Friday, March 27, 2009

Crochet Hat Giveaway

My cousin and his wife are trying to raise money to have Invitro Fertilization. She has started crocheting hats in order to make money. She is offering a giveaway - so you've got to check out her site!

Simple Pleasures

I had to drop something by a neighbors house this afternoon, so we decided to take a short walk. Aubrey insisted on bringing her Kitty along. As we were walking out the front door she saw her doll stroller. I asked if she wanted to push her kitty in the stroller and she was so excited!

As luck would have it, we happened upon some neighbors who have a real cat. They were nice enough to let Aubrey play with their cat. She was so thrilled. She had to take out her kitty to show the cat. Then her and the neighbor girl put her kitty in and out of the cat door. The simple pleasures in life!

When we got home a friend called. I was on the phone with her for a little while and Aubrey ran into our room to play. After a while I checked on her and she was happily reading ALL of her stories. She spent about an hour looking through the entire bin of stories. Those times are just so delightful for me!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chuck E. Cheese & Aubrey Stories

We got to spend some fun time playing at Chuck E. Cheese with JJ, Cindy & Cathy on Monday afternoon. Aubrey was so excited when I told her that we were going to Chuck E. Cheese. She was running around the house until we left saying "Bye Bye - CC." (CC is how she says Chuck E. Cheese) We have only been to CEC twice, but the minute we drove into the parking lot she gasped and started saying, "that way" and pointed to where the building was.

We had a fun time and even got to see John, Esther & Bryan for a few minutes before we left to go home to be with Daddy.

More Aubrey Stories

The other day Aubrey saw her doll stroller and told me that she wanted to take her puppy on a walk. I told her that she could take him on a walk around the house. Then she said, "Aubrey walk?" I told her that it was too cold to go on a walk and she responded with "morrow?" (tomorrow) I thought that was so cute that she understood what tomorrow meant. I must tell her a lot that we can do things tomorrow!

Aubrey has decided that things are scary. She has always found people to be scary - but now many other things have become scary. We had a little gel ball with tentacles. It was lying on the floor and Aubrey wouldn't go anywhere near it. Finally I had to just get rid of it. When she is scared she becomes stiff as a board and turns her head away from whatever is scaring her and puts her head as far into her chest as possible. I think she is trying to hide from whatever is scaring her. It is really sad to see her like this. The other day I was making dinner and she was looking through her princess story books on the floor of the kitchen. All of a sudden she started saying, "mommy mommy mommy" and hands me one of the books. I thought she just wanted me to see it so I thanked her and then started to hand it back. Immediately she goes into her scared stiff position. So I look at the book and it is Beauty and the Beast. Apparently the Beast was too scary. I hope this is just a phase and she doesn't spend her whole life scared of things!

Aubrey had some pink sandals that she wore last Spring & Summer. The last time she wore them was probably Aug. or Sept. Anyway, we were walking past a little girl who had those same sandals. Aubrey saw them and pointed to her shoes and said, "Aubrey!" I can't believe she remembers a pair of shoes she wore 6 months ago!

Last night we were reading her story "God Gave us Two." It's about a bear family having their second child. On one page the little cub asks if they will still love the new baby when she cries - to which the parents respond that they will. As I read that passage Aubrey said, "Baby Brooke cry?" I thought it was so sweet that she was associating the story with what is going to happen in our home and wondering if Baby Brooke is going to cry. Later in the story there is a page that it shows little cub with her Grandma & Grandpa while the Mom & Dad are at the hospital having the second baby. It talks about all the things they did together while her parents were at the hospital. Aubrey pointed at the picture of her playing hide and seek and first said "Aubrey" then said "hide pa". So I asked her, "When Mommy is at the hospital do you want to play hide and seek with Grandpa?" She excitedly said "yeah". Then she pointed to the picture of them making cookies and said, "Nana". So I asked if she wanted to make cookies with Grandma and once again she responded with her excited "yeah". Hopefully my parents will make it here in time to watch Aubrey while we are at the hospital - otherwise her Aunts might have to be the ones to bake cookies and play hide and seek with her!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Oh to be a Toddler . . .

. . . and to have some bubbles + a stuffed puppy + some PVC pipe + a few spiders = hours of fun! I think toddlers are just the cutest things on this planet.

