Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31

Our neighbor gave us this dog (I guess because it reminded her of our dog Maggie??). It sits on our back porch, and Audrey loves it. She likes to stop and pet it every time we go in or out of the house.

However, since we've had snow on the ground for a while now and since we are lazy and have never cleaned the snow off the dog, it has been covered in snow for most of the past few weeks. And Audrey refuses to touch anything with snow on it, because snow is "yucky". So she hasn't been able to pet the dog in a while. She was very, very excited today when she noticed that some of the snow had melted and there was no longer any snow on the dog.

Audrey is going to be disappointed though, because I don't think the dog is going to stay snow-free for long. According to the weather forecast (though I'm still hoping the forecasters are very wrong!), 12-18 inches of snow is on the way over the next two days. 12-18 inches of snow accompanied by strong winds and subzero temperatures...yuck!!! It sounds like this poor little dog is probably going to be buried in snow this time!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

January 30

There are two rooms being remodeled at church this week, and Daniel and I have been helping with those projects. Hence the reason for our trip to Ikea last week. Tonight, we recruited our small group to help out with the projects. What a great group of people! We got so much done in such a short amount of time. I don't think we would have been able to get everything done without their help.
I'm excited about these projects and about all the changes happening at church right now. Our church is in the midst of some major, major changes lately. We are still without a senior minister (getting close to a year now!). Two other staff members recently resigned. There are some big changes happening in the preschool department (where I am now going to be teaching...that's a post for another day!). And we are changing service times and moving from three services to two services. I don't see the service time change as a big deal...who cares if you go to church at 10:30 or 11:00? But for many people, it is as if their world is completely falling apart.

So with all the changes, there is a lot of negativity and pessimism circulating around. It seems strange for me to be the optimistic one, as I don't see myself as an overly optimistic person. But I'm honestly feeling good about all these changes. It might be a little scary now with so many things up in the air. We don't know what's going to happen with the church in the future, but I feel pretty confident that in the end, it's all going to work out for the good. If only I could convince the rest of the congregation to be so positive about everything!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

January 29

Since Audrey's birthday (3 months ago!), I have meant to take a two year picture of her with Raggedy Ann. I finally got around to taking it tonight! She's 27 months now, but she probably looks fairly similar to how she looked at 24 months.

I also wanted to group all the monthly pictures in one place. So if you are sentimental like me and want to see how Audrey has grown over the past two years, follow these links:

And I've also been meaning to write down some of the funny little things Audrey is saying and doing lately, so here are a couple:
  • Yesterday, I asked her where the new baby was right now. And she spouted off this little speech: "Baby hiding Mommy's tummy. Out soon. Diaper change. Poop in it." We have been talking a lot about how Audrey can be a big helper when the new baby comes, and changing diapers and seeing the baby's poop is what she is most excited about.
  • After she has her clothes on for the day, she sometimes pats her belly and says, "All dressed up."
  • One of her best songs right now is "Praise Him, Praise Him" from her class at church. Before bed tonight, I told her she would get to go to her class at church tomorrow...and she immediately started singing this song. In her words: "Paise him, paise him, Aw ye lee chiden. God is wuv. God is wuv." It is much cuter to hear her sing it though!

Friday, January 28, 2011

January 28

Since the new year, we have been trying to eat a bit healthier around here. Daniel is trying to lose some weight, so he's been watching calories. I'm obviously not trying to lose weight, but I'm also trying a little to make the calories that I do eat more healthy. I have been making more meals from scratch and using less processed foods. It makes me feel a little healthier when I know exactly what is in the foods we are eating.

Tonight I made homemade pizza. It's not a super low calorie meal, but it is healthier than what we would get if we ordered delivery pizza. I tried out a new pizza dough recipe. I have had a couple of bad experiences with making homemade doughs in the past, and it's been a few years since I've been brave enough to attempt a dough from scratch. But this whole wheat pizza dough was SO easy. I had no trouble at all working with the dough or rolling it out. I'm feeling brave now and might have to try some homemade bread or rolls next!

And the pizza was delicious! The recipe made one big and thick pizza. It gives the option of splitting the dough in half to make two thin crust pizzas, and I think next I might try that next time. I will definitely use this recipe again though! It makes me so happy when I try a new recipe, and it actually turns out good!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

January 27

We leave for Florida in about 2 1/2 weeks, and we are all very excited!!

