From Summer to Autumn to Walking

Hi Everyone! So I completely suck as a blogger, evidently. Here is a major update:

August was a really fun month. We are loving the new house and the new neighborhood. Our subdivision is brand new, so there are still a lot of empty lots and homes under construction, but our part of the neighborhood only has one house left to finish. We have a great
 neighborhood park with a playground and a pavilion, a great little trail system that connects us to other neighborhoods and to the County's 100 acre Regional Park. We have been taking walks in the park almost every day! 

Ophelia is growing and learning at an incredible rate. She took her first wee bitty step on August 11th. All through the month she would take one or two steps here and there - and an occasional string of four or five when being especially adventurous! By the time we took our Big WY Road Trip, she was up to 10-12 steps at a time. Slow and wobbly, but definitely walking! Now she is a real pro - even almost running! SO damn cute! I still can't believe that she can even stay up on those tiny little feet! 

She is still sleeping through the night too! She goes to bed every night at about 6:30 or 7:00 and usually sleeps for a bout 12 hours. We also still have two naps - one around 9 and another around 1 every day. It's SO nice that I finally am able to have a few hours to myself every day and to also get to sleep at night!! WooHoo! This past week, we've had a few wake up calls in the middle of the night, which I am attributing to teething (we have molars on the way folks!!) Right now all we can see are the main 6 that we've had for a while now (4 on top and 2 on the bottom.) 

Big girl eating is so much fun! I feel extremely lucky to have a baby that eats almost everything! The only things she has soundly rejected are real potatoes and real sweet potatoes. She'll eat the baby food versions tho - so maybe we were just having a fussy day. Her favorites are any kind of fruit or berry, smoked turkey breasts, and CHEESE!! She even ate chili with us last weekend! She loves to feed herself, although she hasn't really gotten the self feeding with a bowl and spoon down yet. She would rather deliver the food to her mouth with her hand (yes, even oatmeal!) If I load the spoon for her and hand it to her, she does pretty good getting that food in there, as long as the food is sticky enough to not fall off the spoon prematurely! 

She has a new attachment item. It's the Pink Taggie Blanket that my mom sent to her in the spring. When we started the Sleep Nazi program, I started putting it in with her every time we put her down to sleep. Shortly after we moved in, she started snuggling with this blankie at sleep times. Awwww. Not even as cute as about a month ago when she decided she could not go anywhere without the thing. We had 3 or 4 days in a row that she could not be separated from it other than for a bath. Take a look through the new photos for  a series of shots that all include the blankie. Including this one of her eating with it. 

In September, Ophelia and I took a great big road trip! We left at naptime on a Friday morning and headed south to Freedom, WY to stay the weekend with Aunt Megan and Uncle Mike. They are located south of Jackson - and the drive down from Bozeman is SO beautiful! After our visit there, we headed across the state to Casper to visit with Grandma and Grandpa Simons. We played, walked, ate good food, tie dyed, played on the new computer, and visited like crazy! Then back to Bozeman! The whole trip took 9 days. Ophelia did great in the car - in fact she did better and better with each leg of the trip. She is still rear facing, so making sure she had what she needed was surely a challenge without another passenger to help out. 

We've been lucky to have some really lovely fall weather - lots of sun and warm days - but this IS Montana and Winter just doesn't wait! It's been icy cold for about 4 days now. We have had snow the last two days in a row. The next challenge is going to be bundling Ophelia up enough to be warm, but not so much that her mobility will be limited! Hopefully, her rejection of hats will end so we can keep her head covered! Anyone know where to get a goose down Halloween Costume? 

We are missing all of the friends and family who are so far away! Take a look at new photos in the August 2008, September 2008, October 2008, and Big WY Road Trip photo albums! New links are on the right! 

Long Time No Post

OK. I had a whole post typed and I accidently deleted it and crashed my browser all at once. Will add more commentary tomorrow. Here is the new hairdo and the super cool wee.

Birthday Bash!

OK, I'll admit it. She actually had three birthday parties. But you only turn one once, right?

Ophelia turned the big ONE on Tuesday, July 8th. We had a relatively quiet day at home with just Jim and Ophelia and myself. Eating, playing, a trip to the grocery store, and CUPCAKES!! Ophelia's first chocolate was a lovely choco cupcake from the new fancy shmancy grocery store that is near our neighborhood. Her eyes lit right up when we brought it out. Here is the video of her very first "Happy Birthday". Yes, I saved the candle.

