Thursday, August 28, 2008

15 month check-up

Karis had her 15 month check-up yesterday and for t he first time, the doc was actually pleased with her weight gain! She weighed 19 pounds and 14 ounces, about a pound and a half gain in a month. So that was exciting, but unfortunately, she was 2 ounces short of the 20 pounds needed to turn her car seat around :( She'll probably have them by the end of next week but we were hoping to turn it around for tomorrow's trip home to see family. Oh, well. She is actually a pretty good traveler and entertains herself well in the car; we just knew she would have so much fun being able to see us and interact more. She was 31.25 inches long, which I wasn't surprised at because she has been able to reach everything on the counters with those long legs :) She was pretty much ahead of everything developimentally and the doc was impressed taht she could use her spoons o well. I declined the vaccines for this month to give me a little more time to reserach them and the doc didn't seem to have a problem with that. She was supposed to get the DTap which covers diptheria, a pretty much non-existent disease in our country, Tetnus, which is not too common in babies and has mercury in it which I don't like, and the whooping cough illness, which isn't fun but we could get through it. She was also supposed to get the HIB vaccine for a strand of meningitis but they were out of it anyways so I didn't even have to decide about that. I'm in the middle of a great book about vaccines and there is one more I want to read before deciding which ones (if any) to give her and the new baby. I've also decided not to go to any more well check-ups unless I decide she needs a shot. Why go every other month and waste my morning and pay money for them to tell me her height and weight when we can do that ourselves? I'm with her everyday and would know before they would if something was wrong with her. I feel pretty confident in recognizing if she is on target with developmental milestones because I worked in preschool and all ages of a daycare for so many years. So I really think I would know if she had a problem and if I didn't, my Mom sure would because she is a speech and language pathologist and part of her job is to test young kids to see if they are developing properly. So all that to say, no more check-ups unless I decide she needs a vaccine! Here are a couple of older pics I found on my computer of Karis playing with Daddy in the trees on campus.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sticker fun!

I got some free stickers in the mail and thought Karis might have fun playing with them. I tried to show her how to put them on paper and make a pretty picture, but I guess putting them on herself was a lot more fun!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Church at the beach!

We had a very different kind of Sunday today... our church family decided to gather at the beach! I guess that's one of the joys of having a small church family :) It really was so much fun. And although we didn't read the scripture or sing worship songs, I still felt edified by the body of Christ. Over the course of the day, we shared in most everything, from a story of God's faithfulness in the past week, to important prayer needs, to sunscreen and food, and to lots of fun! Mark and I were personally blessed when one of the families offered to watch Karis for us while we had fun playing beach volleyball with some other friends. Karis had a blast with all the extra attention and Mark and I enjoyed getting away for a half hour. We were so glad we made the effort to go and really wish that we didn't have to leave so early for Mark to go to work. We hope to go again with our church family and stay for a long time!

It took Karis a little while to get used to the sand again, but once she remembered how yummy it was and how she could find pretty shells, she was off and about and pretty much non-stop. She never did really get used to the waves, though, and clung ever so tightly to her daddy when he took her out into the water :) her cute chair from Nina and Papa came in handy during lunch time. Without it, I don't think she would have been able to stop playing long enough to eat :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

15 Months!

Yep, she's a big girl now! Such a joy to be around. I love my job as a stay at home Mama more than ever! She's grown in so many ways just in one month. She is always pointing at things and giving a slurred and ghetto version of "what's that?" She does the sign for "more" and "please" when she is really excited about something, whether it is food or a toy or a fun game. But don't try to make her say it -- she is ridiculously stubborn and would rather not have more than do it when asked, ha, ha. But I still do the sign to remind her every time and she does it a couple times a day when she is excited about something and thinks of it all by herself :) She is getting really good with her little toddler spoon and fork and would actually rather have something in in a bowl to use them with than finger food now! She can pretty much eat a bowl of thick oatmeal all by herself and today even managed to feed herself some thick, chunky soup!

She has grown a bunch this month and all her little summer play dresses are getting too short and showing off her bloomers. On Wednesday she goes for her 15 month check-up and I am curious to find out how tall she is because she can now reach all the counters and shelves. We have to be really careful now about what we leave near the edge of counters because she takes great joy in blindly reaching up and grabbing whatever she finds :) She does a great job with her shape sorters now -- she can pretty much always get the circles in without any help at all and most of the time she can get the squares and triangles in if she has enough patience to keep at it til she gets it right :) Pup-Pup is undoubtedly her best friend and they constantly chase each other all over the house and yard. Karis wants the puppy's attention every bit as badly as she wants ours! They wear me out because I still have to watch very closely as Pup-Pup is still in a very "nippy" stage. And because Karis loves to give Pup-Pup her sippy cup.... :)

