Sunday, February 28, 2010

Please Touch Museum

And by please touch, they mean EVERYTHING. We had an absolute ball there today! Skipped nap altogether and stayed all day. Ruby was so good. There was so much to see and do that she never minded when we had to leave a display. It was so much fun that words can't even describe it. Such a cool place and Ruby just loved everything. Jeff & I did too! She loves carousels so that was a hit, for sure. She liked to hop on the lily pads that made frog sounds. She LOVED the huge water tables and had a blast in the big grocery store area complete with carts and several aisles of food to put in your cart. Another little girl (playing) was all to happy to "ring her up" at the cash register when she was done "shopping". What a genius idea and how fun the whole place is! Ruby was so thrilled and smiley all day. At lunch she just stopped at one point and said, "Thank you, Mommy! Thank you Pa!" It was magic.

Her favorite thing had to be the band. It's jazz month and they had a great 1o piece band made up of kids from a local school. Everyone was gathered on the floor watching. Well, Ruby was one of the first kids to get up and dance. She kept inching her way up closer and closer to the front until she was standing next to the conductor for the last song mimicking his movements. It was so sweet and funny that I was cracking up. And HOW she loves music. And jazz, no less! By the end all the kids were up dancing, people were laughing and smiling and no one minded these little ones exercising their creative spirit and enjoying the music.

I was near tears several times just watching her light up at this or that during the day. However, I nearly peed my pants holding back the tears at the end of our visit. We were in the Children's Hospital section where they have beds and cribs set up and lots of babies to play with. Ruby was in heaven. She grabbed a couple baby boy dolls and played with them a long time. She would run them back and forth from the exam table to the crib and then out again. She laid the blanket on them then took it off. Finally, she saw another girl changing a diaper and wanted to do it. So I went to help her and low and behold the thing is anatomically correct. Of COURSE she grabbed it's little winker immediately and looked at Mommy excitedly for an explanation. (Gee, I didn't think we'd be having this talk so soon and not in the middle of a crowded Please Touch Museum!) LOL. So she looks at me quizzically and says "heiney"? I missed a beat while tossing around in my head if I should say penis or not. I could so see her walking around saying Penis! Penis! SO... (stifling a silly fit of laughter) I said, no, honey, that's his pee-pee. She said "PEE-PEE!" and actually played with it awhile. Then she carried it over to center of the room, set him on the floor and grabbed it again. Pleased with her new discovery, she picked him up and attempted to carry the naked thing out of the display and take him home with us. LOL! Thank God for the shoe display in the next section! I don't know if it was just the punch drunk euphoria I was feeling from sentiment, lack of sleep, and an after lunch crash (combined with sensory overload) but I found this extremely funny and had to show great restraint to keep a straight face. Now don't get me wrong. I have no issue with calling body parts by their actual names, but this one really caught me off guard. When they call it the "please touch" museum I didn't realize that could mean anything!

Seriously, though, it's a great museum and a wonderful place to go with the family. I remember once again, why I love cities so much. So modern and every convenience. This place has it all together. They had organic, natural, and healthy snacks and lunch. No french fries and junk food as your only choices. Hooray! It was clean and so well run. On a weekend! Everything you can imagine for your kids to learn and see and touch (hee hee) was there. We are all tired, but it was such a wonderful time. Really, a great experience!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Dreaming of Spring

And in my dream, it looks like this. I have been good. I have embraced the weather the best I can. We have had fun, played music, danced, did crafts, made messes, made tons of fattening baked goods, and exhausted all indoor activities imaginable over the last 2 weeks. But now I am over it. Now I want bright colored flowers and eating outside. A little red tricycle whizzing around the patio, my little girl in a cute sundress, Jeff at the BBQ, and Mommy all aglow from the sunshine. Yes, I won't get that for another couple months, but that is what I am dreaming of today.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I've Got A Plan

It's snowing...AGAIN. Hard to believe. They are calling for 50 mph winds and possible power outages. There is nothing I can do...but make a plan. So, today we are going to:

- charge all electrical appliances we may need later - cell phones, computers, flashlights, etc.
- get more firewood (Jeff is running out this morning).
- let Ruby sleep in late
- give her a long, fun bubble bath with soap confetti, shaving cream, and lots of toys
- put her in her coziest jammies and let her stay in them all day (have a back up pair downstairs in case of messes). I am planning for messes. (Read on)
- bake oatmeal raisin spoon bread
- make a collage of all things she likes from magazines and catalogs we have laying around
- make a "kitchen" collage with little bits of kitchen stuff - sponge, foil, pasta/rice, etc.
- play with pasta, rice, and extra mixes left in the cabinet. Going to give her measuring cups, spoons, a colander, and mixing bowls to "go to town" and "make" something. We have done this before with pasta and it has entertained her for at least an hour. Got the idea to use extra mixes or the almost gone stuff in the pantry from the Salsa in China blog. (Thanks Rosemary, for turning me on to her blog!) She has lots of great ideas for rainy (or snowy) days including shaving cream play. Check it out HERE.
- maybe bring in some snow again and let her play in the kitchen.
- moon sand is always a hit. I'm sure we will play with that as it's been a week or so.
- then, of course, there is always "clean up" play. I think there will be some of that going on here as well!

And now I will leave you with a poem of sorts. Okay, just thoughts, really...

The snow is pretty outside my window
I shall revel in it's beauty
And for one day I will forget my tasks
My own to do lists
My always-busy ways
I will stay in and be at peace with it
I will enjoy the moment
See it's wonder
It's magic
Through my daughter's eyes
I will be grateful for the view
And the excuse
To be snuggled in with my family
For one day the world stops
And shines it's light inside
Where the view is even more beautiful
Than the wonderland outdoors

Happy Snow Day!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

You Know You Should Be Off The Bottle...

when you start reading it! Okay, not totally, but yesterday I gave her a bottle half filled with water. She took a few sips and then took it out of her mouth looked at it curiously. I thought, "oh, she is not liking the water". But she didn't protest. Instead she starting saying the letters! "B" "O" "R"! (It says Born Free)! Could not believe it. Then she turned it around and started counting! I looked at it and realized it had measurements up the side! She is recognizing letters and numbers! So cool!
She also recognizes her name now. It is spelled out on her bedroom wall and we've gone over it maybe a half dozen times. She knows "R" and I always tell her R is for Ruby! Well, the other day I wrote her name on her water cup and she looked at it and pointed to each letter. R-U-B-Y! I was like - YEA!!!! RUBY!!!

Today Ruby's teacher, Jen, was here and she brought some great stuff. They did a few games and puzzles and Ruby did well. Next week is the evaluation with our local early intervention social workers. Once Ruby is 3, she goes into some other program so she needs to be re-evaluated to see if she qualifies. Jen and I both think Ruby won't qualify this time. And I'm glad. I love the extra help but I love that she is doing so well much more! (So proud of you sweetheart!)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Perfect Pre-School!

Well, it's official! Ruby is registered and will start preschool next September! So excited to have found this school. We went there this morning and spent a good hour. First in the office for a few minutes, then in the classroom, then we looked in on a yoga class going on in the other building. They are really nice there. Ruby was so at home in the classroom with the kids and teacher that I probably could have slipped out of the room and she wouldn't have even noticed! At least not for awhile! So glad to see that comfort level both with the school and with me. She knows Mommy always comes back. I was feeling rather tired/run down the other night and went up to bed early. She stayed with Daddy for another hour, did her night time routine with him, and slept in the room with him like an angel. She asked for me a couple times, but was okay when he told her I was sleeping. Yay! Another big step. May be awhile yet till she is sleeping on her own, but we are making progress. One baby step at a time! I am also giving her only water in her bottle (vs formula) at nap time. She quickly bores with it and doesn't want it. As soon as I am sure she is all healthy, I will do the same with her night time bottle. For now, I want her to get the extra nutrients, but I feel we will be able to ween off the bottle soon. Potty training comes next. Waiting till Spring for that one.

So back to the preschool... I clocked it and it's exactly 7 minutes from my door to theirs. Yea! Oh, and I found out I read the times wrong. It's not a 7am start -THANK GOD! They have extended hours that START at 7, but Ruby's class doesn't start until 9 so I can get there at 8:45. MUCH better! I love how close the place is. If I am running late in the morning and we forget something or don't have time to make her lunch/snack, I can always run it back there later! My every wish has come true with this school! I had a nice chat with the ever-friendly director there on Friday. I wanted to do 3 half days but they (like most Montessori schools) do 5. Five was just too much, but they say 3 days isn't enough to benefit from the Montessori program. So they said they would let us do 4. A fine compromise! I asked her what days and she said whichever I want. Great! Mon is gym day, Tues is French, Friday is music. She said they hoped to add some art programs to Wed & Thursdays classes. This is all perfect because I wasn't thrilled about her learning French at 3 when she already has English and Thai to focus on. So I can just skip Tuesdays and keep her home that day unless we need a make-up! It works out really well.