After all the buildup, here is Miss O actually eating her very first Birthday cupcake:

Wonderful presents and goodies continued to arrive all week long, beginning with the awesome sun shelter that BeBa (my mom) and PaPa (my dad) sent. Next came the Ball Popper from BeBa and PaPa - this one is still a bit scary so we have it in reserve for when she is a bit more daring. Then the pool arrived (all right BeBa, I think that's plenty for now!!). Jim and I got her some essentials for eating (new bowls and spoons) and a big box of Baby Lego's, which she seems to like pretty well. Her Aunt Gretchen sent another awesome CD - This one is "For The Kids Three". Jim's Aunt Sandy and Uncle Frank from Florida sent her a couple of cute shirts from Everglades City. Grandma Sue and Grandpa Tom sent $$ for the new big girl car seat, which is so awesome and actually looks comfortable. Extra bonus is that this one will last until she no longer needs a car seat at all. Grandma Tammy and Grandpa Jeff sent a huge bag of goodies from Texas, including super cute outfits and bath toys!

Then on Friday, the best present of all arrived: BeBa and PaPa!! YAY! Well, it took Ophelia a few days to really warm up to them, but for me it was immediately a big YAY!! Of course, we immediately had to start preparing for Ophelia's Big Birthday Bash - the one with actual people besides her parents at it. Dad and I went shopping and got all the food and booze for the party, came home, and cooked a big BBQ dinner (chicken and vege skewers and roasted potatoes, yum). Then mom and I stayed up late making about 50 cupcakes for the party.

Saturday was a pretty big day. Our friend Charley from Seattle was in Montana visiting his PaPa and was able to come over for the morning and have a late breakfast and hang for a while. My friend Terri also stopped by before the party to see the new house and drop off a gift.

The party was fun. Not all of the people that were invited actually came, but all in all it was a good party. We had burgers and dogs, pasta salad, green salad, chips and dips, and cupcakes! Ophelia held up rather well and seemed to enjoy opening her presents. The ribbons were the bestest part!

After the presents is was cupcake time. Another round of Happy Birthday was followed by a yellow cupcake. And then a chocolate one too. We overloaded on that for sure!! But all in all, it was a great birthday party day!

The third birthday bash was a week later in Casper. After spending a lovely week with my parents and doing lots of projects and junk, we all headed down to Casper to stay with Jim's mom and go to the annual Beartrap Bluegrass Festival. We arrived with the guest of honor on Friday and after a short dinner and some MORE cake, we sent her to bed and let mommy open all of her presents! We let her rummage through the whole pile of goodies the next morning.

Now that all the parties are over, it's kind of nice to be back home with nothing crazy going on. She's still sleeping at night, thank goodness, and eating like a little garbage disposal, so we didn't ruin her with all the goodies and excitement!

Look for Month 12 Photos that include all of the birthday pictures from the first two parties, as well as some house photos, and reporting on the Storm of the Summer - coming soon!

Loves - Heidi

Big Girl Bath Tub

Another brag to share...Ophelia is now taking baths in the big girl tub. Mommy just had to go and make her new bathroom all "fun little girl", so there are duckies everywhere in there now.

Jim and I are slowing down on the moving in process. We are both just pooped out at this point. There is not too much left to do at this point - a bit of unpacking and arranging in Ophelia's room and some unpacking of master closet stuff. And then we can tackle the garage. It is mostly empty boxes that need to go in the crawl space. Then we can organize what's left that stays in the garage. We'll definitely be done by Friday when I expect my parents to arrive from New York. They left on Saturday morning and are road tripping their way across the country to visit for a week. Can't wait to see them!

Ophelia's birthday is tomorrow! I can't believe it's been a year already. A year ago today I was in hospital on my 8th day of pre-term labor. Tomorrow we go to get weighed and measured and our well baby check up is in a couple of weeks. We are having a birthday BBQ for her on Saturday the 12th in the afternoon. My parents will be here, of course, and Jim's sister is coming up from Jackson Hole with her husband. And we are having a bunch of our friends over as well. Our friend Charley will be in Montana that week as well and he may be able to come over for a while too. Should be a fun afternoon.