Audrey and I looked at this Disney World book tonight. Daniel's parents had it from a trip they took a few years ago, so they passed it on to us. Audrey enjoyed looking at the book because there is a picture of Mickey (or Minnie or Goofy or Donald, etc.) on every page. If Audrey gets excited about seeing a picture of Mickey, I can only imagine that she will be more excited to see him in person or in a parade or on a ride! She also kept pointing at things and saying "Go there".

So I'm excited about Disney World, but what I'm most excited about is warmer weather!!! Last time we went to Florida the weather wasn't so great, but I'm counting on some warm, sunny days this time around!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

January 26

For our "B" activity today, we made a beach for Audrey! We're going to Florida (and the beach) soon, so we've been talking about the beach some lately. Today I put some sand, seashells and blue glass stones in a big bowl for her. I also gave her some measuring cups, bowls and a funnel. I had a feeling that she would like this activity, but I had no idea just HOW much she was going to enjoy it.

She used the measuring cups to move the sand and shells out of the big red bowl...

And into the smaller bowls...
Over and over and over again. When she emptied all the sand out of the red bowl, then I would pour it all back in the red bowl, and she would do it all again...and again...and again...for an hour and 15 minutes! She only stopped because it was time for lunch and we made her stop to eat. Then after lunch I let her play for another 30 minutes before I made her stop for a nap.

She was so concentrated on moving that sand; it was hilarious! I have never seen her focused on anything for that long at a time. We will definitely be playing with the "beach" more as the week goes on!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

January 25

Daniel, Lindsey and I made a trip to Ikea today! It was fun, but it was a very long day. We left at about 7:30 am and got home at 7 pm tonight...6 hours of driving, and about 5 1/2 hours in the store.

We were shopping for a few remodeling projects coming up at church. I tried to get a picture of all that we bought, but the picture doesn't quite show everything. We had 7 carts that we had to push and get through the check out process, and then get everything into the trailer and van. We completely filled the trailer and the van was pretty full too! We got 5 tables, 20 chairs, a couch, an armchair, a coffee table, two big storage units, a rug and lots of odds and ends. It was some serious shopping, and I am EXHAUSTED right now!

A huge thank you to Miss Lisa for watching Audrey all day long!!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

January 24

We started our letter B activities this week. Today's theme was boats. We made a simple boat craft using construction paper shapes. Audrey really likes all these crafts. I'm trying to come up with a good way to save/display all this artwork. Right now, I've been putting our art projects on the refrigerator. Audrey loves to walk by and point at each thing and say, "I made that!" Today she kept pointing to her boat and saying, "Fun making that!"

But long term, I'm not planning to put all these projects on the fridge or keep them forever. I found a blog that had some really fun ideas for saving art projects long term that I think I might try.

Anyway, after we made the boat craft, we made this special boat for Audrey to ride in. This flag from Audrey's parade a few weeks ago worked well for making the sail!

This is Audrey singing Row, Row, Row your Boat while taking a "ride" in her boat. She quickly got tired of riding in the boat herself, but she thought it was really fun to put her toys in the boat and sing Row, Row, Row your Boat to them.
And then we attempted to read this book: Boats by Byron Barton. But Audrey wasn't too interested. I don't really blame her, because it was kind of lame. But it was the only boat book I could find at our library.

Stay tuned for more "B" activities later this week!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

January 23

A typical Sunday for the Sheltons:

We go to church.

We go out to lunch.

We come home. Daniel and Audrey usually take a nap. I don't take naps, so I stay awake, sometimes being productive and sometimes being lazy.

Then we frantically clean our house to get ready for small group.

We host small group at our house. It is pure chaos with all the people and kids, so the clean house doesn't stay clean for long. But we have a good time getting together with our friends, and people often stay late and socialize.

And then the day is over, and I haven't taken any pictures and have nothing to post on my blog. This seems to be a frequent occurrence on Sunday nights.

Since Sunday is a day of rest, I suppose it's OK if I take a little rest from posting a picture today, don't you think?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

January 22

Three days in a row with a Lanter boy in my photo of the day!

We watched Simon and Elliot today, and all the kids had a good time. They played Hide and Seek, Duck, Duck, Goose and Ring around the Rosie. And for the most part, they got along pretty well!Tonight Lindsey is returning the child care favor and watching Audrey for us. Daniel and I are going to see a local production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Should be fun!

