Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Matt's Last Day at Philips



As March came to a close, so did Matt's time at Philips. He put in a lot of long hours those last three days finishing up a big project while I hung out with Abigail as she cut her molars. Poor girl was so sad! Matt and I both had dentist appointments so he took Abigail to work while I got my teeth cleaned.



The three of us went for lunch at Mellow Mushroom. Our poor girl hadn't barely eaten anything in a couple days and was so cranky but cuddly. Motrin helped a bit in the relief department.



Abigail had no interest in our cheese calzone (YUM!) and ended up snoozing a bit on her daddy. This was great because she's not always nice to daddy.



Matt ended up working late on his last day! He has amazing work ethic. Then he met his co-workers for a few beers at Fado in Buckhead. Matt said it was nice since some of the co-workers let go in August even joined in on the fun. Here's some pics, even though the only one who knows these people are Matt.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Not Enough Time? Just Post Photos...

Alright, so life in the Barnes home is a bit hectic right now, especially with my last official work day with Philips Design is this Wednesday. I'm saving up any comments on that until that day comes, and since it's impossible to update everything else at 12:30am on a Monday morning (Sunday night, basically), then I figured I would at least give you guys some photos to enjoy. Of course, more to come once I get time to upload and post. Enjoy!

On March 9th, Abigail and I enjoyed some afternoon time playing around at Marietta Square...


Since Springtime has arrived in Marietta, we've been spending more afternoons outside. These photos are from our last two visits to Laurel Park...


Again, more to come, so stay tuned...

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fun at Little Bears

Abigail and I enjoyed at playdate with friends at Little Bears today. Little Bears is an indoor playground with lots of "new" (different) toys!

Climbing on some 'blocks'...
Playing with puzzles, really just playing with the puzzle pieces...
Taking a break from play for a goldfish snack...
Trying to eat some bubbles...
The kids LOVE when it's time for the bubbles!

Abigail had needed help getting on this structure, I was shocked when I saw she was up there! I thought Sabrina (the cute little blonde) had assisted. Later, after taking video, I saw someone had pushed a little step stool next to the structure to assist in climbing. Ah-ha!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday & Tuesday

Monday started out not so great. Matt, before he even left for work, offered to let me go to Zumba in the evening while he got some solo daddy-daughter time. When I returned home Matt had heated some left-over Pastina for Abigail. He ended up mixing the Pastina with some plain yogurt and while it doesn't sound appetizing, Abigail enjoyed it!

Today Abigail and I joined some friends at a playdate in the morning. Abigail fell asleep on the ride home and actually took a FABULOUS nap! So fabulous that I was able to check my email, unload the dishwasher, wash some pots and do a load of laundry!

I also read a few chapters of The Art of Racing in the Rain for my mom's group book club. I have been very behind on my reading! Our meet up has actually been postponed two weeks already and I'm still not finished with this book. It's a good book, maybe not something I would have chosen on my own, but I'm liking it. Abigail's one nap transition hasn't allowed me to accomplish everything I'd like/need to do during that time frame. Thank goodness today was different!

Even after Abigail woke, she was in a great mood - which isn't always the case. I sat Abigail in her high chair (which she's fought for the last few days and didn't!) and she snacked on some strawberries and blueberries. I was able to make Rice Crispy Treats and Banana Split Cookies. When she was done with her snack, she would roam around the kitchen looking out the door and going up to the oven saying "hot". She loved the ovenmits after seeing me use them to pull the cookies out of the oven!

Matt felt another tooth on Sunday night. It's on her top right, this is tooth #9. We think it's one of her molars, and hopefully this is the cause of her recent crankiness and irritability! I guess we'll find out as the week goes on...and on and on!

Weekend Videos

Last week, my cousin Stephen came up for a couple days last week to visit. Abigail had a lot of fun playing with her Godfather! Unfortunately, the weather was super yucky so we were unable to go to Zoo Atlanta like I had originally planned. Instead, we played at home in our pajamas!

I think this video is from Friday night. Daddy & Abigail had some fun together.