The weather was so nice last week, that we had to spend much of it outdoors. We don't have much to play with in our backyard, but Aubrey certainly enjoyed herself anyway.

Aubrey loved chasing after bubbles,

and then popping them.

Whenever Aubrey is enjoying something, she has to get a stuffed animal to share in the fun.

At the edge of the garden is a little square section of PVC pipe with a faucet head above it. Aubrey saw that and was certain it was a tubby for her puppy. We spent a lot of time giving her puppy a bath in the make believe tubby.

Since we sometimes play with bubbles in the tub, Aubrey wanted to make some bubbles for the puppy.

We also found some spiders that afternoon and Aubrey was thrilled. Above she is pointing out the spider to the puppy. She called them "itsy piers". She loves singing the "itsy bitsy spider" and has a story of it. When she first saw the spider she wanted to go inside the house to find the story to show the spider. Funny girl. We also found a few more in the garden and on the cinder block wall of the garden. One stayed in place for quite awhile. Aubrey would play for a bit and then peek to see if the spider was still there and tell it "Hi". Finally it crawled into a crack in the wall. Aubrey was disappointed, so I told her that it had to go to it's home. The next day when we went out to play, she ran over to the wall, tapped her finger on the crack and started saying, "come pier" and "out pier". She thought the spider was just sitting in the crack and she wanted it to come out and play. It was so darn cute. I was hoping a spider would crawl out for her.

This week it is supposed to be cold and rainy - but hopefully next week will be better so we can continue to enjoy the out of doors.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Farm Country

JJ's Grandma Merris and Uncle Joseph are in town and so they invited us to go to Farm Country with them yesterday afternoon. Poor JJ was confined to his stroller, though, because he has hurt his foot. The doctor isn't sure if it is a sprain or a break - but he hasn't been able to walk for the last few days. They put his foot and ankle in a little cast yesterday - so he had to hang out in the stroller the whole time.

We had a real fun time at farm country - thanks Merris' for inviting us!

Aubrey really enjoyed feeding the animals UNTIL she got her finger nibbled by a pony. We are having a bad animal week, apparently. I think she was more shocked than hurt. A few minutes after the incident she noticed the ponies that you could ride and was all about ponies again. She kept saying "ride a pony". Other than probably being a little timid to feed animals, I don't think it did much harm.

Aubrey couldn't take her eyes off of the kids riding the ponies while she awaited her turn.

I tried to get a picture of the two little monkeys, but neither one wanted to cooperate.

Finally it was our turn on the ponies!

Aubrey & JJ each got to ride 2 pony rides because Cathy & Joseph nicely gave them their tickets.

Aubrey held on so great through both rides, that I had to get a pic of her holding on by herself.

Isn't this the most darling little lamb?

Both male peacocks were out strutting their stuff. I've never seen a white one before - isn't it beautiful? I can't decide which I like better.

Aubrey loved playing in this little play house. She had been dancing on the stage, until I got the camera out - of course!

I thought Aubrey's eyes looked especially brilliantly blue today!

Aubrey was bending over and saying "Hi" to all of the animals. I think she is still a little nervous to get too close though. She also waved at most of the animals as she said "Hi". It was really cute!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Finally Finished

Yesterday afternoon I finished my sewing for Aubrey's toddler room. I am sooooo HAPPY to be finished!

The pillow sham

The window valence

Now we just need to get the room painted and move all of Aubrey's things over. Then the hardest task of all will be to transition Aubrey to a toddler bed. I am not looking forward to that. Then we'll get to put the nursery back to the pre-Aubrey condition. This is what the nursery looked like right before Aubrey was born.

It doesn't look quite so neat and tidy now - but I am hoping to get it back before Brooke is born.