I posted a few more photo albums today: go check out Month 10 and Month 11 links. Going to work on an album of house pictures so you can see our new pad too! Here is a shot of Miss O 'helping' her daddy unpack th CDs.

Wireless Baby!!

Interpret that how you wish...not only have I upgraded to a wireless internet connection in my home (it's SO sweet!!), but the baby is now wireless as well. Fully crawling, scooting, and cruising on all surfaces, she has gone solo and is becoming more and more independent. The biggest independent move of the week has been...wait for it....wait for it....yes, she is sleeping in her own crib. Yes sleeping. No more meditating at naps. And no more sleeping in mommy and daddy's bed at night. First night in the crib she slept until about 3 am when mommy freaked out and ran to check on her, thus waking her up prematurely. Second night I was much quieter when I freaked out, and she slept THE WHOLE NIGHT!!! 7 pm to 6:30 am. Third night she slept from 7:30 pm to 6:30 am. Looks like we have finally done it! We mastered the sleep demons and now I may just stay sane for a while longer.

We also have moving news. WE MOVED!!!

Friday morning, June 27th, 2008, I went to the Title Company and signed the closing documents for both buying our new home and selling the old. At 4 pm that same day I got the keys to the new house and brought over the first load of stuff: New blinds and new drapery rods that I ran out and bought right after closing. We picked up the moving truck that evening and I stayed up until 3 am loading it with as many boxes as I could get in there. People started showing up around 8:30 on Saturday morning to help me get the whole shebang moved out and over to the new house. It took 2 completely full truck loads and 2 partial truck loads to get it all here. Our friends Brian, Tom, Adam, Kim, Lila, and Morgen all helped and we were all done by about 2:30 pm when we brought the moving truck back to the office. I took Kim out to dinner (I offered to everyone, but they all declined for some reason) and when we got back to the house I managed to get both myself and the baby bathed and jammied, got some sheets on our bed and put Ophelia to sleep, went and met my neighbors and had a beer with them. On Sunday we got shower curtain rods hung and a few things unpacked and shifted about so Miss O and I could at least function a bit in between all the stacks and stuff. Jim got home from his school trip at about 6:30 pm. After food and baths, we all crashed early as we were thoroughly exhausted.

And now the real fun begins...Monday was unpacking day as well as landscaping day, cable guy day, washer and dryer delivery day, and fence building day. Have no fear: while it may seem to some of you that I try to do too much on my own, I do know my limits when it comes to big projects. We had landscapers installing the sprinkler system and getting the lot ready to lay sod, the cable guy did the phone, internet, and cable stuff, the Lowe's team of experts delivered and installed the washer and dryer, and the fence contractor did the fence building. We got the kitchen mostly unpacked and the free form unpacking began in earnest. On Tuesday the sod was delivered and Jim and I spent all day installing our new sod while the fence team worked around us. We worked from 7:30 am to 10:30 pm to lay 5,250 square feet of beautiful new green grass. (Well, only 5,100 square feet actually - we had 150 left over that we gave to our neighbor who needed just exactly that much). Wednesday both Jim and I were so sore that it was hard to function properly, but we managed to get more unpacking done, got some shopping done (new dressers for our bedroom), and figured out how to work the sprinkler system so we wouldn't have to water it all manually. Thursday was more unpacking and yet more shopping (bookcases and drill bits and night lights, oh my!!) and we assembled all of our furniture. We are finally making a dent! Today I finally tackled getting the wireless going and here I am!!

Tonight our neighbors are throwing a party for the 4th and I expect it to be a big hoopla of sorts. All the neighbors are invited and it is supposed to be the first annual 4th of July block party for this neighborhood. The neighbors are real nice so far: right next door is recent divorcee Jeremy and his cousin Jeff, both of whom are contractors. Next to them is Greg the realtor and his wife Lindsey the elementary teacher in training. Greg's sister and her husband live next to them, but I haven't met them yet. To my other side is Alice, who sells tupperware and is trying to sell the house. She has a 2 year old grand daughter Olivia who stays with her during the day. Across the street is Kelly and Kelley - another young couple with a dog.

Well, that's all for now. I have to go bake brownies for the party tonight and I hear Ophelia has woken from her nippy nap. More to come when I get a moment to download the most recent photos!!