Friday, January 21, 2011

January 21

Audrey's buddy Elliot turned 2 today. We all had a good time at his birthday luau tonight. Happy birthday, Elliot!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

January 20

Elliot has some crazy hat hair at Sprouts this morning!

We took about a month long break from Sprouts, so today was our first day back. We had a few inches of snow this morning, but that didn't stop about 25 kids and their moms (and a few dads) from coming to join us for some fun play time.

Audrey had a pretty good morning at Sprouts. She is finally starting to get a little braver and slightly more independent in these social settings with other kids. Today she sat in a chair all by herself at story time, while I left the room and got the snack ready. That was a pretty big deal for her. It did help that Lindsey, one of her favorite people in the world, was leading the story time.

I'm thinking about enrolling Audrey in preschool this fall. There is one preschool in town that offers a program (two mornings a week) for 2 1/2 year olds. I don't think she really needs to be in preschool yet (or really at all, I never went to preschool and I think I turned out OK!). And she has the rest of her life to be in school, so what's the rush to get her started so early? But on the other hand, I think she would really enjoy it. She loves her Sunday School class at church. And I think the social environment would be really good for her. Plus, I like the idea of having some extra one on one time with the new baby. Anyone have thoughts about preschool for 2 year olds?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January 19

Our letter A activities continued tonight! Daniel had a meeting, so Audrey and I got out the paint and art supplies and created an apple tree.
Audrey loves to paint! Whenever we go to the children's museum, the paint wall is the first place she wants to go...and then we have to drag her away! I made the mistake this morning of telling her that we were going to paint an apple tree today, but then we didn't actually do it until tonight. She kept asking over and over again, "Paint, now?" and she was definitely excited when I told her it was finally time to paint! After painting the tree, I gave her a few more colors and let her make some "masterpieces" of her own.

I wanted to do the painting before bath time, because I figured it would make clean up easier. I also stripped her down to her diaper to avoid having to get any paint out of clothes. I was all ready for her to make a big mess. Then she painted for about 30 minutes and did not get a single drop of paint on her! Not even on her hands!Our apple tree craft went perfectly with this book we have been reading from the library: Ten Red Apples by Pat Hutchins. Or I should say our apple tree craft would have gone perfectly with this book if we would have used the right number of apples. I wasn't paying attention and punched out 11 circles instead of 10. Audrey insisted that we use ALL the apples, so our tree is special and has an extra apple on it!

This letter of the week thing is kind of fun!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January 18

With all the special activities we did around Christmas, I discovered that Audrey really likes to make crafts. So one of my new year's resolutions is to do more crafty things with her at home. After all, I like crafts it makes sense that we should create things together. I thought it would be fun to center our crafts/activities around a theme, so I'm planning to do a Letter of the Week theme this year.

I'd love to be as creative and crafty as this mom, who not only comes up with amazing themes and adorable crafts but also takes gorgeous photos of everything they do. I am not nearly as organized, creative, motivated or amazing as that mom, so our activities will probably never be all that exciting. And I seriously doubt that we will do this every single week. But for those weeks when we don't have a lot going on and I'm feeling ambitious, it will give us something fun to do.

So we began today with this alligator A. Audrey really liked it, especially putting on the foam "teeth" stickers and gluing on the eyes. We had to glue some more eyes on a piece of scrap paper because I wouldn't let her put more than 2 eyes on her alligator!
Toddler Bed update: Audrey has been doing really well sleeping in her bed, until this morning at about 6:30 am...when she fell out! She likes to put her head at the end opposite the rails, so the rails don't do much to keep her in the bed. I think she was starting to wake up when she fell out, but it must have scared her. This afternoon, she did not want to go in her bed. Nap time started with her getting out of bed and kicking and screaming at her door. I went back up, helped her to calm down back in bed, left the room, and she went to sleep by herself. Two hours later, she is still sleeping! So it was a bit of a power struggle, but Mommy and Daddy won in the end!

Monday, January 17, 2011

January 17

I've been slowly cleaning out the storage area of our basement area, getting ready for a big garage sale I'm planning this spring. I love having garage sales, and I love getting rid of stuff. But at the same time, I'm a bit sentimental when it comes to hanging on to some things.

