Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 31

Isla is 7 months old today! You wouldn't know she was sick by looking at these pictures, but she is still having a rough time with her cough and runny nose and breathing. She would not sleep in her bed last night, so Daniel and I ended up splitting the night and taking turns with her on the couch. She was so restless and coughing so much, it was rough! She seems a bit better today, so I'm hoping we will all get some sleep tonight.

Isla is sitting up like a pro these days. She is really steady and I can't even remember the last time she toppled over. Her balance is really impressive. I think it is because she is such a chunk, she has a nice big base to help her stay balanced! She weighs almost 17 pounds right now and is starting to wear mostly 6-9 month size clothes. I think we are about ready to move up to size 3 diapers.

She still hasn't rolled over again. Tummy time this week has been rough and almost nonexistent. With all her congestion, she just screams bloody murder when you put her on her tummy. As soon as she starts to feel a little better, it is going to be tummy time boot camp for baby Isla! She is strong enough to hold her head up and push up on her arms. She can do it. She just does not like to do it.

However, she did stand up on her own yesterday. She was sitting on my leg, with her feet resting on the floor. All of a sudden, she just pushed up and stood herself up. She needed my support once she was up, but she stood up all on her own. It really surprised me. I thought it was a fluke, but then she kept doing it over and over again. She is probably going to be walking before she starts rolling over!
Isla has been eating all kinds of baby food lately. So far she has tried green beans, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, bananas and peaches...and she likes them all! It took her a little longer than I wanted, but she has finally settled into a good schedule. She was sleeping through the night consistently until this cough started, from about 8 pm-6 am. (I'm hoping she will resume that once this cough stops waking her up at night!). She takes 2-3 naps per days, and her naps are starting to lengthen, averaging about 75-90 minutes now. She drinks 4 bottles per day of about 4-6 ounces each, and she eats baby food at all three meals.

She has been a bit out of sorts the past couple of days, but she continues to be so happy and content and mellow most of the time. She has such a pleasant little personality, and definitely brings a lot of joy to our lives!

Friday, December 30, 2011

December 30

Isla got her new helmet today. I do not like it. It is much bigger than her last one, and it is cut very, very close to her ears. Because it is so close to her ears, it hangs down lower on her head and her face. There's just a lot more helmet there than what we had before.
Here is a side view. Compared to the first helmet, this one is very different. But...we got used to the first one fairly quickly, and soon this new helmet will look normal to us as well.
The good news is that it is a bigger helmet, which means she has plenty of room to grow. We should not have to purchase another helmet (there was no charge for this one). Also, this helmet should correct the bumps that have formed on the side of her head. Once that happens, I really think we might be able to be done with the helmet altogether. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it happens soon!

After the helmet appointment, we took Isla to see the doctor. She has had congestion and a yucky cough for the past 10 days. She hasn't had a fever, and she has been pretty happy and eating and sleeping well (except for occasional coughing fits that would wake her up).

But that cough is just awful. It pains me every time I hear it, because there is just nothing I can do to help her. I really want to just cough for her and clear everything out. Since we got back from Indiana on Wednesday, she has been a bit fussier and eating less and her breathing has become more like wheezing and rattling.
So, I figured the doctor would just tell us she has a virus and there was nothing they could do for her. Turns out, she has an ear infection in one ear. So she got an antibiotic for that. And yes, the doctor did say she has a virus, possibly RSV. But rather than doing nothing about it, she gave us an inhaler with some spray that she can ingest to hopefully clear out all the nastiness that it is in her throat and lungs. It makes me feel better to be able to do something to try to help her out a little.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December 28

We are back home from our Christmas travels. And we brought a lot of stuff back home with us! I'm grateful for the generosity of our family, but where are we going to put all this stuff?? I'm thinking about doing an organization theme here on the blog in January to help me get myself organized for a new year.

Audrey never really had a chance to play with any of her new presents. We left immediately after church on Christmas day, and after opening presents in Indiana, we packed most stuff up in the car right away. So when we got home, she wanted to open and play with ALL the new toys.

Look at how cute these two sisters are playing together! They were sitting at Audrey's new princess table, and Audrey was serving Isla pizza from her new pizza play set. I love it!