Love, Heidi

Well, now it's mostly DA!

Well, it figures that her most frequent word is now DA. I'm not convinced, however, that it always means dad. I have a feeling that we are looking at one word for all things that start with the letter D - like dog and done and hello. (yes, laugh here). In the last month she has teased us with actions that look like she may crawl, but it just hasn't happened yet. She can scoot herself around though and is getting quite adept at pulling herself up on stuff and cruising about. No standing unassisted yet, but she is a wee wee one, so give her time! She has also started to eat real pieces of food at every meal - cut up fruit, cheese, cereal bits, pancake pieces, you name it. She must have bits to eat or she throws a huge fit! It is fitting however, seeing as she cut ALL FOUR of her top teeth last week. All of them at once. That must have been torture on top of her ear infection and virus to go along with it. But we are all better now and we will keep encouraging her to try and go somewhere when she gets on those hands and knees.

I don't have any new pictures to post at this time because my memory card is full and I just haven't gotten out to buy a new one. We are, however, going to Staples tomorrow to exchange a three-hole punch for a better one, so we will get a new card and take at least 50 photos of Miss Wee for her 10 month album. In the meantime, here is a photo from way back when she was super wee...

So what's been happening, you ask? Well, TONS, in fact. I've been so busy in the past month and a half that I could just fall over and sleep for about a year. Jim and I have taken advantage of this lull in the housing boom to get ourselves into a single family home! Yes, in fact it's true! I had found a house for sale on one of my spring walks in the neighborhood where I babysit during the week. It is an older neighborhood, built in the 70s and all of the houses are pretty large and have large yards. I thought this house was super cool, but when I finally got around to calling my real estate agent to see if we could have a look, the darn place was under contract. Turns out it was also a wee bit too expensive for our budget and wasn't as nice in person as it was on the internet. But it started me on the road to house hunting. I went to the mortgage broker and found out what we could qualify for, figured out what houses like the one we currently live in were selling for and had my agent send me a list of homes in our budget range. Turns out there were quite a few!! Last year at this time, all of the same type and size homes were selling for about $100k more than they are now. Thank you down turn in the economy. As soon as we close at the end of June, the economy is welcome to make a come back so we can once again afford groceries.

So, right off the bat, I found the perfect house. And it WAS perfect. And, as it happens, under contract by the time we made an offer. And they didn't even want our offer as a back up, seeing as the offer they already had was pretty rock solid. So - a few days of weeping and about 10 houses later we found another one. BAM - sold right out from under us. I was about to give up hunting altogether when I decided to go back and look at one house that I had initially thought was "cool, but not on the right street." Turns out the street is pretty mellow - and the house is brand new and gorgeous. And it has a huge, huge, HUGE back yard. So we made our offer. And they didn't sign it. They said come back when you've sold your own home. If you have a solid contract, we can do a new offer with you if we haven't sold it yet. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? So we list with my agent, clean and paint and repair and clean and project and paint and clean and waterseal and pack and rearrange and clean.....whew! and three showings later, we have an offer. We counteroffer. They accept and we have sold the townhouse!!!! So we quickly submitted a new offer on the new house, they countered, we accepted, and we are buying a new house!!!! We have pre-approval on our home loan, they have pre-qualification for their financing, so barring anything like "we changed our mind" type things, we are doing a simultaneous closing on June 27th.

Link to Listing

They are going to finish painting the front, fill and grade the lot, install a sprinkler system front and back, and plant one of the three required trees before we close. I am very, very excited! When mom and dad come out to visit this summer, they will have to get new directions because we will be in a new house!!

Cheers for now. And pray for good weather so we can finish our yardwork tomorrow!!

Take THAT Grandma Wars!!

There's Rockin' Eggplant, Silly Hat, Sun Hats, Sleeping with Dad, The Big Reach, Purple Cow Slippers, and Freshly Bathed - all waiting for you in the Month 9 Album. The last few are actually of Month 10, but I'm not up to making a new album today!

Staying quite busy getting our house ready to show. We have it listed with an agent and we've found a new home that we'd like to buy. Keep your fingers crossed that we sell fast and high and that I don't go insane in the process! Off to the hardware store to buy paint and junk!

MaMa and BaBa and MaBa and One Measly Da

The very day of her 9 month Birthday, Ophelia decided to string sounds together! And our first word is....