Saturday we attended Desmond's First Birthday. Since I think Kristi is the only reader who knows Desmond...he's the son of Matt's college friend Julie, and her hubby Shawn Hoffman. Their last name is the password to these next two videos. Sorry, the quality isn't that great on the videos! I was kneeling and my knees did not want to cooperate...and the blinking red light wasn't from my camera. I'm sure Matt has some photos he'll add at a later date.

Abs and I ventured to Publix for a couple items and picked up Chick-fil-A on the way home. While she doesn't eat a whole lot of meat, she'll usually eat some nuggets from Chick-fil-A. I guess all rules are off when we're home compared to eating at one of their restaurants or at the mall. Instead she snacked on a fry, and decided to also slide. She was holding the fry in her mouth as she climbed then let the fry slide before she did. She's done this with toys or shoes before, so I grabbed my camera and was interrupted...well, you'll see.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

In Need of a Photo Update???

Alright, so I admit, I've been slacking in the "posting photos" department lately. Of course, I have been a little pre-occupied lately with the whole jobby-job situation, but I'm still amazed at how many photos I am posting with this blog tonight. So without further adieu, here they are:

Fun Daddy-Daughter time in the sunroom:


Back on February 27th, we visited my grandfather, Paw Paw Crenshaw in LaGrange. At the time he was in rehab, hence the hospital-esque setting. Anyways, this was the first time Abigail had seen her great-grandfather since his surgery back in December. Needless to say, the both of them really seemed to enjoy each others company.


Slowly we've been seeing early signs of Spring, and back on March 1st I came home from work to be greeted by little Miss Abigail outside. Since it was an incredibly beautiful afternoon, I grabbed my camera and the two of us walked around the back and front yard getting some fresh air. Of course, the very next day we got snow. Go figure!


Although things are beginning to wrap up with my job at Philips, it seems as though my work pace has yet to really drop off since I am still working with clients on a consulting project up until the end. And because of those clients and this project, I made a little trip to San Francisco last week, which of course was way too hectic and short for me to truly get a true taste of the bay area. It doesn't mean I didn't take photos, though, and yes I have an itch to get back someday soon with Abs & Jill.


So this is where I'll stop this blog since it's getting late here and the time change (losing an hour) happens tonight for Daylight Savings Time. Stay posted, though, because I have lots more photos to share including our trip to the Smokies for our 4th Anniversary. Goodnight, everyone!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Indoor Playdate

There are plenty of places in and around Marietta to have indoor playdates, without being in someone's home. It's a nice change of pace, to get out and play with someone else's toys! Monday we trek'd a bit north of Marietta to DAC Kids, a pirate themed playground, to play with some friends from MOPS. This place was crazy!

I walked in and was taken aback because there was a huge wooden play structure (think 8302 Palma Vista Lane playground but on major steroids). It was complete with cargo netting and ladders to climb and a fireman's pole to slide down. Oh, before I describe any further, this structure is 'growing' from a giant sandbox! There are stationary air cannons that shoot little foam balls (slightly smaller than a tennis ball but really light). And no indoor playground would be complete without inflatable jump houses.

Abigail had no interest in the sand! She really didn't like it, but she loved the jump house.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

On our way home from Pigeon Forge we stopped for a quick lunch. Abigail napped a good portion of the drive and we thought BK would be a decent enough place for her to stretch her legs and play a bit. We enjoyed two overly friendly siblings climbing and playing while we ate lunch, and Abigail enjoyed watching them and babbled at them. The climbing area is still a bit big for Abigail, she received some help from Daddy to get on the slide.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Abigail Loves Pancakes

Flapjacks, Red Rooster, Apple Barn, Old Mill, and Pancake Pantry are just a few of the breakfast restaurants you can find all around Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. And Abigail really enjoys some yummy pancakes! Whether they are banana pancakes, strawberry or blueberry, she likes them all. If you're wondering if I'm allowing, syrup...take a wild guess!

We had a great weekend in Pigeon Forge. Plenty of pictures and more video will be posted soon!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Skills

It's interesting when I take Abigail to the Pediatrician and the nurse asks me a bunch of questions. The questions seem completely random and/or silly to me at times, or very basic stuff I never realized was a skill she was supposed to learn. The skill that sticks out most in my memory is bashfulness. At Abigail's 6mo well visit, the nurse commented that she wasn't supposed to be bashful until 9mo...so simple, but a behavior that is tracked.