The only thing to fully decide on is which class to put her in. They have 2 Montessori rooms. I really loved the one teacher when I met her. So warm and fuzzy and even her room exudes a gentle comfortableness. Still I wanted to have that diversity and a girl or 2 her age. Turns out there are several new students joining that class. There are 3 or 4 girls Ruby's age and they said the class is about half children of color. When I went to visit today a few of the children were out so I didn't get to see the full class. The kids that were there were nice, but I have to say I still liked the kids in the other class better. Were they brighter? Was it because they were older? Or was it that they were so polite and all came over to say hi to Ruby? Or that there is a girl adopted from Guatamala in that other room? Even the teacher that I wasn't sure about waved and was nice. Shoot! Did I make the wrong choice? I already signed up for the other one. Maybe the other teacher was just having a bad day the first time we met? The one I originally liked was very sweet today but now I am wondering if she is too nice and if the other class seemed to be a tad more structured. Oh, how to decide?

I am second-guessing myself now and I'm not sure if I chose the right one, but at least I have some time. Going to see if they will let us visit each class room again and bring Jeff along as my excuse saying he wanted to see both. Hope she doesn't think I am a big pain for asking to do this! It's just that it's such a big decision! The way Montessori works is you remain with the same class and teacher for a least a few years, so I want to make sure it's the right fit. But I have to say that, in general, I am VERY happy with the place and I'm sure she'll do fine in either class room. She was so happy with the kid-sized REAL sink and cleaning area. Went to work right away cleaning the counters and sink. So cute! It's a GREAT school... friendly, diverse, cool programs like yoga, music, international awareness, a nice staff, and minutes from home. I couldn't ask for more! Except for a trial run.. and they are giving me that, too! They offer a summer camp that is usually 3 full days, but they are letting us do 1 half day a week to get her used to going. Is that great or what? I am so thrilled how this has worked out!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Education, Toys, & Fun

Ruby's education is very much on my mind lately. We have to register her this month for next year's pre-school. I love this one particular school, but they are only offering 5 half days and I really wanted her to do only 3. Also, I like the teacher in one room better than the other, but the kids and diversity in the other. So I am tossing this around and may visit 2 other schools just to compare. So exciting and scary at the same time to think of her going off to school already! I am already wondering how on earth the 2 of us will have ourselves up, ready, and to the school door by 7am. Yikes that is early! But mostly, I am thinking how much I will miss her!

Ruby's Early Intervention teacher, Jen, is a doll. We've only seen her a few times thanks to snow and sickness, but she has given us some good ideas for toys and learning. I have come up with a few myself and working diligently with her. It's paying off! Between Ruby & I doing ABC's on, the LeapFrog ABC's toy on the fridge, and her teacher it is all coming together more and more. She can identify A, B, G, I, K, M, O and a few others. She is putting together 2 & 3 word sentences more. Plus our music and gym classes also touch on numbers, letters, and counting so it's just great repetition for her! Even the shows and videos she watches teach the same things we are working on.

Her favorite toys come and go. Some of the puzzles are so easy they bore her, some too hard or she is just not into them. Coloring, cutting/gluing paper, and play dough are all still fun, but she even seems a little bored with these lately. Time to rotate or find something new! It's always great when Jen comes on Wed's with something interesting. This week she brought this:
Toysmith Battat House Shape Sorter Toy. Long and odd name for a REALLY great toy. It not only teaches colors and shapes but also is good for fine motor skills thanks to the color coordinated keys that lock and unlock the little door. Ruby was both entertained and challenged (in a good way) so I ordered one right away. Found it on Amazon cheaper than anywhere else. I also picked up Smart Snacks cute ice cream cone colors (below) at Learning Express today. Ruby really liked it. Great for stacking, identifying colors, and motor skills.