....of course! Days 2 and 3 were all mamamamama and on day four we added babababa and somewhere in there we had one da, but no repeats of that one so far!

Our little wee one is definitely growing up. In addition to all the babbling, we hav
e really been doing a lot of standing up (she holds my hands and stands on her own - so she can pull herself up) and taking a few wobbly steps while holding on to mommy. It's so darn cute - we are in the process of trying to capture it to video. Which we will post here, of course, if we ever accomplish that. Here she is this morning in her crib: standing AND talking!

Hmmm - what else? Miss O is finally completely over all of the sicky bugs that have been plaguing us lately - and just in time for her 9 month Well Baby Check up tomorrow afternoon. We will update with details this week sometime.

A side result of being sicko is that Ophelia is now on the Yogurt Train. I decided to give here a bit of my yogurt while she was on her antibiotics to help keep some good bacteria in her system - and wouldn't you know that she loves the stuff! After experimenting with several varieties, including YoBaby! (which she seems to be
allergic to for some reason), we are using Brown Cow Cream Top Plain Yogurt. She is eating this 2-3 times a day along with either a fruit or vegetable. Tried mixing some cereal in it last night, but there's no fooling Ophelia! Splat!

Baby sitting is going well. Still doing 4 days a week, Monday through Thursday. Usually 2 half days and 2 full days. Sometimes 3 full days. Soren seems to be bigger every week. He just turned One Year on April 2nd and he clocks in at 23 pounds and 30 inches long. Much bigger than Miss O for sure! A new toy at Soren's in the past few weeks has been the Rocking Eggplant. Both kiddos love it so I will have to bring my camera and get pictures of them riding this thing. In the mean time, here she is at Soren's in her princess velvets that my mom sent for her!

Spring is here, I think. At least for a few days anyway. 45 on Friday, 55 yesterday, and 65 today and tomorrow. With snow again on Tuesday. Gotta love Montana Spring. Yesterday we went for a walk with the baby in the jogging stroller AND the dog on a leash. Big adventure. My arm is still sore from that. Taxes pre-empted our walk today, but they are done and filed and we are getting a tax return and a stimulus package from the gubmint when they decide to send those out.

And lastly - we have new neighbors. Our neighbor of 4 years decided to move to Florida a few months ago and she just sold the townhouse next to us in the past week or two. I met them this morning - a young couple with 2 Subarus and 2 Dogs and Kerry/Edwards stickers on their car. Sarah and James I think. Hope they are as nice as they seem to be at first meeting.

Check out the Month 9 Photos. There are a few in there. As a parting gift I show you Ophelia on her 9 Month Birthday wearing the sweater I made her while I was pregnant. Yes, that is seed stitch, thank you very much! This is supposed to be sized for 18 months, and while the body and arms are amply sized for that, the head hole is barely big enough to squeeze her big noggin through. Now I see why Miss Vivian makes cardigans for the wee ones.

Happy Easter!

It's Easter Sunday and what a beautiful day it is. It's sunny outside and almost 40 degrees, with promises for up to 50 degrees later in the day. Ophelia is currently napping on my lap as I type, but this morning we had fun dressing up for Easter and checking out the Easter Basket. Grandma sent us a 'Baby's First Easter' style Longaberger basket that is just so darling. I went out and after much head scratching as to what to put in an Easter basket for an 8 month old, decided to fill it with Stage 2 Fruits and Fruit Juices and some Teething Biscuits and a tooth brush. For the Easter outfit - Ophelia is sporting a vintage cotton dress and bloomers with a handknit sweater and hat courtesy of Grandma. Isn't she beautiful???

Check out the Month 8 Photo Album for more pictures of the wee one.

What else??? We just finished up our first 'real sicky baby' episode. Last Saturday she had a little cough in the evening that I didn't think much of. By the middle of the night I thought we might have to take her to the hospital before the morning arrived. Big coughing, big snot, fever, discomfort, etc. We muddled through Sunday with Tylenol, humidifier, and lots of mommy time and we called the doctor first thing on Monday. They definitely wanted to see her, and it's a good thing I called because not only did she have a nasty virus, but she also had a right bugger of an ear infection as well. Off to the pharmacy for her very first antibiotic - Amoxycillin. The dreaded pink stuff - 2ml twice a day. We are currently on Day 6 of the pink stuff - which Ophelia decidedly hates having administered, even in such a small dose. Thankfully, she IS feeling much better. Friday evening we finally started to see some color in her little cheeks again and she decided to eat again as well. The last few nights have seen a bit better sleep as it's clear that her little ear is not hurting as much as it was.