Recently, motor skills has been a topic of conversation among my mom's group. Different Pediatric offices seem to track skills in their own fashion. My office asks set questions for each well visit, while another office asks mom to review a form until they answer 'no' to five skills. The conversations made me wonder what upcoming questions might be at our next 15mo appointment, which (eek!) is this month! I found this wonderful chart below at BabyCenter.com.

RED - Abigail does.
GREEN & YELLOW - I have not started or attempted yet or encouraged, depending on the point specified.


Child's Age

Mastered Skills (most kids can do)

Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)

Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
13 monthsUses two words skillfully (e.g., "hi" and "bye")
Bends over and picks up an object
Enjoys gazing at his reflection
Holds out arm or leg to
help you dress him
Combines words and gestures to make needs known (A)
Rolls a ball back and forth
14 months Eats with fingers (B)
Empties containers of contents
Imitates others
Toddles well
Initiates games
Points to one body part when asked (C)
Responds to instructions (e.g., "give me a kiss")
Uses a spoon or fork (D)
Matches lids with appropriate containers (D)
Pushes and pulls toys while walking
15 monthsPlays with ball
Uses three words regularly
Walks backward (E)
Scribbles with a crayon (F)
Runs
• Adopts "no" as his favorite word (G)
"Helps" around the house (H)
Puts his fingers to his mouth and says "shhh" (I)
16 monthsTurns the pages of a book
Has temper tantrums when frustrated (A)
Becomes attached to a soft toy or other object (J)
Discovers the joy of climbing
Stacks three blocks
Uses spoon or fork
Learns the correct way to use common objects (e.g., a telephone) (K)
Takes off one piece of clothing by himself (L)
• Gets finicky about food (M)
Switches from two naps to one (N)
17 monthsUses six words regularly
Enjoys pretend games
Likes riding toys
Feeds doll
Speaks more clearly
Throws a ball underhand (O)
Dances to music
Sorts toys by color, shape, or size
Kicks ball forward (O)
18 months Will "read" board books on his own (P)
Scribbles well
• Strings two words together in phrases (A)
Brushes teeth with help (Q)
Stacks four blocks (R)
Throws a ball overhand (O)
• Takes toys apart and puts them back together
• Shows signs of
toilet training readiness (S)


(A) Combines words and gestures to make needs known., Has temper tantrums when frustrated. & Strings two words together in phrases. - It seems like yesterday when we were using Dunstan Baby Language to translate Abigail's cries. It has also been gratifying for Matt and I to see Abigail learning and using sign language. She picked up a few words quickly and her vocabulary continues to grow. While Abigail's frustrations turn into little tantrums, it's quite amusing to watch (I know, so wrong!). I'm not sure if one word and one sign count as stringing two 'words' together, or two signs back to back. (Example: Says "chez" then signs 'please'.)

(B) Eats with fingers. - She LOVES eating cheese, but it's so fun to watch her eat shredded cheese! She'll pick up a couple shreds using that wonderful pincer grasp and place them carefully in her mouth. It's funny when she finds one large shred, and she's then do it one at a time. Last Saturday, she actually fed her cousin, Gavin, some of shredded cheese!

(C) Points to one body part when asked. - Abigail can find eyes, nose, ears, tongue and belly button. It's so cute watching her look for her own belly button, because she'll pull up her shirt and poke out her belly. It's also cute when she sticks out her tongue when asked. For a while, when we asked where her eyes were, she would only blink her eyes instead of pointing to them.

(D) Uses a spoon or fork. & Matches lids with appropriate containers. - I'm going to have to bite the bullet and start letting her feed herself. She has been trying to put lids on containers, but I'll have to find her some kid-friendly containers for her to fine tune this talent.

(E) Walks backwards. - Another skill I didn't really think was a skill. Lately, she'll walk backwards into my lap when I'm sitting Indian-style. She's also been spinning around without encouragement.