Tonight I went through a box of my old school papers and things my mom kept for me. I found some of my first reading books. Audrey really liked those a lot! She sat and "read" them for a long time.

While she was reading the books, I found a bunch of old journals. I kept a personal journal all the way through high school and college. That's a habit that I have kind of given up in my adult life, but I think this blog counts for something! I also found a bunch of required journal entries from a writing class I took my senior year. It was very interesting to read my thoughts from high school. While I am sure there are parts of me that are still the same, I feel like a completely different person living in a completely different world now. I just had to laugh at myself and all the silly things that I wrote about! I'm sure in 10 more years I will look back on all these blog entries and laugh at myself for all the silly things I wrote about here!

And here's a bonus picture of Audrey wearing my hat that we also found in the basement!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

January 16

Here's a lame picture of the Golden Globes which I'm watching on TV right now. I do love movie awards season!

And for those of you interested in how the toddler bed is working out: so far, pretty good. Audrey went to bed without any problems last night, and she stayed in her bed all night. The only problem is she woke up around 5:45 this morning.

Over the past year, Audrey's wake up time has ranged from 6:30-8:30 (closer to 6:30 lately). But I don't ever remember her waking up and staying awake for the day before 6 am, so this was very unusual. She didn't get out of her bed that early (at least, I don't think she did). She just laid there and talked and sang songs for about an hour while I listened to her on the baby monitor. At one point, I heard her say, "Hi bed, how you doin today?" She finally started to get upset about 6:45 so I went to get her and found her still laying down in her bed.

I don't know if this early wake up time had anything to do with the new bed , or if it was just a coincidence. But I hope it doesn't happen again! The problem with Audrey waking up early (besides the fact that I hate getting up early!) is that she gets very grumpy during the late morning hours.

She also did fairly well at nap time today. She acted like she didn't want to sleep in her bed, but as soon as Daniel put her down, she was quiet and fell right asleep. She slept about an hour and half, which is a decent nap...though I was hoping for something a bit longer due to the extreme early wake up time.

That's enough rambling about Audrey's sleep habits...back to the Golden Globes!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

January 15

We decided to go with a toddler bed. It definitely fits the space better, and it was a bit cheaper on the budget since all we had to buy for now was the bed frame. We are using our crib mattress in it, and then we'll just have to get a new crib mattress before June for the new baby.

Audrey is very excited about her new bed. She was really excited that Daddy was making it for her, which is what she kept saying while he was putting it together: "Daddy making new bed Audrey." She was also very excited to play in it this evening, getting in and out and in and out and in and out. I was a bit nervous that she figured out so quickly how much fun it is to get in and out of the bed!

So tonight was the test! So far, it's been about 30 minutes, and I haven't heard a peep from her. Although I wasn't expecting her to give us much trouble tonight. It's pretty dark in her room. And since she is using the same mattress and blanket that was in her crib, it shouldn't really feel much different for her to be in the bed now. I am most nervous about nap times, so that will be the true test tomorrow afternoon!

Getting a new bed meant getting new bedding, as well as some new room decor. Audrey's room is somewhat of an L shape, so we put Audrey's bed, chair and bookshelf back in the nook to give her a "space" of her own. I got a simple pink polka dot bedding set and started looking for some accessories. Target has some really cute owl decor right now! Audrey and I both love this owl pillow that we bought this afternoon, so I think I'm going to go back and get a few more things to decorate her space. More pictures to come soon, I'm sure!

Friday, January 14, 2011

January 14

Besides moving Audrey into a big girl bed, we're also thinking it's time to start potty training. My plan is to start serious potty training after our trip to Florida in February. But I want to start talking about it and practicing a little now, so it's not a totally foreign concept when we decide to do it for real.

So I got this potty book for Audrey to help peak her interest. She hasn't really been interested in sitting and reading books much lately (which makes me very sad), but she loved this book. She wanted to read it over and over, and then she wanted to go sit on the potty and read it over and over. She sat there for a long time. Occasionally she would stand up and look in the potty, as if she expected something to be in there, but nothing happened.

I really do not want to potty train Audrey. I think it should be called "parent training" instead, as it sounds like it takes a lot of discipline and diligence on the parents' part to help kids learn how and when to use the potty. And honestly, I'm just lazy and don't want to deal with it yet. Changing diapers may be stinky (literally!), but it seems a lot easier than potty training.