Hand clapping: last night as we sat on the couch right before bed, mommy decided that a round of patty cake was in order. While Miss O did not make any noise, she definitely had her very first unassisted claps. Clap Clap!

Crawling: No real progress here. Every time we put her on her belly she just rolls over onto her back and laughs. Personally, I don't really think she's big enough for this activity yet. When I put her up on her hands and knees, her little belly barely clears the floor. Aaaah Wee One!!

Standing: Miss O has enjoyed standing on my lap and with my assistance on the changing table or countertop for some time now. Well, last weekend she managed to pull herself up onto her knees in her crib. So dad and I lowered the crib mattress. Now, with mommy's help she can stand in her crib while holding on to the rail.

Ophelia in the Emerald City

Just a quick update!

We just returned from our big Spring Break Road Trip to Seattle. It was Ophelia's first really big trip - and she did very well considering she's just a wee one who doesn't understand that it's the LAW to be restrained in a rear facing car seat whenever the car is moving. With baby stops and gas stops and such, the trip is about 11 hours one way in good weather. We left Friday just after lunch and got to Seattle around midnight. While there, we had great food and lots of fun with our friends Charley and Meghan. We hit the Capitol Hill neighborhood pretty hard, played Guitar Hero, went to the Taco Truck, toured the Olympic Sculpture Garden, went out for dinner and drinks while Ophelia had a baby sitter, I got a new hat, and Jim got a tattoo of Ophelia's initials. We left yesterday after lunch in West Seattle and ended up braving two snow storms and one baby storm on the way home. We got in late last night and slept very late this morning. We are using the rest of Spring Break to just chill out and do a whole lot of nothing.

Here's a good Seattle shot of us...and there's much more in the Seattle Trip Photo Album. The link is to the right.

Happy Belated Valentine's Day!

Mom sent us some of the cutest heart covered clothes for Miss O. Here she is on Valentine's Day playing on the rubber alphabet mat at Soren's. Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!

Cups and Teething and Rolling Over, Oh MY!!

Miss Ophelia is definitely making progress in all aspects of her development. She is currently actively teething - I can actually feel the sharp edge of a tooth on her gum (it's the bottom right one) and the other one looks ready to pop any day now as well. She has done very well with the teething and we only had about 4 days of the screaming teething mimi. And only about once a day at that. Don't get me wrong - the screaming episodes were a big deal - but we haven't been up all night or screaming all day by any means. If what I hear about the first set of teeth being the worst - we are darn lucky!!

Ophelia is still doing a pretty good job with eating like a big girl as well. We try to have at least 2 meal attempts every day. We try fruit or vegetable around lunch time and cereal with fruit or vegetable at dinner time. She still loves her high chair and will usually take about a dozen good bites at each sitting. While she is doing well, she is definitely not eating any real volume of food at this point. On a really good day she may eat 1-2 tablespoons of cereal and maybe a tablespoon of fruit or vege - maybe. Sometimes I think eating off a spoon is just plain tiring!!

We bought Miss Ophelia a new cup last week as well, so now she has the purple one and a new NUK one that's red and has a soft spout (like a bottle nipple shaped like a sippy cup). She really likes her cups! We have only been putting water in it - and she drinks about 1/2 to 1 ounce a day. As you can see, she has definitely gotten the hang of drinking out of the cup all on her own. She also likes to drink water out of mommy's big cup of ice water. I hold it up for her and she dips her lips in the water and then makes a funny face and most of the water ends up on mommy as she raspberries it all back out again. It's a real hoot!

Ophelia is getting very good at sitting as well. She rarely falls over anymore and is very good at reaching out to the front and sides while sitting in order to grab things that she wants to hold and then put in her mouth, which includes everything from toys to cups to paper to mommy's hair. While she has rolled over before, she is pretty 'anti-tummy' and she hasn't been doing it with any regularity up until this week. I've been trying to get her on her tummy more and more (despite the unhappy screeching) and she has been rolling from her tummy to her back every day this past week. In fact, she did it three times while I was talking to mom on the phone this morning!! Next step - crawling or scooting or something along those lines! (Sometime in the next two months, according to 'the books').