(F) Scribbles with a crayon. - Abigail enjoys holding the crayons much more than putting them to paper. She has not figured out how to put pressure on the crayon, so the scribbling is very faint.

(G) Adopts "no" as his/her favorite word. - I try very carefully to not overuse "no" throughout the day. I will say "no ma'am" or "I don't think so" and "hot" or "dangerous" where appropriate. Abigail, like other toddlers, is so curious and I could be saying "no" all day. If I'm not saying "no" to Abigail, I'm saying it to Toby so Abigail does hear it. Thankfully, I have yet to hear it from Abigail's mouth!

(H) "Helps" around the house. - I'm not sure exactly what this means. Abigail will "help" us pull clothes out of the dirty and clean clothes baskets. Daddy loves when she pulls his folded boxers and undershirts out of the dresser (daddy doesn't always close the drawer all the way). She also will take a wipee and "clean clean". I don't believe any of this is Abigail thinking she's "helping", rather playing.

(I) Puts his fingers to his mouth and says "shhh". - Abigail demonstrated this talent on February 21 to her daddy at our small group. He was trying to quiet her down and was shocked when she shushed him!

(J) Becomes attached to a soft toy or other object. - I'm really not encouraging attachment. We've been pacifier free since late January. Abigail had her moments where a pacifier (or earplugs for me) would have been helpful but we pushed on. She hasn't shown any constant interest in any specific toy either. I honestly think I'm too forgetful and absentminded for this...we'll see how this plays out in upcoming months.

(K) Learns the correct way to use common objects (e.g., a telephone). - I still smile each time she picks up my cell phone, opens it, holds it up to her ear (or mine) and says "ah-lo." She also does fairly well pushing buttons on the remote at the television and holding her toy camera up to her face.

(L) Takes off one piece of clothing by himself/herself. - Abigail loved/loves taking her socks off. She's most proficient at taking her zip-up hoodies off. She will, over a bit of time, pull the zipper down then wiggle it off her arms. Occasionally, when her pants are too big around the waist, she'll fool with the waistband so that might be the next piece of clothing. It is really cute to watch her attempt to put her shoes on!

(M) Gets finicky about food. - This is a tough one. Abigail's eating habits seem to change regularly. Some days she seems to love something, then the next day she's not interested. Off the top of my head, I think meat is the only thing she consistently doesn't like. It's too chewy for her, but occasionally will eat in very tiny pieces.

(N) Switches from two naps to one. - This transition was SO difficult! At first this was much more difficult on her because I was putting her down for two naps a day and she would cry it out (CIO) every time! After almost a week of this, I asked my mom's group about it and they all told me their kids transferred to one nap around 12-13mo. Now it's much more difficult on me because not only is she down to one nap, she's also waking up 1.5-2hrs earlier each morning! I'm still adjusting to Abigail sleeping 4-5hours less each day, I feel a lot less productive!

(O) Throwing and kicking balls. - Matt has recently helped Abigail learn to throw. I'm not sure if she throws over hand or under hand; I haven't paid that much attention to it, not realizing it was a skill she should be learning. We also have a large ball (the diameter is maybe a foot and a half) and she'll roll it and kick it. She has also seen other children kick a ball, but this really isn't something I want to encourage just yet.

(P) Will "read" board books on his own. - Abigail enjoys picking out her own books, turning the pages and will babble to herself. She does have a long way to go, currently it only takes two page turns for the book to be over. She also babbles to herself when she plays with the lift-the-flap books.

(Q) Brushes teeth with help. - She showed interest in my toothbrush sometime in January so I bought her a toothbrush of her own and fluoride-free toothpaste. She does not like it when I help her scrub any of the eight teeth.

(R) Stacks four blocks. - Abigail and I have been stacking blocks a lot lately and she's much better at it than I expected. I flashback to Jenga when we stack, mostly because the blocks teeter so much. She also enjoys knocking the stacks over!

