Thursday, July 31, 2008

Girl Power

We have one strong little girl. Strong in many ways. For one, she’s strong when it comes to pain tolerance, as she produced two teeth with ease, something that we really appreciate. That said she isn’t very attune to how to eat with them. When we sit down to have rice cereal meals, she sprays food all over her new feeding chair. Even with the mess, she looks like such a big girl sitting at the table with us.

Grace is also quite physically strong and uses her little fingers to pull hair and pinch the heck out of my arm. In fact, I had little baby finger-sized bruises on my arm for a bit. It’s hard to believe the girl with this sweet little face can do that.

Then there’s the strong voice. She likes to do a shrieky sound a lot, especially if she’s encouraged to do so. (Jay’s not a big fan of this sound, but I’m guilty of cheering her on : ) The other week she decided to shriek through the grocery store … just because. A sound Jay’s a bigger fan of is Grace’s hearty laugh. She’ll do it if you tickle her or amuse her in just the right way. For awhile it was by grabbing her knee or tickling under her chin. Then it was when she played tug with a burp cloth and most recently it was when Jay tickled under her arms.

Grace will make both the shriek and laugh sounds when she watches her favorite pal: Ella. She really likes Ella a great deal and that makes Kate very happy. Ella still isn’t totally chummy with Grace, but will lick her every now and then. She will also appease Grace by sitting while she pets her. She always looks like she’s just tolerating the little tyke. Grace will win her over soon enough. Once those Cheerios begin flying they’ll be the best of friends.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Online / In line

Part of the reason we moved to Menomonie (other than Jay's great job offer, of course) is because we realized we wanted a simpler, less hectic lifestyle, We are very happy with our choice. That's not to say there haven't been some growing pains during the past month. One is the lack of Internet until now. Jay and I are both people who have become accustomed to checking online for many things: email, weather radar and most recently, Facebook updates. When we had to resort to dial-up for a few week or so I decided to postpone most online activities. To be honest, it wasn't that bad, especially when you have a 5-month-old to keep you busy : ) That said, I still did a little dance when we got reconnected.

I became aware of the second smalltown adjustment when I was in the checkout line at the grocery store. The lines are definitely shorter so I thought I'd be just zipping in and out. But then I noticed that the cashier got into conversations with everyone that went through. This was something that I hadn’t seen in years. Definitely not what we’d experienced at Cub or even Byerly’s in the Twin Cities. At first I could feel myself getting frustrated, thinking “C’mon, c’mon. Let’s go!” But then I remembered that I was really not in any hurry to get anywhere and calmed down. I didn’t even flinch when each person in line in front of me pulled out their checkbooks to pay for their groceries. Again, something we rarely saw in the metro. Now I’m used to, and even appreciate, the slower pace.

So now I know you’re probably itching to know what’s new with Gracie. Well, a few things. She’s gotten a taste of some food – the wonderfully tasty rice cereal mixed with breastmilk. Mmmmm. When I try feeding Grace, Ella gets so excited and begs for the cereal (she does love rice and cereal so it makes sense : ) So, I look at her and say, “Ella, you don’t want any of this, it’s yucky.” Then I turn to Grace and say, “Want some of this? It’s so yummy.” So I’m lying to one of my girls. Grace hasn’t really gotten the hang of the swallowing thing yet, especially when she’s distracted by Ella as you can see here:

And now for some breaking news, Gracie’s first tooth is coming through. Tonight she wasn’t really interested in eating and so I put my finger on her lower gums and sure enough, a little bit of tooth was poking through. So far, she’s a teething trooper … but the night is still young.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Out with the Old, In with the New

We're officially living in Me-no-monie. (We're really residents of the town of Spring Brook, which I call a suburb : ) Everyone's adjusted well. Gracie is growing so much and doing new things every day. I don't see her much on the days I work. That's hard, but it makes me enjoy those late-night feedings more. Plus I get to spend much quality time four days a week and I can't ask for much more than that! We thought you'd enjoy seeing one of the fun activities she's taken up lately -- sucking on her foot.

Here's a little recap of our lifestyle changes:

New house: We love it! The great room is truely great. Everytime I walk into our living room/kitchen/dining area I smile.

New electronics: We "needed" (I should take the quotes off of that, because we did need these items) a new TV, new speakers, new satellite dish ... all of which make the place seem even more like home. The "local" television stations are still Mpls./St. Paul so we can watch our regular evening news and most importantly (to the head of our household) the Vikings games. The main issue we're struggling with is internet access (one of the reasons I haven't posted in so long). No broadband available, so we're going the wireless route right now and that's been inconsistent. It's a hard shift for a couple who's gotten very used to highspeed connections.

New neighbors: We haven't officially met our real neighbors, other than chatting with them for a minute here and there. But I'm talking about our other neighbors - the wildlife. There's a family of rabbits that we see a lot which I find to be very cute. But I know if I attempt to do any gardening they'll become not so cute. Then there's the tree frog that I found on our deck. I thought he had passed on to froggy heaven, but nope, he was just sleeping.

New commutes: Jay's got a nice drive to Eau Claire where he says he sees more cows than cars. I see my share of cars on my drive to St. Paul. It hasn't been too bad so far. Not sure I'll say that in winter though. The new iPod set up that Jay's promised me should help too.

New child care: We now have a nanny. We loved our in-home daycare in Apple Valley and were especially sad to leave that behind. But we had the idea (actually Jay's reminds me it was his idea) of hiring a nanny for the summer to help us transition into our new schedules. It's been working out very well. She happens loves doggies too so Ella's super happy.

Usually people are remiss in posting to a blog because there's nothing new to say. Not the case here! There's been so much to say this past month, but so little time to say it.