December 26

We celebrated Christmas with Daniel's family in Indianapolis the day after Christmas. Here are all the cousins! (Audrey refused to smile in any of these pictures).And with Mimi and Papaw!
Audrey with her cousin Mariah, who is 10. Audrey reminds us a lot of Mariah when she was 3.
We opened presents twice, so that was lots of fun! I think the hit present of the day was the box of Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Jelly Beans (from Harry Potter) that I got for Mariah. She shared them with everyone. I wasn't brave enough to try any, but several family members got a taste of earthworm, dirt, rotten egg, vomit, and earwax...and it was not a good taste at all!! Audrey, however, ate an earthworm flavored one without flinching.

Isla's favorite present was this little car/driving toy. It makes noise and has lights, and she loves it. She played with it for the longest time, and it would make her laugh and squeal and get so excited!

Monday, December 26, 2011

December 25

Merry Christmas!! We had an enjoyable Christmas morning with my family. It was a bit crazy to get up and open presents and eat breakfast then have to get dressed and go to church, but we made it! And the girls looked pretty adorable in their matching Christmas dresses!
My cinnamon rolls turned out great! They were made with frozen bread, and they were pretty easy. Though I don't know if I will ever need to use the frozen bread dough recipe anymore, as I got this KitchenAid professional mixer AND a breadmaker for Christmas! According to KitchenAid, you can mix enough dough for 8 loaves of bread in one bowl with this mixer. I will most definitely be making homemade bread in the very near future!Audrey did a great job opening presents. She had a hard time last year, not understanding the idea of waiting for others to open presents or not being able to immediately play with everything she opened. It was much better this year, and she had the best reaction to everything she opened. I think her favorite present was this tricycle that she got from Nana and Papa.
Isla's favorite present was the wrapping paper! =)Link

Saturday, December 24, 2011

December 24

Day 24 Advent activity: Go to Christmas Eve service at church...and Nana, Papa, Andrea and Josiah came to our house!

I was really excited about hosting my family for Christmas this year. But I was also nervous about it being a stressful day today...getting the house ready for company, fixing a big meal, playing the piano at Christmas Eve service tonight, etc. There was potential for a lot of things to go wrong. But everything worked out wonderfully, and we had a great Christmas Eve.

Our dinner before church was hot and ready on time, nothing was burnt, and everything tasted good.
Here is Aunt Andrea reading to all the kids.Baby Josiah...he is growing up so fast, we are not going to be able to call him that much longer.
Nana brought a beautiful Christmas dress for Audrey to wear to church tonight.
LinkWatching TV with Papa.My mom and I played a duet at church tonight. It went pretty well, considering that we weren't able to practice it until this afternoon!Now, I'm off to make some cinnamon rolls for our Christmas breakfast. The idea of making cinnamon rolls sounded great when I was browsing through recipes a few weeks ago. But at 10 pm on Christmas Eve, it is not sounded quite as great anymore! It is supposed to be an easy recipe, using frozen bread dough and letting the rolls rise overnight in the fridge, so let's hope that is true. Even more so, let's hope that they will taste good in the morning!

Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

December 23

Day 23 Advent activity: Drive around and look at Christmas lights

We drove around tonight and stopped by a few of the more elaborate light displays on our side of town. Then we stopped at Dairy Queen for some ice cream. I had a Candy Cane blizzard the other night, and they are so good. I just had to get another one before they are gone for the season!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

December 22

Day 22 Advent activity: Watch a Christmas movie

I DVR'ed the old Santa Claus is Coming to Town movie, so we watched that tonight before bed. We really only watched the beginning and the end, as I fast forwarded through at least 30 minutes in the middle. Audrey didn't really care though. She was happy enough just to watch the Santa Claus is Coming to Town song at the end. That is the newest Christmas song that she is learning. She has even made up actions of her own to go along with the words, and it is so cute when she sings it.

Also, Isla had a physical therapy appointment today. She is only going once a month for physical therapy now, just to check in and make sure her development remains on track. Shannon (our physical therapist) gave her glowing reviews for her ability to sit up by herself so steadily. She also got great reviews for her head control and range of motion, which has improved tremendously over the past few months.

The only thing we still need to work on is tummy time and rolling over. While she has rolled over, she is not doing it regularly. We have been consistent with making her do lots of tummy time, but she STILL doesn't like it much. I'm thinking that is a big reason why she doesn't want to roll over. Why roll over and be on her tummy, which she hates, when she could just stay on her back and side, which she loves.