Thankfully, she is still taking two good naps for me, although I wouldn't be surprised if she drops one by the end of next month. She stays up til 7pm most evenings now because her afternoon nap is a little later than it used to be. But we just play it by ear, depending on how tired she acts. Some nights she still goes down as early as 6:00 if its been a crazy day and my errands/appointments have messed up her nap schedule. Most mornings, she wakes up happy around 7am and will play in her crib for 30-45 min. We turned the monitor back on for a while when we were getting Pup-Pup used to his kennel because I was afraid she would wake Karis up with her howling. It was fun because then I could hear everything going on when she woke up: a ton of chatting, then I'd hear the paci go flying and "uh-oh," then a dolly would go crashing out of the crib and another "uh-oh," and so on, with a little singing and lots of indistinguishable chatting and "ooohhhs" here and there. It is so cute! We let her have a bunch of dolls and stuffed animals and a couple of books in her crib so that she can play when she wakes up. Oh, how she loves her stuffed animals! Its great for me because I have time to get myself together and take out the puppy before having to get Karis out of bed and combine their endless energy:)

Well you know I could go on forever about my sweet baby, but I guess this is too long a post already. I just love her so much!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Karis 's new purse!

Grandma and Papa brought Karis a pretty purse when they came to visit and she absolutely loves it! She carries it all over the house and puts everything possible in it and has so much fun being surprised to find it again a minute later :) Sorry all these pics are blurry; she was just running around the house non-stop, carrying her purse from room to room, and I couldn't get her to slow down enough to take a good pic. And as you can tell, Pup-pup loves her purse as well :) Although I can't say I blame her for grabbing it because Karis teases her like crazy. Karis will run right to the puppy and hold out her purse, trying to get the pup to follow her around. And then of course if Pup-Pup actually gets ahold of it and won't give it back, Karis gets upset :) You can also see the pretty purple bruise on Karis's cheek that she got when she fell into my grain barrel. fun, fun :)

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More fun with my cuz and Papa :)

Saturday, we went over to help my folks babysit Keaton again, and once again, it was so much fun to watch the two kids playing together! Thet get so excited when they see each other and karis just starts a squealing and running towards him with her arms out. It turns out that Karis is somewhat of an unintenional bully and Keaton just always looks confused by her. She loves Keaton, and for some reason kept trying to give him a hug (how sweet) and then pick him up (why?) And inevitably, she would lose her balance and body slam him to the ground. As you can tell by the picture, her cousin is a couple of pounds heavier and a couple of inches taller, so we totally didn't expect this and he got knocked pretty hard the first couple of times. So needless to say, we are going to have to work on being gentle before our new baby comes :) Other than that, they played great together and really had a blast. As you can tell by the last two pics, they loved climbing on Papa best of all!

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Since you asked.... vote in our new polls!

I don't usually do two posts in one day, but after Leah's comment I realized that I totally forgot to blog about my last OB appt. It was mainly because there wasn't much to tell, everything looked great; I'm finally starting to gain weight to get me back to where I need to be, the heartbeat sounded great, etc. But there is one important detail that you might like to know: our 20 week ultrasound is scheduled for Sept. 5 at 2:30!!! This is the ultrasound where we get really cool 4D pictures (does anyone have a scanner we can use after that day? :) and.... we can find out if we are having a girl or a boy!!!!!! They do the ultrasound regardless of whether you find out... they take all sorts of cool measurements and check on the baby's development. So are we going to find out? I must say that I want to -- I see all these summer clearance sales going on and I think of all the money I could save by buying little boy clothes for next summer if that is what we are having. But if its a girl, we really don't need anything, really, so do we really need to peek? Actually I just want to know because I have no patience and just want to know! But my sweet husband didn't want to find out with our first and lovingly let me have my way... and I told him then that he could decide the next time. So its up to him. And you all know how he likes to tease me.....:) So are we going to find out? I don't know!!! He says maybe some days, probably the next, ha,ha. So I guess you'll have to wait just like me til Sept. 5th to find out if we are going to find out! I just decided to do a poll in the meantime just for fun. So give us your vote as to whether we should find out. You've only got a couple of weeks to persuade him!!! And you can give us your best guess at what we will be having, too! Fun, fun.

And here is my sweet girl playing the piano. She loves making music!

Posted by Picasa

A new cousin and fun with Grandma and Papa!

