beth was so excited!
Exciting lights!

Thursday, November 29

New Onesie


Enough said!

Sunday, November 25

Our week

The first cold day!
Ryan, Uncle Josh, Aunt Ramona and little Beth on Thanksgiving day.
Thanksgiving dinner! Beth slept through it!
This is the only pic from her eating Thanksgiving dinner...from Gerber...For some reason she turned her nose up to the good stuff!
Playing with her daddy's old toys

We saw so many deer!












We had an absolutely wonderful Thanksgiving week! What a lot to be thankful for!

Tuesday we drove to see Ryan's parents for the week. Not only did we get to see them but two of Ryan's uncles and Josh and Ramona also! Beth really perfected her walking this week- every day she became noticeably more and more steady. In fact, she even tried running a couple of times when I chased her on the floor! It was a fun week of some serious playing with her Daddy's old baby toys. She was very fascinated by the deer and squirrels that came up close to the house. In fact, she had a close encounter with a young buck through the window- she was with Grandma and the buck started walking toward the window and it scared Beth! Sort of odd that the buck came so close though!

The weather finally cooled off on Thanksgiving day, it was a beautiful day outside! Ryan played some soccer with his brother and Beth toddled around in the yard. She was bundled up so tightly though that it was hard for her to walk!

Her 4th tooth has finally cut through, and no sign of any others to come soon. She has really just been in the happiest mood all week! She is such a delight to be around right now!

Monday, November 19

A better walking video

Race photos

Here are some professional photos from the 10K I ran about a month ago (I just got them a few days ago). It won't let me post them directly here so you have to follow the link!
Kreutz Photography - Capture The Excitement

Pics

Random cute pictures...



Sunday, November 18

Another tooth

We've got another tooth coming in! She's cut 4 teeth in the past 4 weeks- the top two front and two bottom ones. It seems the top ones are coming in faster than the bottom ones. She's going to be so cute for Christmas with her 4 little teeth. :-) It really hasn't been that awful. It seems when the teeth are actually about to break through the surface she's been mildly fussy, but other than that no other symptoms. And it's nothing Hyland's Teething Tabs can't help!

Friday, Beth and I went to have her Christmas photos taken at Portrait Innovations. I was very pleased with them the first time we went and this time wasn't as wonderful, but still waaaay better than the stupid JC Penny incident. I bought one pose of her sitting next to a Christmas tree. She wasn't in the best of moods so I only had a couple of good ones to choose from. The photographer told me where to put her down, so I put her there and he immediately started making this high-pitched "HEEEEEY BETHANY WHERE'S THE BABY?" noise, and she burst into tears! Sometimes men scare her but she definitely had something to be scared about with this guy. I calmed her down and he hid behind the lense of the camera for the rest of the shoot while a female employee tried to get Beth to look at her. It was really funny from my point of view, and I guess the photographers are used to stuff like that since he didn't seem too offended!

I don't have a scanner or else I'd the photo up here...But most of y'all will be receiving a copy of the picture in the mail soon anyways!

On a sadder note, Beth took a pretty bad tumble yesterday. She fell outside on our concrete driveway and scraped up her pretty little head pretty badly. I didn't want to tell y'all this but 1. I know at some point every baby takes a bad fall and 2. Her photos will show the ugly bruises. She's acting just fine and as happy so Ryan and I aren't worried there's anything wrong other than her scrapes.

Well I've got to upload pictures from the camera because I have nothing new to post right now! I'm trying to get a good video of her dancing because it's evolved and it's so darn cute!

Wednesday, November 14

Beth's favorite games

Right now Beth's favorite games are "Take Everything Out", Pat-a-cake, and Peek-a-boo. Take everything out is a fun one, this consists of removing everything from whatever the chosen object is- cabinet, suitcase, wallet, laundry basket, toy box, diaper bag... You get the idea. It makes for a very happy baby but a very messy house! She has her own cabinet in the kitchen the she's allowed to pull stuff out of- all the other ones have child-proofing on them. So several times a day she'll go in there and have at it. :-) Pat-a-cake and peek-a-boo are well-known games, but Beth likes to lift her shirt up over her head for peek-a-boo. She did this at Bennigan's today and really cracked up the people sitting next to us!