Here are a few other great things I have found that are on my wish list for buying in the near future:
LOVE this color learning set! Also on They are crayon shaped bins that have a total of 48 little color matching manipulatives for learning colors. It is also one of the few color sets that include pink and purple. A girl has to know pink and purple for crying out loud! :-)
Also love this color learning magnet game that also helps with fine motor. This came from a fab (but pricey) website a friend passed on to me called: A lot of really great stuff on their site. Too much for me to feast my eyes on actually, cause I am supposed to be watching my spending. (Urr. Watching my spending is so annoying!) Anyway, I was able to get a few things reasonably. The rest will have to wait till closer to her birthday. Can't wait! So what other gift ideas do I have in mind for that? Just a few things...some farm animal stuff to go with the theme...some things from the closet I bought long ago...and maybe things like this...
Have been thinking about this cute set for some time. She loves making cookies and this one will save Mommy from the extra calories! Must have packed on 3-5 lbs the last 2 weeks with all the baking!
Bought this already. So cute and she is ga-ga for Backpack! Even more than Dora! The main thing we want to get her is a bike. Trying to decide on a which one. They are all so cute!
Love the classic Radio Flyer tricycle and was sold until...
I realized they had it in pink! What's a girl to do?

And then I found out they had this cute scooter with sound and lights which would be great for indoors or outdoors.
Then today at Learning Express we saw this adorable Princess Bike by Kettler. Ruby rode it around the store and liked it. So now I have no idea. Maybe we'll take her to ToysRUs tomorrow and let her try them all and see which is her fav. Fun stuff! Long gone are the days of shopping for designer bags and shoes. Nope, nowadays, it's all about what exciting thing I can find for the little miss. And I don't mind one bit!

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Love is any of a number of emotions related to a sense of strong affection[1] and attachment. This is the first sentence that Wikipedia uses to describe the word LOVE and exactly the way I would describe our Valentines. Strong sense of affection and attachment. And of course, tons of loving, warm and fuzziness. What a feeling to have. The bond between us is stronger than ever and grows and grows. It's the best thing ever!
This year, Valentines was not about gifts or romantic things. It was about the deep love we have for our daughter and about being a family. We started the day by visiting the Thai temple and met some wonderful people. It was so nice to be immersed in Thai culture and Ruby seemed very comfortable there. There were 3 other kids there for Ruby to play with and we all had such a nice time. One sweet boy (about 5-1/2) took her under his wing and gave her some of his paper and markers. It was so sweet. Another little girl had a pretend microphone and let Ruby play with it. She was singing into it and having a ball. We met a nice couple that started a Thai community website called A lovely couple. She is Thai. He is American. Their organization is planning a big Songkran festival in April and we can't wait! Spent a good few hours there socializing and eating then headed home.

Later, we took Ruby to dinner at our favorite sushi/habachi restaurant - A1 Japanese Steakhouse. It's such a great place for families to go. They have a fish pond and waterfalls that kids love and a big drum to bang on in the waiting area. Ruby is so used to eating out that she does really well, but that night she was especially good. So happy and just bouncing around and smiling. She looked so cute in her Valentine's tutu! I'd love to tell you she just was dying to wear it, but in actuality I had to bribe her with her Valentine's goodie bag to get her to wear it! I had it custom made (look for Trinity Tutus on and was far more excited about it than she was. (Ordered a back-up dress for her b-day since she may not wear the bday tutu). Still, she wore it and once I got it on didn't think twice about it. So back to the restaurant...while waiting for our table, she kept banging the drum and greeting people as they came in. Hi! Hi! Oh, she is such a little social bug. Cracks me up. We had a super nice love day and a whole weekend of fun with her.

She is talking even more. Coming into her own. Even more loving and giving random hugs and kisses. She will call us out by name now. It still warms my heart when she calls "Mommy" from the other room! She is playing more on her own and being creative with her toys. She is funnier than ever. She was having a tea party the other night and kept bringing Daddy and I refills. At one point she spotted the dog and stopped dead in her tracks. She said "OH! Chlo-LEE! Cup!" And ran off to get one for the dog. She was not pleased with the dog, however, when she did not play along! Ha! She is taking care of her dolls more and singing more. Every day is an adventure and a blessing. I could go on and on. I just want to document every sweet little thing but there are far more than I have time to write. Let it suffice to say LOVE is alive and well and living in our hearts. And it is a beautiful thing. Mommy & Daddy love you so much, Ruby!!!!!