Karis has a new cousin! My brother and sis-in-law had their baby yesterday morning! His name is Benjamin Cai Jones and he is so sweet! We'll not put pics up yet of him so we can give his parents time to brag first. But we do have some cute pics of Karis playing with her grandparents and Benjamin's older brother, Keaton :) In the first pic, they were learning to "share" with my cell phone :) Sorry for the milk dripping out of her mouth in the last pic; the plug in her sippy cup had fallen out and she got too much:)

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Great books on discipline!

One of my friends recently asked me about books I would recommend on discipline and as I e-mailed her back, I thought I might as well make a post out of it :) Discipline is a HUGE issue and I have definitely tried to read as much on it as possible. But it is still a huge struggle for us. Honestly, it seems to change each month. For a a while, Karis will listen so well and obey, and then all of a sudden, she starts disregarding our commands completely! It is amazing to us. I think part of it is because of the stages she goes through as she changes and grows, and another part is definitely our fault. I think that when she is doing well for the most part, we ease up a little and maybe let her get away with little things because she is doing so well overall... and then she starts to think she can get way with everything! So believe me when I say that we are still trying to figure it out and will welcome any comments giving us advice :) I think the main thing is to remember to be consistent, even when I am trying so hard to get something else done or when I'm too stinkin' tired to care :) Because if I ease up one day, I'll regret it the next!

But here are the best materials I have read that have helped me the most: (sorry about the different font types -- my copy and paste function is weird :)

Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp -- I read this book for school and it is just awesome! It really gets to the most important part about discipline -- reaching your child's heart. It is a must read for all parents!

Don't Make Me Count to Three: a Mom's Look at Heart-Oriented Discipline by Ginger Plowman -- this is perfect for busy Moms -- its a short, fun, and easy read and has all the basic concepts from Shepherding a Child's Heart, just not as in depth

Growing Kids God's Way: Biblical Ethics for Parenting -- by Ezzo: I had heard really good things about this study (my church back home used it for a parenting study group and other friends recommended it as well, so I was excited to find it at our school's share shop. I'm still working through it, but have learned a lot already. It starts with the basics of theology and salvation as a necessary foundation, but then goes into more practical stuff on how discipline works. Its more something to read on and off for a couple of months than a one-time read, but its good info.

For young babies: Most of the other books I mentioned really deal with the heart issues in a way that I can't quite yet do with Karis. Once she really starts talking and understanding more, than we will be able to discuss the why of discipline with her. Right now, we are just trying to get her to understand that we expect her to obey the very first time we give her a command. And the best I've read on disciplining young babies is found at THIS LINK.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pup-Pup update

Just in case you were wondering, Pup-Pup is doing great! She now sleeps all night long in her crate in our living room and doesn't stir until she hears Karis talking and squealing in her crib every morning. She has really gotten attached to us and we don't even have to put her on a leash anymore when we take her out to go to the bathroom. She stays right with us most of the time and always comes back to the door if we leave her out for a couple of minutes. She's hilarious because she loves going out in the morning and evening, but she hates going outside when it is hot. She'll just refuse to go outside of the shade; we have to pick her up and carry her, ha, ha. She's doing ok with housetraining, but its definitely a work in progress :) She's so much fun and Karis just has a blast with her. My favorite part is that she keeps my kitchen floor cleaner than I used to! I used to have to sweep the floor and scrub it after each time Karis ate, but now Pup-Pup cleans up every spill! (Don't worry, I definitely still sanitize my floor, but it sure is easier when there is no food to clean up all the time! :) Mark loves it when Pup-Pup gets really hyper and he will chase her all over the yard. Its been a lot of work, but definitely worth it. And she's still a houdini dog -- I tried putting her in her pen while taking our morning walk, but she chewed through her leash! So I finally decided just to let her walk with us and boy is that a funny sight! She's always tripping me or getting tangled up with the stroller :) I thought she would be stubborn and just plop down and refuse to walk, but she loves it! I guess she doesn't mind because we go so early and its still cool outside. So now we have a walking buddy :)
Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 11, 2008

Book review and 1st taste of ice cream :)

I just finished reading How To Raise A Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor by Robert Mendelsohn and I just wanted to recommend it to all my Mommy friends. I have some issues with it -- Even though he's a doctor, he's pretty redundant in his opposition to going to the doctors in most instances and isn't all that nice to the medical field. I have some friends and family in the medical field and don't believe that they are all just out to get your money :) However, I think this book is invaualble in helping Mommies recognize common childhood problems/illnesses and gives great advice on how to handle each one. He spends a chapter on everything, from headaches to tummy-aches to fevers to vaccines. I learned so much and feel so much more confident in handling most things at home. I especially appreciated the chapter on fevers because that is really the only symptom Karis has ever had in either of her two sicknesses. He reassured me in what I already knew, that a fever should be allowed to run its course because it is fighting the sickness. Its so hard not to pop the Tylenol, but I am determined next time to let nature take its course. He did also give tips on what to do with a high fever, but I'm not going to go into all he said; you'll have to read it yourself :) I also really learned a lot on his chapter on vaccines and I'm pretty much convinced to not do them at all! They just haven't been proven enough and so many cases of side effects are recorded. I'm still researching the topic but I'm definitely planning to delay the rest of Karis's shot for now and maybe not give them to her at all.