But Audrey can't wear diapers forever. She is showing some signs that she might be ready to use the potty, and it would be nice to get the potty training mastered before baby #2 shows up. I like the strategy of this mom, and I think I will try a similar method.

So...I'm writing this here now, so you all can hold me accountable and make me actually do it! Potty training in the Shelton house will begin around the first week of March. If I am not writing about potty training that week, you all better start commenting and tell me to get with the program!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

January 13

I'm a bit frustrated today because I woke up early this morning feeling very nauseous, and the feeling has stuck around all day. I had been feeling better for the past week or two, so I was hoping this part was past. But no such luck!

The good thing about today is that I think Audrey had a really fun day. So I feel better knowing that my ickiness didn't ruin her day!

We started the day at the Chatham library. If you live in the area and have little ones, it's a great place to take them. They have a nice little play area. Audrey played for a long time while I sat and read a couple of magazines. The library also has a little cafe, so Audrey got to enjoy a cookie before we left. She really likes the "special library" as she called it.
Tonight, Daniel had practice at church, so Audrey and I were by ourselves. I decided to pull out some stamps for Audrey to use. I don't know why I haven't done this before, because she absolutely loved it! And for a two year old, she is a really good stamper! Her fingers may be pink for the next day or two, but for the most part she was very neat and careful. We made a picture for Daddy, and then we made pictures for all the grandparents (so all you grandparents can be expecting some mail from Audrey soon!). Audrey stamped for a solid 45 minutes, and probably would have gone longer if I had let her!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January 12

I found a great way to entertain Audrey this morning: Toys R Us! She is still young enough that she doesn't understand the idea that we could possibly take their toys home with us...therefore, she doesn't throw fits about wanting to buy things. I'm pretty sure Toys R Us is like a museum to her, a place where she can just go and have fun playing with toys. She stood and played with this little video game for a really long time! (I was using my phone so the picture quality isn't the greatest).Audrey loves these ride on toys that all the stores have. Especially this one, because it has Barney on it. (I let her pick a movie out at the library last week, and she picked a Barney one. She has been completely obsessed with Barney since then...I don't know what I have started!). The best thing about Audrey and these ride on toys is that she still doesn't know they are supposed to move and light up and play music. She is more than content to climb up and sit on it and push the buttons (that don't do anything!). I'm waiting for the day when she sees another kid riding one and figures out that she has been ripped off all this time!
So, the reason for this trip to Toys R Us was really not to play with all the toys (that was just a little bonus for Audrey). We were driving around to several stores checking out new bed options for Audrey. I think it's time to get her out of her crib. We don't have an extra bed for her right now, so we will have to buy one. I'm debating on whether we should get a toddler bed or a twin bed. A toddler bed is small and will fit better in the space we have (we're planning for Audrey and the new baby to share a room for quite a while). But a twin bed seems a little more logical as she won't outgrow it, even if it may take up more space in the room. Thoughts, anyone??

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

January 11

A Photo a Day doesn't seem like a very good title for this blog anymore. Yesterday, I only posted videos. And today I have much more than one picture to post. But it's my blog, so I say I can post whatever I want! =)
This morning, I babysat Elliot for a little while. I'm always nervous about having kids over to our house, because Audrey is sometimes not very nice when it comes to sharing her toys...especially the new toys that she just got for Christmas. But she did great today. She was very nice to Elliot; she even willingly gave him her toys a few times! Maybe she is starting to learn how this sharing thing works after all.

It's funny how the two of them respond to each other. Audrey took a drink of milk, so Elliot wanted to take a drink of milk too. Elliot would dance, and then Audrey would want to dance too. Audrey would laugh at something, making Elliot laugh too. Elliot would make a funny noise, then Audrey would make the same noise too. In the pictures below, Audrey was laying down on the floor pretending to be asleep, so Elliot came down and joined her. And then when I was trying to get them to smile for the camera, Audrey started sticking her arms out and waving them around, so of course, Elliot had to raise his arms up too!