Today, Ryan took the day off since he had some left over vacation days, and we sort of bummed around and did a little bit of shopping. Beth got her first winter coat and Ryan got some new cleats since he's joining a soccer team. I'm so happy about that for him! But anyways, Beth really doesn't like to be held while we shop now, usually I let her push the stroller but today she just wanted to walk on her own. Everyone stops and says something along the lines of "Ohhhh how precious!" and we smile and continue walking at .00005 miles an hour!
Beth's cabinet!
Artsy shot
Another artsy shot

Saturday, November 10

A special day

This morning I was able to slip away for a bit (my wonderful husband watched Beth!) so I could go with my grandma visit my grandfather. He has been diagnosed with Pick's Disease- similar to Alzheimer's. He lives away from my grandma now, in a home with several other patients where he receives 24 hour care- so today I tagged along to go visit. I'm so glad I did- it's so difficult to see someone you love so much in a state like that, but I loved being able to see him. :'-) Please pray for the sick, those who love them, and their caretakers.

Today we also went into town to a Romanian festival- my future sister-in-law invited us (she's from Romania!) so we went and listened to some spiffy music, ate some YUMMY food, and had some delicious wine. It was really neat to hear Romanian being spoken all around us, it's a beautiful language but I have absolutely no clue what anyone is saying since it's so different. I did learn how to say, "How's it going" but I'm not even going to attempt to spell it!




Thursday, November 8

"Safe" toys

At this point I'm sure everyone has heard of the seemingly hundreds of recalls of toys this year, mostly due to the lead content in the paint. With Christmas (and a birthday!) coming up, I've asked around and compiled a list of websites of toys NOT made in China. Some are made in the US and others in European countries, which I hope should all be safe for our children to play with.

http://maplelandmark.com/
http://www.holgatetoy.com/
http://www.turnertoys.com/made-in-USA/american-made-toys.htm
http://www.ubah.com/ecommerce/default.asp?sid=A1269&gid=38390911 (sold by a friend)
http://www.unclegoose.com/
http://www.oompa.com/ (some are made in China and some aren't)
http://www.planethappytoys.com/
http://www.choochootrack.com/
http://www.woodentrain.com/ (for the train lovers out there)

http://www.parentdish.com/2007/11/04/websites-with-american-and-european-made-toys
http://www.coolmompicks.com/safertoy07/
http://www.parentdish.com/2007/08/29/buying-made-in-america-toys

This blog talks about some manufacturers: http://www.momgogreen.com/2007/08/toy-origins.html

Please feel free to add more links in my comments if you know of any!

Wednesday, November 7

Movies

I keep meaning to blog about this! If you have not already gone to see the movie "Bella" then go! Right now! It's a fantastic film that stars "The Mexican Brad Pitt" and has a non-Hollywood feel about it. This movie will change lives if it makes enough money to open in all theaters. So please consider supporting it now!

Tuesday, November 6

Sunday, November 4

She's walking!

Bethany Grace has taken her first official steps! On several occasions, actually. Mostly they're from one thing to another (from the dresser to a box or sofa to the table) but they've been unsupported, on-her-own steps! And she doesn't want to do anything else, actually she's beginning to despise being held. I never thought I'd see that day! At mass on Thursday she was all about walking along the pew instead of sitting in our laps (we were the only ones in the pew so we let her walk up and down) and today at the mall she walked behind the stroller, pushing it. We were moving as slow as snails but she got the biggest kick out of it and of course everyone thought she was adorable!

Here are some of our Halloween pictures...

Pumpkin guts!

Our first carved pumpkin!


The cutest kitty cat

We went trick-or-treating with a turtle!

Beth and my grandmother. This was the day she was sooo happy!

 
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