I made homemade shortcakes for strawberry shortcake the other night and we just ahd to let Karis have some s she had ice cream for the first time! She made some funny noises and surprised looks while eating it, but she did love it! I think she just couldn't figure out why it was so cold :) The bottom pic shows that she even thought it deserved her new wink -- she's figured out how to control those eye muscles and loves winking at her favorite people :)
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, August 10, 2008

no TV, but great music for toddlers!

As a former preschool teacher who has seen way too many kids in "another world" because of too much TV and video games, I decided early on not to let Karis watch TV, even those supposedly "educational" Baby Einstein videos. I just didn't want her to get into the habit of watching it. Since then, I've seen more and more info on the detriments of watching too much TV too early on. (Check out THIS STUDY done specifically on those educational videos). So we pretty much don't turn on the TV at all unless she is in bed. We aren't legalistic about it and its not a big deal if the TV is on when we go visiting friends and family. I just don't want her to get into the habit of watching it at home. I'm not going to go into all the all the other info I've read on overstimulation, delayed communication, etc because that's not the point of this post :)

Instead of spending time watching TV, Karis and I spend a lot of time reading and dancing and singing to CDs. I've talked a lot about how much we enjoy reading in other posts, so tonight I thought I'd share about some of our favorite CDs. Its really so much fun to sing and dance with her and she loves it as well! As soon as she sees me reaching for the CD player she runs over, often squealing, wanting me to pick her up and dance with her :) The older and more developed she gets, the funnier her dance moves get as well :) We usually start out with me swinging her around, bouncing and singing. We do a bunch of dips and spins together and then I put her down to dance herself. She does her squatting dance, her leaning side-to-side dance, and then just runs around, squealing and clapping. I usually try to get her to copy something I'm doing, as well, because that is good for her developmentally. Its really one of our very favorite things to do and it always works like a charm in the late afternoon when she is fussy and wanting dinner but its still in the oven. But the point of this post was to tell you about some great CDs that she absolutely loves! We listen to a lot of different ones, some religious and some just silly toddler songs. But the ones we like the most are the Steve Green "Hide 'Em In Your Heart" Praise and Worship For Kids. We have volumes 1 and 2. They are pure scripture put to music, and its not so childish that I can't enjoy it as well. In fact, my attitude has benefitted numerous times by the lyrics (scripture) running through my head :) So anyways, just thought I would share it. Please let me know if you know of any other great scripture kids CDs that Karis and I would enjoy!

Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 8, 2008

Gavin and Casey came to visit!

We were so thrilled to have our good friends from VA, Gavin and Casey, come to visit us this week! Karis had a blast playing with them and so did Pup-Pup :)

On Thursday, we went to play frisbee golf at a great course that is pretty much just trails in the woods. Karis thought it was one of the most fun times ever, and she walked around carrying our frisbees and any pinecones or leaves she found interesting. She also had her first bloody injury of her life... she was sitting on the park bench right beside us like she had done at several holes while waiting for everyone to play, and then all of a sudden, she slid through between the seat and back of the bench. I think she banged her chin on the seat before sliding through because she bit her lip horribly in 2 or 3 places and it bled profusely! We felt awful about it, but she was her happy self once again as soon as we took her to the playground area and she saw all the kids playing. Aside from that excitement, we had a fabulous time and hope to go back a again! And I definitely need to take Karis to the playground more often because she has so much fun playing with the other kids. I haven't done it so much because we have a great swing in our back yard, but the kids are what make her really squeal :)

Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 4, 2008

Lots of fun with Nina and Papa!

Nina and Papa came down this weekend and it was so much fun! They brought Karis this adorable pink and purple chair, which she absolutely loves! The cup holder is the best part. Karis will go looking for a cup just to put it in the cup holder! (She has been fascinated with cup holders for a while now because her tray on her high chair has one and when we taught her not to throw her cup like any good toddler, we taught her that it always goes in the cup holder :)

Karis also had a lot of fun with Papa and Daddys' watermelons! She was quited impressed and played with them for a long time until we cut them up :) She she got to hold her very own piece! She was quite excited about it, making "mmmmmm" noises until she ate the rind. I guess we forgot to tell her that you don't eat the green part :) She made a horrible face and quickly handed it to me!
Posted by Picasa