The last big development we've had just in the past week is that I've been able to get her to take a nap without me having to lay next to her on the bed or hold her in my lap. She took 4 big girl naps this past week and that is HUGE!! She sleeps really well at night - although she IS sleeping in our big bed still. As the weather warms up, we are going to transition her back to her own bed again. We think the main reason she started really liking sleeping with us initially was that she was getting cold at night all alone in her crib. It may be wishful thinking, but that's the plan!

Baby Sitting

I just completed my 4th week of baby sitting. I think it is going really well so far and it is definitely good for everyone involved. Soren, who is 11 months now - he will be 1 on April 2nd, is a much happier baby now that he isn't going to day care. He is eating and sleeping and taking a bottle again - which his mom is so pleased with. I am getting an opportunity to get out of the house and make some money of my own again, which is always nice. And Ophelia is getting some good 'other baby' exposure' with Soren and occasionally his big sister Hayden, who just turned 3 this month. You can see a picture of Hayden on Valentine's Day in the Month 7 album.

You can see from the photo above how much bigger he is than Miss Ophelia. He is an expert crawler and climber at this point. The stairs are no problem - and he is even starting to learn how to come back down backwards. We do keep the gate up, however, as he likes to climb unsupervised most of all! Soren is also an accomplished cruiser - he can pull himself up on anything sturdy enough to support his weight and walk along it (or behind it, in the case of his miniature mail cart). In the past few weeks he has been able to stand without holding anything and can take one or two steps without falling down. His other big pastime is taking toys away from Miss Ophelia - which she is getting used to. She definitely is trying to defend herself - but not to any great degree at this point. Other things he loves - banging things together, banging toys on other toys, shelves, babies, etc., knocking things over (Ophelia included), emptying things out, and creating general chaos wherever he goes.

As for us ALL getting out of the house - last week it was very warm in Bozeman and we were able to get out and take several walks. Soren has a double wide Chariot stroller that they both sit in and we go for walks that way. Next week we are going to attempt going to Books and Babies at the public library. I've been hesitant to try taking them both up to this point, but I think we can handle it. The big thing is that Books and Babies is at the same time that Soren usually takes a nap - so we may be in store for a meltdown. But we are going to try anyway!

My Apologies...

I am humbly apologizing for not posting to this blog in a whole month (well, a leap month anyway). Things have been busy, especially in the last few weeks. Between debate tournaments and baby sitting and ski patrol and trying to keep up with my household and my crazy dog and a rapidly developing baby girl, I've let the blog slide.


I haven't been completely idle in the last month, however. There are about 50 new photos in a photo album for Month 7. The link is to the right - so go check out Miss FiFi Claire in all of her 7th month glory!

Oh - and for all of you who have never seen or met our big crazy dog, Otto - here are a few photos for you. He is a long coated German Shepherd. He's about 5 1/2 now and he is really big - about 110 pounds. The first one is in our back yard this past summer - you can see where the new deck will be (those posts will support the front) and you can kind of see the garden and herb boxes along the fence in the back ground. The second one shows you the new bamboo flooring that we put in last summer when mom and dad came to visit. Otto slides all over the place on it.


On to a bit of Ophelia news!

First - if this isn't sitting, I don't know what is! She has been sitting with assistance for a while now. All it would take would be a hand on her hip or holding her hand and she could sit until she decided she was bored and wanted to eat again. Otherwise, it was 20-30 seconds on her own and then flop!! Well, Thursday at the Public Library, we had our sitting breakthrough. She sat, unassisted, throughout the whole Books and Babies play session. We've been sitting on the floor and playing at the Baby Einstein baby 'gym' ever since!

Secondly - and I don't have a good photo of it yet - we gave Ophelia a cup this week. It's a Playtex starter cup - non-spill type thing with two handles. It's purple with a yellow and purple lid. She caught on to it immediately. The first night she put it right up to her mouth, holding both handles just like you are supposed to. She just chewed on it, but she had the motion and the holding part down pat right away. The second day I filled it about half way with water and she actually drank about half of the water throughout the day. Incredible. I will work on getting a good picture of her with her new cup.