My attempt at a heart shaped b-fast. Stole the idea from somebody's blog. You take a cookie cutter and cut out the bread and then cook the egg and bread just like that. It turned out a little messy so I used ketchup to reinforce the heart shape. With the cut-out piece of bread I just toasted, buttered and sprinkled with red sugar crystals.
Both sets of Grandparents sent Ruby adorable Valentine's cards. And great minds think alike, cause both included stickers that Ruby LOVED! We took some to the restaurant with us on Valentine's and she decorated Daddy's arm with a bunch!
This is the card we made together last week for Daddy. Obviously, I helped a lot, but she placed most of the stickers and colored on the left side of the page. She colors lightly so you can't see it a lot in this picture. But I love that she wanted me to help trace her hand. She loves to do that since I taught her over Thanksgiving. And how cute that we have a keepsake with her sweet little hand on it! Daddy just beamed when she proudly ran up to his office and gave it to him. It's been on his desk ever since. :-)

I hadn't thought about it at the time, but Valentine's was the perfect day for us to have such a nice family day. That day marked exactly 5 months as a family. Five months since the day we met the little girl that would change our lives forever!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Blizzard Bliss

What? Surely you read that title wrong? No, actually, I am serious. Wednesday we got so much snow the power went out. If you would have told me a few days ago that I'd enjoy it I would have said you were out of your mind! The thought of another snow storm and being snowed in another few days was not appealing. Ruby has yet another cold, so Jeff went out in the blizzard Wed morning to hit the natural food store for a safe, natural cough medicine. We had just found out about it the day before but didn't get a chance to get some. Ruby was coughing BAD Tuesday night and we both really wished there was something we could do for her. So off her loving Daddy went to get the goods. He was probably the only customer they had all day! We had already gotten so much snow Tuesday night that we were shocked the store was even open. They will have regular customers in us! I've already gone back (today) for some healthy snacks and homeopathic remedies.

So... Ruby got her Chestal honey cough syrup and it helped a great deal. We all settled into the fact that we'd be indoors and made the best of it. Ruby & I played and did crafty stuff while Daddy worked and then later he came down to join us. Thank God for our neighbors. They called us around 5 or 6pm to say their daughter (in a near-by town) had lost power and we should crank up our heat NOW - just in case. We did just that and it was actually so warm we were taking off layers. It's a good thing we did! Jeff made us a homemade pizza for dinner with fresh mozzarella and basil (YUM) and Ruby got chicken noodle soup (which is her favorite). We were at the dining room table just finishing our last bites when the power went out. Perfect timing.

Ruby is such a brave little thing. She was startled when it first happened, and said "OH", followed by "LIGHT!" I held her hand and told her it was okay as Daddy went for the flashlights we had set out. Daddy was by our side in 2 seconds with the flashlight and as soon as Ruby spotted it she was thrilled. She carried one around for the rest of the night and that was that. Never mentioned the lights or anything. I think she "got it" somehow. Or maybe it was that she was having too much fun to notice they didn't come back on.

It was so nice to just sit around together. We looked at books and played with toys by flashlight and candlelight. She took such joy in the night as if we planned this just for her. Daddy made us cookies on the grill (since that was the only thing still working and NOT covered by mounds and mounds of snow) and you know what? They weren't too bad! They were rather flat and crunchy, but still tasted good! Gotta love a man who goes out in a blizzard to "grill" cookies for his kid! The house stayed warm for a good long time, plus we all 3 snuggled under a big down blanket. Thankfully, my computer was charged so we took it up to bed and watched one of Ruby's favorite Barbie movies - The Princess & the Pauper. Very cute. With Jeff & Ruby emanating some serious body heat I was actually a little warm at first. But it was great and oh so cozy. Those 2 are ALWAYS warm, while I am adding layers of clothes most of the time! Ruby smiled so brightly when she realized we were going to watch a movie in bed. (We've never done this before). At one point Daddy had his arm around her and I was holding her hand. We were all snuggled up really close. She just looked at his arm and then at him. Then she looked up at me and then down to where my hand was holding hers. She gave us the sweetest smile and raised her shoulders up and down in this excited cute little sigh of a way. It was then that I realized that bliss can be found anywhere. It doesn't have to be the ideal weather or situation. It just requires love and a little effort to go with whatever comes. Glad we went with it!

