Sunday, August 26, 2012

... of a real choo choo!

Today was a good day here in beautiful Colorado.  We started out with church and after a visit with some friends and lunch at IHOP (exciting!), Uncle Pete came for another visit!  We had told Abram last week that we were going to go to the Colorado Railroad Museum in Denver and we ended up not being able to go.  We weren't able to make it all the way down there this weekend either, but as luck would have it, the "Little Train" in Loveland was still running!  It's a tiny replica of an old steam engine that runs on a quarter mile track around a park from Memorial Day until Labor Day.  It even goes through a tunnel!  We have one in Austin in Zliker Park that Quinn and I have gone on with my sister and brother in law before we had kids.  But now that we have a son who is obsessed with trains, this was a highly appropriate and exciting outing.  

But before we rode the train, we found a nice bench by the pond and took some unofficial family portraits.


Then we heard the choo choo.  So we headed off!

There she is, in all her glory.

Then we hopped aboard.  

And a fascinated Abram held tightly to the side the entire time.

But as soon as we stopped he looked at me and said "Go!  Go!"  So he obviously liked it, despite his intense demeanor throughout the ride.


And then Papa took Abram for a tour of the playground.


And finally had to say good bye for awhile to Uncle Pete :(

Thanks for coming up to see us Pete.  It was a good day.  We're sure going to miss you!

Friday, August 24, 2012

... of frugality

We have never really used a budget in our house.  I feel really bad admitting that.  Neither one of us has ever had a credit card and we have always been smart about our spending.  Smart, but not intentional.  Now that Quinn is not working and we have a little more than two months until we will (hopefully) have a salary again, we are having to be intentional. 

This may seem small, but there are many reasons that my most recent project was making my own baby wipes:
1: Cost.  It makes less than a box of wipes would, but it basically costs whatever half of a paper towel roll does (plus a few pennies for the minute amount of baby wash and baby oil used).

2: Convenience.  I honestly made some for the first time the other day because I was stuck at home with a kid I knew was going to poop that morning, no car, and no wipes.  So I looked up the site I pinned here and made my first batch.  I've been using them on Selah and they work well!  I've actually found that, even though each wipe is smaller than the store bought ones, I use the same number because I only end up doing about one wipe  regardless of the size (since I'm trying to avoid getting ooey gooey breastfed baby poop on my hands).  This batch I just made will be for Abram's room and I think they will hold up just as well with toddler poop :)

3. Space.  We are living out of suitcases for the next two months and packing a ziplock is easier than a tub of wipes.  PLUS! If I really didn't have space, I could just leave the wipes and make more at our destination.  Probably not going to need to do that, but it's possible. 

So here's the process:

-Cut paper towel roll in half.  I used Viva brand select a size because I love how soft they are and they make smaller wipes, which I wanted.  If you wanted bigger ones, you could do the non-select a size.  I would assume you wouldn't want to use a serrated knife or you would have bits of paper towel everywhere.  It takes a little effort and patience.  Saw away.

-Now you have a choice: You can either put the roll standing up directly into the ziplock or whatever container you want to use (one of those cylindrical cleaning wipe containers would work really well)  Or you can unroll it and accordion fold it up (which I did on the second batch shown in the pictures). If you do the former, you will pull out the center roll once it has gotten sufficiently soaked after the next step and continue pulling wipes out of the center.  If you do the latter, you should put the stack into a dish so that you can pour the mixture straight on top of it and then move it to the ziplock.  

-Mix 2 1/4 cups water, 2 tbsp baby wash (whatever kind you want), and 1 tbsp baby oil or mineral oil.  Pour mixture onto paper towels, either in bag or dish (be careful of splashing).  Try and spread out the pouring, even around the bottom so it can get evenly soaked.

-Let sit for a bit.  If it's in the bag, seal it up and tip it around to get the water to absorb.  If it's in the dish, flip the pile over once or twice (you may even want to compress the pile to get the middle of the stack to absorb the liquid).

-Move the pile to the bag or remove the tube, depending on which process you went with.

-Wipe away!

I know that the time and effort it takes to do this (which I have to say is not much at all) would be worth paying for the store bought wipes for some people.  For us, I think this may be our standard bum-cleaning material from now on!  Thanks again, Pinterest :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

... of full sentences


Abram has been so much more communicative lately.  He repeats pretty much everything we say to him and we are often surprised by what he remembers from seemingly inconsequential conversations or comments.  Today, I showed him where our friends, Cort and Anna, were on a map of the U.S. (because he kept asking for them).  I told him they were in Texas and Abram was in Colorado.  The rest of the day he kept repeating "Abey Co-wado".
Playing piano with Papa

By far, his most repeated phrase is "Ah fah down".  Everything "falls down" all the time.  This became a very applicable phrase for him when he fell out of the back door to the house onto his face.  He cried for a little while, but calmed down pretty quickly. Quinn and my mom prayed for him when it happened and, while it might look bad, he has not been bothered by it at all since then.  And whenever anyone says anything about his nose he responds with "Ah fah down".
Right after
Day two
Day three.