In other news, Aubrey said her first sentence today. She said, "Aubrey, ride a bike?" Jeff was riding his bike and we were out in the yard watching. She liked what she saw, so she asked for a turn. Then all night long it was "Daddy ride a bike" and "Aubrey ride a bike". I love her new found communication skills!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bad Puppies

Yesterday we decided to enjoy the beautiful weather we are having this week and went to the park. I forgot to bring a sippy cup for Aubrey so she drank out of my water bottle. Of course she ended up getting as much on her shirt as she did down her throat. She didn't like the feeling of a wet shirt, so I took it off and put it in the sun to dry. While Aubrey was running around shirtless, 2 large puppies came running into the park without an owner. Of course, Aubrey saw them and started running right towards them. The puppies immediately jumped on top of Aubrey and scratched her poor shirtless back and arms. My poor Aubrey was scared, hurt and devastated. She couldn't believe that something she loves so much would hurt her. She cried for quite awhile. Once I got her calmed down, I tried to explain to her that they were just trying to play with her and they didn't mean to hurt her. She just kept making her sound for dog, while pointing to her arm and saying "scratch scratch." She just couldn't understand why they would scratch her. We continued to play at the park and the puppies would come and go. Every time she saw them coming she would grab on to me and cover her head in my shoulder.

I was afraid that Aubrey was going to inherit my fear of dogs. Panicking every time I see a dog has certainly not served me well in my life, and I didn't want that for Aubrey. So I decided the best thing to do was to get her right back on the horse. This morning we called Katie to see if we could come and visit her and Sophie. I knew since Sophie is such a nice puppy it would be a good experience for Aubrey.

When we got there Aubrey was definitely nervous of Sophie. She didn't want to get too close and would cower if Sophie got too near her.

But Katie helped to hold Sophie down and we got Aubrey to pet her a few times. Then Aubrey started playing more. She wanted to run and have Sophie chase her.

She still wouldn't get too close on own though.

Finally she got more comfortable and started bringing Sophie treats and toys to play with. And wanted to comb her hair.

Right before we left to go home, Aubrey finally pet Sophie without anyone holding her down and even gave her kisses "bye bye". So I think that doggies are back in Aubrey's good graces. But, I will definitely be more careful if we see any that aren't with their owners.

We have been teaching Aubrey to say "please" and "thank you" when she wants things. She knows exactly how to respond when she wants something and we say, "what do you say?" This morning Aubrey finally said "please" on her own without me asking her to. She was playing in the bathroom while I was getting ready. She found a tube of toothpaste and went to go throw it in the full tub. I told her not to, but she did it anyway. Then she wanted me to get it for her so she could put it back. I told her that she couldn't have it because she didn't listen to me. I figured I was going to get a tantrum, since that is what has been happening lately when she doesn't get her way. But, instead she looked at me with the most innocent eyes and signed and said at the same time, "pawease". That kid certainly knows how to get her way! I wanted to reinforce the "please" so I gave it back to her. I probably reinforced the disobeying at the same time - but how could I help it really!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Family Swim

We got free swim passes when we signed up for the swim lessons. So, on Thursday night we went swimming as a family. Aubrey was real excited that daddy was coming. She kept saying "daddy too!" We had a fun time. We got to show daddy all of Aubrey's new tricks; jumping in the pool, blowing bubbles, going under the water, kicking & scooping her arms. Daddy loved all of her tricks.

Look at me swim!

I can jump in the water!

Daddy's goggles are really cool!

On a not so fun note - on Friday I got my first puking in public experience. Aubrey had had the flu on Tuesday, but had been fine since. We went to Wal-mart and Aubrey started coughing and then threw up. I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I was heading quickly to the family restroom while looking for an employee to tell of the mess. On my way, I ran into a friend of mine who was so sweet to help me out. She has 3 kids and has been there done that. She had wet wipes handy and pointed out the extra veggie bags we had in the cart for putting the mess in. I have always considered myself to be a very independent person, but something about having a friend there with me was so nice. Just seeing her made me feel relieved. It's times like those that just don't seem coincidental. How likely is it that my friend would be right there at that moment. I mean sure I could have handled it on my own, but it was so much nicer having a friend. I love those tender mercies in pretty insignificant situations that help us know that we are being looked after. And for friends sent as angels to help us out. Thanks Amy for being there!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Baby Brooke and Animal

Today we went to my midwife appointment. Aubrey usually goes with me because they are pretty short and she does a really good job sitting on the chair. She also loves to hear the heartbeat. Anyway, today we walked into the examination room and saw a picture similar to the one on the left, except that we could see the woman's head as well as her tummy. Aubrey points right at the baby in the poster and says, "Baby Brooke". I thought it was so sweet that she actually got that that was a baby in a tummy just like Baby Brooke is in mommy's tummy. I think she is really understanding more than I give her credit for with this whole new baby thing.