Taking these pictures today, reminded me of another time when I babysat Elliot and Audrey...back when Audrey was 10 months and Elliot was 7 months. Aw, look at how much they have grown up!
And finally, we got some more snow today. Even though I'm not a big fan of the snow or cold, I didn't want to deprive Audrey of the experience of playing in the snow just because I am a wimp. So we got her all bundled up in her boots and hat and coat and gloves (none of which match!) and headed out in the snow. Audrey is a bit prissy, so I had a feeling she wasn't really going to enjoy it. But I tried to make it sound fun and exciting for her, and she was ready to go "pay in the toe", as she says it.While walking on the shoveled sidewalk, Audrey got a bit of snow on her boot. And then she wanted a towel to clean off the snow! I knew then that playing in the snow probably wasn't going to happen. I did get her to walk into the snow. She stopped to look at me and say cheese, but she was much more interested in finding a towel to wipe the snow off her boots than she was in playing or making a snowman with me.

We will have to get the sled out soon and see if she likes riding in the snow better than walking in it! Her boots will hopefully stay clean in the sled!

Monday, January 10, 2011

January 10

Audrey and Daniel were playing hide and seek tonight, and it was pretty adorable. I couldn't quite capture the cuteness of Audrey's game with my camera, so I opted for video instead.

This last video isn't the greatest, but if you listen closely you can hear her saying, "Hmm..Where's Daddy at? Hmm...where's Daddy at?" The camera is shaking because I was laughing so hard!

I also have to add that she used to be better at counting. Somehow her counting skills have deteriorated over time. She almost always skips 4 now, and when she says 7, it sounds like 11. And she starts to sound like a broke record when she gets to 8, 9, 10, 11.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

January 9

We watched gymnastics on TV for a few minutes this afternoon. Audrey wanted to do her own "a-na-stics", so Daddy help her do some flips on to the couch....which led to Audrey having lots of fun and her hair getting super crazy!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

January 8

Amy is probably going to post the same picture as me tonight, but I'm going to beat her to it!

We hadn't seen the Millers in a while, so we had them over for dinner and games tonight. Audrey was a bit of a grump at times, but she and Cael also had some fun moments. Especially when they raced and slid down the stairs together!

We also played Daniel's new Catan Seafarers game that he got for Christmas. It was a fun game, and I won, which makes it even better!!

Friday, January 7, 2011

January 7

Ugh, it's late and I'm tired and I don't have a picture. I've given myself permission this year to occasionally not post a picture, but still post a blog entry. It's a bit early in the year to already be taking advantage of that, but it's all I've got for today!

We did have a good day. Daniel and I took Audrey to the Children's Museum in Decatur. We're trying to get lots of use out of our museum pass before it expires in April! The Decatur museum is older and not as big as the one we usually go to in Bloomington, but Audrey still had fun. Her favorite exhibit today was the grocery store. They had miniature metal carts that look just like real carts. She had a lot of fun filling her cart with groceries, then putting all the groceries back where they belonged on the shelves, and then filling her cart and starting all over again. It would have been a good picture opportunity, but I forgot to bring my camera!

Tonight, Daniel and I went out for dinner and a movie. After enjoying dinner at Olive Garden, we went to see The Fighter. Probably not the most romantic date movie, but it was good. And it was on my Oscar movies to-see list!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

January 6

My friend Lindsey is writing an article about smartphone apps for toddlers/preschoolers. She wanted me to take a couple of pictures of Audrey playing with a phone that she could use with her article. We don't have any smartphones in our house (only stupid phones here!), so Lindsey brought over their iphone for Audrey to use. Audrey was super excited that someone was not only allowing, but also encouraging, her to play with their phone!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

January 5

I think it's about time for a review of the Nook, don't you?? I have now finished two books on it, and all I can say is: I love it!! Here are my thoughts:

1. I love that you can read without holding it. This is perfect when you read in bed, which I always do. My main reading time is between 10-midnight, when everyone else in my house is asleep! Reading a book in bed is a pain, because you have to hold it and turn the pages, and it's just awkward and uncomfortable. With the Nook, I can prop it up on the comforter (or with the cover Daniel got me for Christmas) and lay down and read. I only have to push a button to turn the page...way easier and much more comfortable.

2. Another reason I like being able to read it without holding it: it's perfect for when you are a holding a baby. I was holding my sister's sleeping baby over Christmas. I just propped my Nook up on a pillow, and I was able easily able to read while holding him. I think this will be a very good thing when baby #2 arrives!