BTW, heat kicked on at 3am...just as the house was starting to get chilly. I couldn't help but think how lucky we were to have stayed warm enough that whole time. I laid awake for awhile thinking how fortunate we are in our lives to have a home, to have warmth, and to have each other.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Snowy Weekend

View of front yard from my door. That was as far as I would go the first day. We got A LOT of snow. Maybe 30 inches! It was cold and blowing all over the place and none of us were eager to go out in it!
View of the back patio.
I found it interesting that the snow had fallen on my Buddha statue in the form of a cloak. Draped just the way they do in Thailand! Everything else got buried out there except for his head and one shoulder.

Jeff ended up shoveling for a couple hours later that day, while Ruby and I stayed in and kept warm. None of us were embracing the cold or snow that day. Ruby has a cold (again) and was rather sleepy and into snuggling. Suited me just fine! But still, I didn't want her to miss out on snow I asked Jeff to bring some inside in a big tub and we let her play on the kitchen floor in her mittens and jammies. She enjoyed it all the same. Daddy made a great fire, but instead of toasting marshmallows we made little snowmen crafts out of them.

Sunday was such a great day. We fully embraced the snow and had a ball sledding out back. Jeff made her a nice little "toboggan" path and down she went again and again! It was nice and sunny and not that cold out compared to the day before. After a good long time we came in and got all toasty and had soup for lunch. Ruby took a late nap which worked out perfectly cause the timing was good for us to prepare a nice, big dinner. We roasted a whole chicken, roasted a big pan of veggies, made cranberry/walnut stuffing and followed it up with warm chocolate chip cookies. A yummy, cozy evening for 3!

Here are some snow and sledding pics:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Party Planning!

Ruby's birthday isn't for a few more months, but that hasn't stopped me from planning one heck of a toddler hoe-down birthday bash! Now if you know me well, you KNOW I was dreaming of all things pink, tutu, and princess. However, she is only going to be 3 and there are a lot of boys invited. She's not into dressing up that much yet - unless it is shoes and accessories. The girl loves her hats, bows, necklaces, and bracelets! So I toyed with different ideas, but still wasn't sure what I'd do until fellow blogger (and party thrower extrodinaire) Mireille (of Funky Doodle Donkey) sent me this link. Lots of GREAT ideas and I loved the farm animal theme right away. After all, we live in a farm house! It seemed like the way to go! Ruby LOVES animals so I think it will be perfect for her at this age. The pic above shows a few things I like so far for the party. Tutu already purchased from Trinity Tutus! Sooo cute! Check out their tutus on Still tossing around different ideas for the cakes or cupcakes, but here are some great options:
Lots of fun stuff floating around my mind right now and a few of the big decisions made. I foundthis amazing company - Sleepy Hollow Horse Farm - that will bring a pony and petting zoo right to your house! How cool is that? Discussed with the husband and he liked it too and gave me the go-ahead to book. Hooray! We have a big yard so there is plenty of room for both pony rides and the sheep, duck, chickens, goats, llama, and donkey to run around. I can hardly wait to see the look on her face when they show up! Here are some pics from Sleepy Hollow Farms web site:

A bit over the top? You bet! It's the first time Ruby has ever had a birthday celebration and I'm going to see to it that it's one she remembers. I want it to be the most fun she has ever had! Missing her 1st 2 birthdays was incredibly hard. I wanted so much to do something for her, let her know she was loved, sing her a happy birthday, and make her feel special. Now my hands are no longer tied and I can do all that and more! I'm just thrilled to be in this place right now. We both are real excited to do this for her. So there will be 8-10 toddlers, a truck-load of farm animals, a lot of hay, cow balloons, pig cup-cakes, farm fun/games/crafts and lots of treats! Yee-haw! (Now who ever thought I would actually say yee-haw? Yea, me either. Let's blame it on the kid. She brings out the silly in me!)

UPDATE: Ruby just woke up from her nap early and saw me on my computer. I showed her all the cakes and ideas. She doesn't really get it but got all excited to see the animals. She started pointing to them and making their sounds. I asked her which one she wanted and she said COW! She likes the one in the 2nd cake collage. Well, okay then. There you have it. Her main cake will be a cute little cow! Excellent choice, little miss!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

When Life Hands You Snow...

Why not make snow balls? Or a snow man, for that matter? Or snow angels! The point is - why not enjoy it?