Thirdly - eating like a big girl is going well so far. She eats either Oatmeal or Rice Cereal every night with a little fruit or vegetable along with it. The carrots aren't going over as well as I hoped, but she likes them OK if I mix them with her cereal. The pears and apples were both a bit tart for her taste, but she ate those pretty well. I thought the peas would never go in, as I thought they tasted horrid, but she ate those up too! Bananas and Sweet Taters are the big hits so far. Next week we are going to try adding a morning meal to the already established evening meal.

In Mommy news - I am going to start babysitting for a friend of ours on Monday. They have decided to pull their 10 month old son Soren out of day care and I will be providing the child care for them on a part time basis. We will be going to their house for two full days and two half days each week.

Tomorrow we are going to a Super Bowl party at a friend's house. I'm bringing a few dips that I'm going to make this afternoon. And brownies. Mmmm brownies!!

Oh - and I had to go to the dentist yesterday to get a tooth fixed. It really feels a lot better now!

Snow and Shoveling

I know it's been almost two weeks since I last posted, but here is the first of several new posts for you today!!

We had quite the snow storm about 2 weeks ago. I strapped Ophelia in the baby carrier and headed out into about 6 inches of new powdery snow. I put the hood up on the carrier and after a minute or two of looking around, she went right to sleep with puggy (that's a pacifier) firmly in mouth.

After shoveling for an hour, Ophelia decided that she had had just about enough sleep, thank you very much.

Anyway, this is what our house, driveway, and walks look like cleaned up of all the snow and surrounded by giant snow banks. Since then, we've had about 3 more storms and the snowbanks have grown a bit.

Oh - and yes - to answer that burning question, I do shovel for my neighbor as well. No, she's not geriatric or laid up with back pain. I'm just being neighborly, that's all. Plus - shoveling is good exercise!

O is for Ophelia

This is great lounge wear, even if I do look like a boy! I wear it for pajamas or just hanging around. My dad's friend Hannah gave it to me when I was just born and I can finally wear it!

We went to Books and Babies at the Public Library again yesterday. There were about 40 babies there and it was so crazy! We go every Tuesday and Thursday, but mommy thinks we should start going in the afternoon when there are less people and it's not so crazy!

A friend of mine who is 10 months old is looking for some new child care. His mom called my mom last night and asked if my mom might be interested in taking care of him a few days a week. We are going over there the first week in February to try it out. Hopefully it turns out to be a good thing for me and mommy!! Keep your fingers crossed everyone!!

Oh - and mommy added more pictures to the 6 Month photo album today too.

Nanas Taste Nummy!!

Another feeding success last night! I got some stage one baby food at the store yesterday and decided to try mixing a bit of Banana in with her rice cereal. The results were astounding. She ate the whole bowl!!

Picassa Album Links Repaired

Apparently, between the time that I created the Web Albums and the time that I posted links to them on this blog, Google somehow changed the URL to the Albums for Month 4 and Month 5. Never fear. The links have been repaired and appear to be working just fine this morning. Let me know if they still do not work for anyone.

I also added more photos to the Month 6 Album this morning. I'm also trying to get the early pictures from when we were in the hospital onto this computer so I can upload those as well. I'll let you know if and when I have success on that front.


I've created a blog!

Well - that was really easy! This is going to be the place the check each week for updates and new pictures of Ophelia.

So - here's the first update: Yesterday was her 6 month birthday. We went to Books and Babies at the public library in the morning, got a flat tire fixed on my car, and had tacos for lunch. Later in the afternoon, her big Christmas present from Tom and Sue arrived: it's her big girl high chair!!

She really seems to like the chair so far! We fed her some rice cereal around dinner time - she ate about an ounce (at least I think that's about how much actually made it in her all told). Feeding cereal is an extremely messy experience!!


Last Friday, the Christmas present that Jim and I got for Ophelia finally arrived! After anxiously tracking the package online and checking out the window for the UPS guy all day long, the ExerSaucer showed up right at 5 pm. I was able to get it assembled that same night. Ophelia has been showing us how much she likes to stand up - as well as how interested she is in new toys and activities - so this is perfect for her. The seat spins around so she can reach all the toys, the base can rock if we let it, and she can bounce in it when she figures out how to do that!


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