(S) Shows signs of toilet training readiness. - While I've enjoyed taking each day at a time, I am almost looking forward to potty training! I might have a completely different opinion when we're in the mix of it, but until then it's slightly exciting. I'm not even sure why, because I don't mind changing her diapers!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Abs & Evie

Abigail and I went over to the Cook Residence tonight. Matt's out of town and Adam was working late tonight, perfect opportunity for the moms to chat and the girls to play! Abs and Evie did have lots of fun playing, and not always with the real toys! One of their most favorite 'toys' of the evening were coasters (yes, the small flat frisbee looking things you place your drink on to help contain condensation). Not sure how this started, but I ran to get my camera as quick as I could!

The boo-boo was from hitting one of the bones of the couch. In normal drama princess fashion, the tears were turned off with a quick hug from mom. (Did you notice how Abigail turned around and backed into my lap? She's been doing that for a while, it's so cute!)
Overall we had a great night, just the girls!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tuesday Morning

Here I sit, it's Tuesday morning and I'm ready for my 2nd cup of coffee. Matt left this morning at 8am to head straight to the airport as the snow started to fall. I haven't been too excited for Matt's trip since Abs and I are stuck here at home. Not only are we home alone, we're without Toby and now the yard it beautifully white so we're wont be venturing away from the house. Today might be a really long day.

Abigail ate only half her breakfast then enjoyed playing with Cheerios. Yes, I said playing not eating and most of the Cheerios are now on my living room floor. While she wasn't shaking the Cheerios out of her snack cup, she kept wanting to sit on my lap and play a bit on the couch. I was looking up some upcoming events online for my mom's group and not too long ago Abigail actually fell asleep in my arms while I was typing away.
Abigail must have been really tired because this never happens, besides when she's feeling crummy. I didn't want to put her in her crib because she's so darn cute. Eventually, I did let her sleep in her room because my leg started falling asleep.

In transferring the picture from above from camera to computer, I realized I never uploaded pictures from a playdate last week or the video from yesterday!

Abigail and Sabrina always have fun playing! They enjoyed climbing in and out of the cart pictured below, and in and out of the baby swing. Sabrina would hold Abigail's hand, and Abs would get confused ans slightly frustrated with this. Sabrina's little sister, Christina was rolling all over the place and Abigail needs to learn to share better with Christina (Abs and Christina are the same school age). It's fun to see the girls playing and growing together!

Yesterday, we hosted a small playdate for our MOPS group. It was nice seeing Abigail interact with other kids so close to her age (all within months of each other). In hanging out with some of these kids lately, one little boy in particular has been a very bad example for Abigail because he loves climbing stairs. Abigail was taught to not climb our stairs. Beyond her climbing on the first stair once or twice, she normally stays clear of the stairs...until yesterday. She didn't realize I walked down the hallway to put some clothes in the dryer and managed to climb up to the 5th or 6th stair. When I saw her, I was disappointed and asked her to get down. She immediately started crying, the sobbing crying kind. Every time I asked her to get down, she started crying again. I had to grab my camera, while she didn't cry a lot once I started the video it still took her another minute and a half to obey.


I know what you're thinking, 'it's time to gate the stairs.' (My mother has be saying this for months.) I still do not want a gate though. We attend playdates and visit family that do not have gated stairs and she needs to know they are off limits regardless.

I cannot believe it's still snowing! The snowflakes had decreased in size and intensity for a while but are falling larger and faster again. Matt's flight was delayed, after they boarded the plane, so hopefully he'll have a good flight (esp since it's a long flight!). If you remember, it snowed on March 1st last year (see picture). The cold weather has me craving Potato Soup, but I don't have any potatoes and I'm sure not going to venture to the grocery store in this weather. I might have to treat myself to some stuffed crust pizza delivery tonight. Maybe Abigail and I will make it outside for some pictures when she wakes from her nap. It's going to be one long day of being stuck indoors without the anticipation of 'daddy's coming home.' I honestly don't know how military wives or even two of the families in our new small group 'survive' where the husband is out of town every M-F for business! I'm sure it's like everything else, it's something you get used to...but I'm sure glad that's not us. While I love spending my days with Abigail, it is a blessing that Matt arrives home every evening and we get to spend that time with him. (I don't think I've ever thought of it like that, as a blessing, before knowing these two families in my small group.) I'm already anxious for Matt's return Thursday night and for our little anniversary weekend getaway to Pigeon Forge this weekend!