Last week she felt Brooke kick for the first time. She got real excited and started kicking herself and saying, "Kick Kick Kick, Brooke Brooke Brooke". Then when we went swimming on Saturday when she was kicking in the pool she started saying "Kick Brooke". I think she was trying to say, "I am kicking just like Brooke." A few times since then she has put her hand on my tummy and said, "kick kick kick" while pushing on my tummy. She's trying to tell Brooke that she wants to feel her kick again. It sure will be interesting to see how she reacts when she sees Brooke for the first time on the outside.

Aubrey's language development has really been exploding lately. She'll repeat words that we say and even try to sing along with songs. She is saying several new words everyday. Today she really surprised me though. She was playing in what will be her new bedroom soon. The closet door was open and she looked inside. There is not much in there - I thought there were only some Primary manuals inside. Well she looked at the top shelf and started pointing excitedly. So I said, "What do you see, Mommy's books?" She responded with, "animals." It wasn't a perfect pronunciation but I was pretty sure she said animals. So, I looked inside and sure enough, there were some stuffed animals on the shelf. I think that was her first 3 syllable word. I was pretty impressed. So, I had to bring the animals down of course. I was showing them to her and asking what they were. Some animals she can say the names, others she does the sound. I held up a Kangaroo not thinking she would know what to say, but I was wrong. She responded right away with "kangaroo." I am so much enjoying being able to communicate more with her.

After the midwifes appointment this morning, I brought out the paints since Aubrey loves painting.

As you can see in the pic Aubrey is holding a wash cloth in her right hand. Before we started painting I told her that we were going to get her painting shirt. So she ran to her closet and tried to open it. She has an accordian style closet and must have pinched her thumb in the center. She was pretty upset. I am sure it did hurt a lot - but she is also quite dramatic. Anyway, after kissing it better repeatedly, she was still pretty upset. So I told her that we were going to wrap her finger in a cold wash cloth and it would make it feel better. The wash cloth was magic - the tears stopped immediately and she started asking for paints again. She held that wash cloth on her thumb the entire time she was painting and had to paint with her left hand. That funny little monkey!

Here is the aftermath of the painting - a completely green hand!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Swim Class

Lately I have been feeling sentimental about spending one on one time with Aubrey after Brooke is born. I know it is going to be a challenge for me not to feel torn between spending time with both of my girls. So, I decided I wanted to get in one more special class with Aubrey while I can. So we started Parent & Tot swim classes on Saturday. I am also not sure how much swimming we'll get in this season with a newborn - and I love swimming. We had such a good time. We had taken a swim class in the Fall and I think it really helped Aubrey feel comfortable in the water. As soon as we got in, I put her on her tummy and she started kicking right away. She had fun blowing bubbles and jumping in the pool. She also went under the water several times without any tears. I am glad we signed up for the class - we both had a lot of fun and we can't wait until next Saturday!

Here is Aubrey sporting her new swimsuit while we got ready to go to swim class. I love how feminine it is!

Aubrey also really enjoyed the locker room after swimming. The lockers were just her size to climb in!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Little Moments

Aubrey hasn't seen a lot of her daddy the last couple of days and she must have been missing him. This morning when she woke up we put her in between us in bed with some milk. After she was finished she put her little hand on daddy's face and then just laid there like that for a while. Then she very gently patted his face and said, "daddy" to wake him up. He opened his eyes and for the next several minutes she was just touching his face so gently. She would point to his eyes and say "eyes" and then ears, cheeks, nose and so on. Then finally she grabbed both of his cheeks and pulled him in for a big kiss. It was just so sweet. Daddy was in heaven! I love little moments like that!

Finally this week we got some spring like weather. The best day I was indoor sewing all day and missed it, but the next day was pretty nice, except for the wind. So we spent some time outdoors with Rachel & Zoe.

The two little cuties on their bikes.

Aubrey loved Zoe's helmet because it had both Elmo & Ernie on it - and she has just noticed that her nighttime diapers have these characters on them.

Aubrey is obsessed with slides. She had to do it over and over again!

Aubrey LOVES stuffed animals! She has to have 4 or 5 of them with her at a time. On any given week she has her favorites that must be with her at all times. Anyway, whenever she moves from room to room, all of her favs must come with her. She won't let us help her carry them either. So her arms are always stuffed FULL of her animals. That kid just cracks me up.