3. When you finish a book, you can have a new one ready to go within seconds (and without ever having to get up!). This is great for traveling. We are going to Florida soon, and I love that I will be able to bring as many books as I want with me!

4. Most people's concern seems to be that reading on an e-reader is just not the same as reading an actual book. But honestly, it really does feel the same as reading a real book. Because the Nook is not back lit (like a computer screen or even the Nook Color), the print on the Nook looks just like it would look on a printed page. Twice, I have tried to physically turn the page (like I would if I was reading an actual book). I don't even notice the fact that I'm reading on an electronic device.

5. It's more fun to read on the Nook. This is probably just the novelty of it, but right now, I'm more excited about reading because I get to read on the Nook.

6. My mom's comment was, "I just feel sorry for the books". And I can agree with that. I love having books on my shelf, and I would love to have a library in my home someday. Just because I own the Nook doesn't mean I will never buy a print book again. I think if I read a book on the Nook that I love, then I would be willing to buy a physical copy for my bookshelf.

7. The battery life is pretty good. My battery seems to last about a week (with me reading every day) before I need to recharge it.

8. My only complaint so far is that the "LendMe" feature, which originally sold me on the idea of getting a Nook, is a bit limited. You can only lend certain books, and then you can only lend them one time. And the selection of e-books available at our library seems even more limited. Hopefully over time, this will improve!

Overall, if you like to read and if you read a lot, I would highly recommend the Nook!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

January 4

Audrey had her own "tarade" tonight while carrying around this wrapping paper flag made especially for her by Daddy. The parade started when we were trying to keep her occupied while we cleaned out some stuff in the basement. The parade continued upstairs when I wanted to get a picture. The parade was complete with marching and music, provided by both Daddy and Audrey. I tried to record it on our video camera, but it was dead. It was adorable and hilarious though; I was cracking up.

Monday, January 3, 2011

January 3

Today I had my 16 week check up. It was a quick and easy appointment: weight check (4.5 pounds gained so far), blood pressure check (normal) and a quick listen to the baby's heartbeat (138 bpm). I am always surprised to hear the heartbeat. Even with my ever growing belly and the nausea and the fatigue, I still have a hard time believing that this pregnancy is real! So that heartbeat is always an exciting and surprising reminder that the baby is real and alive and growing.

The other exciting thing about today's appointment was making my next appointment. The next appointment is the 20 week sonogram (and also the yucky glucose test, but we don't think about that!). And at the 20 week sonogram, we (hopefully) will get to find out this baby's gender!

And the exciting thing about finding out the baby's gender is the fun idea I found for revealing the gender to all of our friends. Last year I found this idea for a gender reveal party, a way to share the sex of the baby with all your friends. I loved the idea, but it was about a year too late for me to use it! So, as soon as we found out I was pregnant this time, I immediately started thinking up ideas for a gender reveal party. Daniel joked tonight that I was more excited about the party than the baby, which is not true at all...but I am very excited about the party idea! If you know me, you know I love any excuse to throw a theme party!
I made this invitation this afternoon. It still needs a little tweaking, but I think it's fun. Our appointment is on February 4, and my plan is to also have the party that evening. Now with my luck, they won't be able to determine the sex at the ultrasound (they almost couldn't at Audrey's ultrasound), so it may be a lot of party planning for nothing. But if that's the case, we'll just reschedule the party for the next ultrasound date and hope the baby is a bit more cooperative that time!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

January 2

I know, it's pretty lame to post a picture of your photo blog as one of the photos on your blog. (It is also pretty lame that it's only January 2, and I'm already scrambling to figure out what to post!)

But I got a new layout today (from this website), and I like it a lot! I splurged a little and paid $10 for this design. I generally try to make my own header/background or use a free layout, but I figured after blogging this long, I deserved something a little nicer. I know some of you read blogs through Google Reader (or something similar), and therefore you may never actually come to my blog site and see what it looks like. Now you know!

So about the blog, we're coming up on year 3 of this daily photo posting stuff. This is post #702! I am absolutely positive that I have never been disciplined about doing anything else that consistently for that long. I'm planning to continue for another year of daily photo posting in 2011. It's a part of my life now, and my day wouldn't seem complete without it!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

January 1

Audrey enjoyed wearing and playing with this necklace all day today!