In the end, Shannon says that if she doesn't roll over, it's still okay. As long as she continues to develop normally in other areas and we continue to put her on her tummy so she can build strength, then it is okay if she doesn't want to roll over yet. I just wish she would be a little happier during tummy time. I didn't expect it to still be such a chore at 6 months old.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

December 21

Day 21 Advent activities: Go to a Christmas party at Miss Lisa's house and deliver goodies to neighbors

Our friend Lisa, who occasionally watches the girls, also watches a little girl named Anna a few days a week. Anna is a few weeks older than Audrey, and they are good friends in Sunday School and at Sprouts. Anna has been asking for weeks if Audrey and Isla can come over and play at Miss Lisa's house. So today, Lisa invited the girls over for a Christmas party (while I got to go and finish some last minute shopping and enjoy a lunch date with Daniel!).

Lisa had all kinds of fun things for the girls to do. They made a couple of crafts. They made cookies. They got their faces painted. Basically, all of Audrey's most favorite things to do! Here are a few pictures from Lisa:

Also, while I was cooking dinner tonight, Daniel took the girls (and Audrey's baby doll) around the neighborhood to deliver some of our sugar cookies from last night and Christmas cards. I want Audrey to understand the idea that it is better to give than to receive. But I don't think she is quite getting the idea yet. After we delivered all the boxes of cookies, she kept whining and asking where her box was.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 20

Day 20 Advent activity: Drink hot chocolate and make Christmas cookies (plus an update about Isla's helmet at the end of this post!)

Audrey was excited about her hot chocolate, so we had it right after breakfast this morning. She insisted on drinking it out of a straw.
We also made sugar cookies tonight. This was my first time to make sugar cookies and frosting from scratch. Since the gingerbread cookies went so well the other night, I figured I might as well try out some sugar cookies too! The cookies turned out really well...not too shabby for my first attempt.Audrey loves to help bake. I had visions of us cutting out and decorating all these cookies together. Then reality set in and I quickly remembered that Audrey's "help" is not always that helpful. She helped me mix the dough this afternoon, then tonight she helped me roll out a few cookies. And then she got to decorate one cookie. She dumped half a bottle of three different kinds of sprinkles on her cookie, and I decided that was enough decorating for her. She was happy just to eat her cookie, and I was happy to finish up the decorating after she went to bed!

Also today, I took Isla to Hanger to have Mary (our orthotist, who is in charge of Isla's helmet treatment) take a look at the bulges on Isla's head. They really haven't gotten better at all the past three weeks. Mary agreed. She was concerned about the bulges and wants to take care of them now so it doesn't get worse.

So Isla is getting a new helmet! This one will be cut down lower around her ears to apply pressure to those bulges and push them back in. Mary thinks this will work. At this point, the back of Isla's head looks GREAT! I am really pleased with it. Now, the problem is these bulges on the side. So this new helmet (while still helping to correct the flat, triangular head shape) will mostly be worn for the purpose of correcting the side bulging, which was caused by wearing the helmet in the first place.

That's a little frustrating. We definitely won't be done with the helmet in early January like I had earlier hoped. My new goal for being done with the helmet is 6 weeks after we get the new helmet (next week). That would be early-mid February...right before we leave for Florida.

And on a final note, today is our wedding anniversary...we've been married eight years today! Crazy!! That is such a long time. I have been feeling very old today. We didn't do anything to celebrate today. Having an anniversary so close to Christmas makes it hard to do much as it is always a crazy time. We are planning to go out and celebrate next week while we are in Indianapolis and Daniel's parents can watch the girls.

Monday, December 19, 2011

December 19

Day 19 Advent activity: Make a star craft.

I have no picture to prove it, but we did make a star craft today. It was cut out of yellow paper and had glitter on it...nothing too fancy. The Advent book today talked about how the Wise Men followed the star to find Jesus.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 18

Day 18 Advent activity: Take a Christmas present to Maggie

I'm not sure if I ever officially mentioned it here, but we did get rid of our dog Maggie last summer. She now lives with Carly and a cute little one year old boy named Avett, just a few blocks down from our house. It seems to be working out well for all of them, and Maggie is definitely better taken care of now than she was when she was living with us those last few months!