I am not a fan of the cold and neither is the husband. Jeff's first reaction to the snow storm that's coming tomorrow was - "Ugg! Again? I'm going to be shoveling all weekend!" It's not exactly how we wanted to spend our weekend. I was disappointed also. However, you can't change the weather so why complain about it? It's much easy to GO with the universe than try to fight it! So go with it I will! And more than that I am going to make it a fun family weekend.

So what to do? Well, first I asked the hubby to bring in fire wood or have ready on the porch to make big, crackling fires. I'm going to pull out the pine cones to make it smell good and they add color, too. As soon as Ruby falls asleep and I am out the door to get all the ingredients for a warm and cozy weekend: marshmallows for roasting, hot chocolate, cookie mix, some kind of snow flake craft project, and hopefully find us some sleds. Ah, the little miss is breathing deep and that is my cue to hit the door running! Wish me luck finding everything!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Simple Woman's Day Book

Because...I found this on someone else's blog (lovely Karen of Always in My Heart blog) and it was too nice not to try. AND because you can only hear about how great I think my kid is for so long. :-) There will be plenty more posts gushing about how much I love our little munchkin, but for now, something a little different:

A Woman's Day Book:
Outside my window...there is a light dusting of snow. Pretty, but I am happy to be inside.
I am thinking...I sure can't wait until it's warm out and we can go outdoors again! To eat outside, be in the garden, go to the park, the zoo, the beach, etc.
I am thankful amazing little girl, my husband & I being together 17 years, and my girlfriends I got to see yesterday at the auto show.
I am old (& comfy) black skinny jeans and a long sleeved black tee with my warm and fuzzy black Ugg boots.
I am remembering...all the things I need to do, but ignoring them and enjoying some relaxing quiet time anyway! I was so cozy in Ruby's room waiting for her to fall asleep that I decided to stay in here and read and blog instead! Yea!
I am going...a little crazy waiting to see Ruby's giardia test results. After I posted about her being all better it seems to have come back. Yuk!
I am currently reading..."Every Day Blessing, The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting" - beautiful and thought provoking.
I am baby is feeling better soon, the weather will warm up, and the economy will get better. But mostly just the first one!
On my husband and the stress he has been under with his work.
Noticing that...things always tend to work out and are never as bad as I worry they may be! Just need a little faith and a positive attitude!
Pondering these words...that I read on a blog: "World peace begins with Inner peace" (working on mine)
From the kitchen...pumpkin bread and pumpkin cranberry/walnut muffins that I am going to make with Ruby today.
One of my favorite things...Watching my little girl sleep
From my picture journal: refer to Little Miss Ruby Blog

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

4 Months Home/5 Months A Family

Today it is four months since we stepped off a plane on a chilly night with our sweet, sleepy little girl. Four months of love, fun, joy and silliness. We have watched her grow from a shy baby girl into a very independent and confident little girl in such a short time! It's been an amazing experience. Words do not describe it. Pictures don't do it justice. Cause it's not just the grand moments or accomplishments. It's the simple, sweet smiles and everyday moments that warm our hearts. The random hugs and kisses. The happiness emanating from her face and joy she finds in the simplest or silliest things. I am learning to cherish every day, thanking God for every minute, remembering what is important in life, and taking time to slow down. We are a family close to 5 months now (on the 13th) and 4 months home. Seems like it's been so much longer, really. We have our routine down and are getting into a nice groove finally. It doesn't seem like we just met each other such a short time ago. It feels as though we have known her for a lifetime.

Things I want to always remember: The way she plays with her hair or mine when she gets sleepy. Sometimes even just for comfort when I am holding her she will cling on to my pony tail. The way she loves to brush my hair, too, which is so sweet. And when she is really tired, how she twirls her hair around her finger. How she came over to me today to feed me one of her oranges with her play spoon and carefully had her other hand under the spoon as I sometimes do to avoid spills. I love how she still likes to feed us and shares her things with us and others. I love how she thinks a bee says "beeeeeeeee" instead of buzz and I never want to forget all the silly faces and adorable things she says and does. She loves the swifter and a damp paper towel just makes her day so she can "clean" something. She loves to empty the dishwasher. I let her take out the plates and hand them to me though at first I feared she would drop something and break it. But no! She is so serious and takes great pride in doing her tasks! (I also grab them rather quickly!) She is climbing/jumping/hanging off of everything now and has little black and blue marks cropping up all over the place not to mention bumping her head a few times! (Getting good use out of the boo-boo duck we keep in the freezer!) Makes me nervous, but all part of growing up, I guess. She is exploring her new world and having fun with her new-found jumping and climbing skills!