I posted this video on facebook, but just in case you are not a facebooker, here is one of my favorite Abram videos yet.

With conversation comes more defiance, but overall he is doing very well at obeying and listening.  He tests boundaries often, but I don't think it's any more than any other almost 2 year old.

Pretty much, he's getting more adorable every day :) 

... of 4 months!

I know I haven't posted in awhile, but I had to stay on top of Selah's monthly updates, so here I am!  This will be an exclusive Selah post and I will do an exclusive Abram post as well.  Because if there's one thing that kid needs, it's more attention. Not! (Says junior high Anaka)

So here she is:

Date: August 21. 2012

Weight: I weighed her and I on my mom's scale today and she is apparently about 13.5 pounds!  That girl does not have an issue with weight gain, that's for sure. The pediatrics growth chart says that's right at the 50th percentile, which is where she has been for awhile.  

Clothing size: Some 3 month things (dresses), some 6 months (one pieces).  She's pretty long and  lean, despite those chubby cheeks and thighs.

Feedings per day: 4/5 depending on the day.

Night sleeping: Still good!  She's been going an uninterrupted 12 hours at night for about a month now, which is pretty amazing and why she only eats 4 to 5 times a day.  But she obviously isn't loosing weight, so it works for me! 

Naps: The napping changed drastically around month 3.  After so much prayer, God finally helped her settle into better napping.  We stopped swaddling her arms, because she was finding her fist more often when she was awake, so I thought she might be ready to self soothe.  She quickly found her thumb and I now officially have another thumb sucker on my hands.  The other day I was watching her sleep and she was trying to get both thumbs in her mouth at the same time.  But, hey, if it means she takes better, longer naps and is able to put herself to sleep, I'm willing to deal with the thumb sucking later.

New skills: Laughing and rolling over (back to tummy).  That's just the way Abram was, too.  I find it ironic because she hates tummy time just like he did.  It took him a month to figure out how to roll from front to back and I think she's on the same track.  The laughing is adorable.  Her smiles are HUGE when you get her to give you one.  She actually did both of these things for the first time on the same day when we were driving up to North Texas to stay with my grandparents.   I was trying to nurse her in the front seat of the car while we were stopped at a grocery store and she was really fighting me.  I was getting frustrated and then she just stopped and looked up at me and started laughing.  It made the whole experience a lot less frustrating very quickly :)

Favorite thing: Standing up.  Although her legs collapse after a bit, buts she loves it.  Make sure you watch to the end of the horribly filmed video :)

Oh, and she really likes Sophie.

Least favorite thing: Being overtired and then getting passed around to strange people.  We get a breakdown every time.
Potential Personality traits: She is still pretty stoic.  Or maybe contemplative is a better word.  But she will always smile at whoever gets her out of her bed right after she wakes up.  That's by far her most smiley time. I think that means that she will be a morning girl.

Brother/Sisterness: She has been watching Abram more, but still not a ton of interaction.  He likes to hold her toys up for her to see, but doesn't want to actually let her have them.  Also, he's been trying to tickle and hug her more often, but sometimes that looks like him almost laying on top of her when she is laying on the floor. He doesn't quite get yet that she is a human being and needs to be treated with care.  

She's gotten to meet a lot of family in the last few weeks, that's for sure!
Uncle Pete and Chunky Leg Lady.  Pete just moved from Boise to Denver and we are so glad we've gotten to spend some time with him here, since he won't be in Idaho when we visit.

Nana and Papa

Great Grandpa Roy

Our little girl is growing up so fast!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

... of a haircut

I am debating cutting my hair.  This is the longest that it's been since I was a sophomore in high school.  That's 14 years, people!  Normally, long hair is great.  You have so many options.  Normally.  However, I am now back in grabby baby hands stage - which continues for quite awhile.  We are also on the verge of moving to a country which is, presently, sitting at right around 120 degrees during the day.  Yes. 120.  That's right.  I am sure that I will not want my hair on my sweaty neck.  So all of this  basically means that it is in a perpetual pony tail.  And a perpetual pony tail makes this mom mistakenly think that she can get away with multiple days without showering.  This is far from the truth and, really, if I needed to, I could find time to take a shower. I just don't prioritize it because of the perpetual ponytail.  So my thought process is that, if I have shorter hair, I will be forced to shower.  And it won't get stuck in baby hands as easily  I'm not talking uber short, more mid-length.  This is the picture I was going to bring in when/if I go.
Quinn has already given his approval.  Now it's just a matter of whether I want to go through with it or not.  I actually kind of like change, so I'm liking the idea of this at the moment.  But it's late and I'm getting tired, so I'm going to see how I feel in the morning.  If I do it, I'm going to do it in the morning during Selah's first nap, since it's the longest.  So I may be back tomorrow with a new look!  

And for fun, some pictures of the family hanging out here at the Shockley house in Colorado.

Alright.  I've got to go.  It's late and my parents' computer keyboard stinks and is frustrating me.  Dumb.