We haven't seen Maggie since we gave her away. It was fun to visit her and give her a new toy for Christmas!Also, the girls were wearing matching dresses today. I decided to have a little photo shoot. This was more like a practice photo shoot. Next Sunday, they will be wearing their Christmas dresses. I really want a few nice shots of them in their dresses together in front of the tree. So, consider today's pictures a warm up for the big shoot next week! =)

Unfortunately, getting a picture where they are both happy and looking at the camera is next to impossible right now! I did it end up with a lot of fun outtakes though.

And a few cute ones of Isla by herself! She is sitting up so well now!
One final picture for tonight! My friend Lindsey just sent me a picture of Isla during her first Bible lesson at church today. They do a cute little lesson with the kids in the nursery who are 6 months and older. I can't believe Isla is already old enough to sit during lesson time. She is so grown up!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December 17

Day 17 Advent activity: Make gingerbread men cookies

I'm not a huge gingerbread fan, but I used this recipe, and these were really good! They don't use molasses, so they probably aren't considered real gingerbread cookies. But they were perfect for us...a very mild gingerbread taste. The secret ingredient is butterscotch pudding mix! The dough was super easy to work with, and for my first time making gingerbread, these cookies were a big success.

We had a gingerbread man decorating contest tonight...whose cookie looks the best?

Audrey's cookie:
Daddy's cookie:
Mommy's cookie:

Friday, December 16, 2011

December 16

Day 16 Advent activity: Play a Christmas Game

Today, I printed off a Build a Snowman dice game for Audrey to play. I found the game and the free printables here.

It was a lot of fun; Audrey really enjoyed it. She has never really played a game with dice before, so that was a fun thing for her to learn. We had a snowman picture, cut out body parts for the snowman, and a chart for each number on the dice: 1=eyes, 2=nose, 3=mouth, etc. So as we rolled each number she got to put that body part on the snowman.

I didn't take any pictures, but if you are interested, you can find more details and pictures on the Toddler Approved page. (As well as many more fun ideas for little ones!)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

December 15

Day 15 Advent activity: Christmas party at Sprouts (with another Santa visit!)

We were supposed to watch a Christmas movie again today, but then I remembered that Sprouts was Christmas themed this week. Why create my own activity when there is already a Christmas activity planned for us?

Santa made an appearance at Sprouts today. Santa is always popular with the Sprouts crowd, so we had a big group of kids waiting to see him. It was a little crazy. Audrey wasn't too excited about Santa today. Though I think her fears were more about the kids who were crowding around her and not really about Santa. She was very excited about the two gingerbread cookies she got to eat after Santa left though!
Isla enjoyed the Santa craziness from the protection of her carseat, where she chilled out while I took some pictures.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December 14

Day 14 Advent activity: Put money in a Salvation Army kettle
I stole this idea from a friend. I thought Audrey would really enjoy it. Daniel took the girls to Sams this afternoon, and they stopped by the bell ringer to put Audrey's money in the kettle. But Daniel said she wasn't too sure about the whole idea and didn't want to get too close to the kettle.

Now that Audrey knows what the kettle and bell ringer are, we might have to try this one again. I think she would be more excited about it a second time.

Although, I'm not sure how much more shopping we will be doing before Christmas. I finished the last of my Christmas shopping today. I still need to do a big grocery store trip, but I would like to make that my last retail store visit before Christmas. I hate the traffic and crowds this time of year. I'm turning into such an old lady!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December 13

Day 13 Advent activity: Make a Baby Jesus craft.I found the idea for this craft here. It was a big hit with Audrey. Not only was it a craft but also a toy! Audrey had a lot of fun this afternoon playing with her Baby Jesus and manger.

She carefully held him and rocked him and warned all of us that we had to be careful with him or else he would break.

She held him up to Isla's mouth so that he could give baby Isla lots of kisses.

She held him up over her head and flew him through the air saying, "Super Moses!" (She has her biblical babies confused and kept calling him Baby Moses).

She even gave her baby Jesus some rum punch from her teapot. (Rum punch is her pretend drink of choice right now thanks to Mary Poppins!).

Sounds like I am doing a great job in helping her to understand the real meaning of Christmas!