And a few words from Daddy....he loves how she laughs! He thinks she has the greatest laugh! (He should know as he really gets her going and it's ADORABLE!!!) When they play ball he pretends that it knocks him over when she throws the ball to him. She finds this HILARIOUS! He also loves her little tippy-toe walk. We sware she will be a ballerina some day! But Daddy's favorite cute Ruby thing: her bed time ritual. Daddy kisses Ruby, then she will point to Mommy to get one, then to her forehead, then to her cheek, then to the other, sometimes her nose, then to Bear, then to Penguin (both her sleeping buddies), then back to Mommy (and to my forehead, cheek, etc.) then back to her forehead for a few more! It's so cute and we both get a kick out of it. When she's had enough she will take the bottle out of her mouth, say night-night and I love you to Daddy and then wave him bye-bye! Then I sing a few lullabies and put her in crib and out she goes! We also love seeing her expressions when she watches Baby Einstein and Dora now. She will talk to the TV and interact and if someone is in trouble she has deep concern. She will say NO to the bad guy or say UH-OH! and then she will say "YAY!" when they find who they were looking for or reach their destination. It's really cute and amazing how she understands what they are saying. She will answer Blue! or Yes! or whatever they are asking on the show. How we love watching her grow and learn and discover. And wow, this is still just the beginning!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Hello Blog Land!

Been such a busy couple weeks filled with family and friends and play dates. Life has changed so much and I don't find myself rushing to the computer to blog like I used to. I just don't want to miss a minute with Ruby and when she is sleeping I am busy running errands. I think about my blogging friends a lot, though. The ones home with their new babes, the ones about to travel, and one friend in particular that has waited far longer than she should. Still praying for Lily and thinking of you guys often!

I finally figured out how to get my videos on the blog. My new computer makes it a breeze! Will be posting them on the uber private one for those with access to that. Only 2 more months till finalization and I can go public again! Will try to have my book printed and all the personal info off of here by then. Will also go back to my original format of less details and more silly stuff. For now this has served not only as a creative outlet and reaching out to family and friends, but also a journal of Ruby's life and how we became a family.

So, what's been going on around here? Lots! I think we kicked Ruby's ailments and are on the road to health. Hurray! Still have to retest for giardia and I am taking her to a homeopathic doctor next week. Feel real good about that. The woman has 30 years experience and 5 kids that have never had to take a drug for anything. I am hoping to really get Ruby's immune system back on track. And maybe mine, too!

Ruby is still sleeping in her crib every day for naps and every night. Sleeping through the night most of the time except when we slept at the Grandparents this weekend. She LOVES them and is very happy and comfortable when we go visit, but she doesn't always sleep well when away. I don't know if it's because it is more hot and dry (no humidifier like at home) or different sounds or just the insecurity of not being home, but she was up several times during the night. On the flip side, it is nice to know how comfortable she is here. When we got back Sunday night she went down so easily and early. I usually sing her 3-4 songs, then lay her in her crib. After one song she pointed to the crib. I was like, oh, okay! She laid there with her eyes shut for about 10 minutes and then out of the blue I heard this: HOME. She said it loud and clear, but so sweet. Like a sweet sigh of relief. I just laughed and said yes, honey, we are home and Mommy & Daddy are right night-night. She said night night and drifted off to a solid 12 hours of rest!

We had a nice weekend with Jeff's parents and a couple great visits with Jeff's Grandma which was really great. Had a little scare with her and are glad to know she is okay. We saw some of our favorite people - the Poelck's - the previous weekend and Ruby had a ball at Hannah's b-day party. Have adorable pics to post soon! So we have had one birthday party, one weekend with Grammy & Pappy, play dates with Ava, dinner with Hailey & Braden, lunch with Brianna and lots of our little classes. Ruby enjoys play time with her little friends as much as we enjoy seeing the parents that go with them! Life is fun and happy and often quite silly with the little Miss. Her new favorite song is bye-ber (translation: spider, as in "itsy bitsy"). She won't sing it, but loves to act out the parts. She does sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and is sounds like Kwinkle, Kwinkle Star. It's really cute.

So if you wonder if I have dropped off the planet now and then...have no fear! We are probably knee deep in play dates, playdough, singing, coloring, Dora, or Wonderpets! Wishing you all a wonderful week!