Archive | March 2013

Lucy and the great outdoors

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This weekend marked the end of my spring break with sweet Lucy, and we celebrated with a camping trip! Lucy’s first camping trip was when she was 9 months old and crawling; this time around she’s a full-on toddler! And when it comes to little tykes and the great outdoors, preparation is the name of the game! Here was our baby gear packing list:
– pack n play
– tent that would fit said pack n play, plus 2 adults and a dog
– extra clothes and dry socks
– travel high chair
– infant backpack carrier (we just upgraded to the Kid Comfort II by Deuter – worth every penny! More on this later)
– rain boots
– rain coat and pants (the pants are the best invention ever)
– snacks, snacks, snacks

We met up with the Sellers clan (Pap and “BeBe”, Aunts Caitie and Meg) for a night in Mammoth Cave National Park. We knew a cold, rainy night was in the forecast, so we made the best of it with lots of tarps and rope, and getting the food out early. One critical measure was to string a tarp up above our tents at an angle, creating a roof (see example in below picture). Even though it did end up raining all night starting around 8:30, we and our gear stayed dry!

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Lucy had a ball exploring her campsite. We brought some sand toys and a bucket, which she used to make a robust acorn collection that would make any squirrel swoon. Here she is with Aunt Meg, getting busy in the leaves.

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Another fun activity we did was to make “fossils” out of play-doh. Lucy doesn’t completely understand the concept yet, of course, but who cares! She loved flattening her play-doh, pressing it onto a leaf, then looking at the design left on the play-doh. She walked around proudly showing it off. One thing that helped us out on this trip is the Pap and BeBe happened to have brought a little activity table and chairs. Lucy ate her snacks there, worked on her fossils, and could use one of the little chairs around the campfire. Genius!

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As I mentioned, it rained. A lot. All night long. Luckily, we were safe and dry, which was key to having a happy baby. However, I didn’t sleep much because I was so worried Lucy was cold. I had dressed her in her regular pjs, a fleece sleeper on top of those, a fleece sleep sack on top of that, and I had covered her with an extra blanket. Still temps dropped that night to the 30s. Yikes! She really slept soundly until around 4 AM, when she woke up with icicle-like hands and ears. I ended up putting her in my sleeping bag and we (finally) fell back to sleep for another hour. Before the next trip, I’ll definitely be looking into warm kid sleeping bags! Regardless, Lucy was (literally) a happy camper. Here she is loving on Bear in the tent.

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The next day, the rain was gone but we woke to a very wet campsite! Here’s where those ingenius rain pants helped us out. Lucy could run, jump, and tumble in the wet leaves, and stay dry! I found these puppies on clearance at REI for $6. Happy Easter to me!

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After a nice hot breakfast at the Mammoth Cave restaurant (couldn’t get a fire going with all that wet wood!), Lucy, Bear, and I set off on our maiden voyage with our new carrier. Lucy enjoys this one, probably more than any carrier we’ve tried. She sits up high, has a great pillow to rest her head if she’s tired, and she is literally sitting on a seat, on my back. Here’s a shot of the whole thing, taken the night before we left when we were “practicing.”

20130401-091245.jpg She loves it and keeps asking for “ride! ride!” since we got it. Here are a couple of shots from our hike, to illustrate the comfort of the pack. I believe exactly one minute had passed between these two shots.

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I will say, after trekking around with an extra 25 pounds on your back, it isn’t effortless. But the beauty of that pack is that the weight rests on your hips and not your shoulders, so you don’t end up with a terrible back ache at the end of your hike. It also has a lot of extra pockets for snacks and other essentials. Here’s Lu and me after she woke up from a 90-min nap in her chariot.

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Overall, we had a blast! Lucy is completely in love with her aunts, Pap, and Bebe, and I’m so glad we made this trip happen! Here are a few more shots from the weekend:

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Happy Easter!

We had the privilege of attending an Easter egg hunt at Lucy’s school today. She’s been home with me all week while the schools are out for spring break, so she hasn’t seen her teachers or classmates since last Friday. Seeing how her little 16-month-old legs ran into her classroom like she owned the place, then went around hugging her teachers and classmates, made my heart swell with joy. This is one of those little reminders for me that working full-time and sending my child to daycare isn’t the worst thing in the world. She clearly loves school, along with her teachers and classmates. And she learns so much there and is able to socialize with other kids way more than she would do if she were with me all the time. As much as I hate not being able to be home with her, I know she’s happy and thriving there. And at the end of the day, she still is pretty ridiculously excited to see me and Whit. Here are some shots from the day’s events:

This is one of many (failed) attempts to get a shot of Lucy with the younger babies in the infant class.

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And here’s a shot of Lucy and Miss Victoria, one of her amazing teachers. Lucy is quite fond of her, and throughout the hunt today would drop her eggs to come and sit in Miss V’s lap.

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Here’s Lu and her pal Presley (P), trying to figure out a toy car while the babies looked on.

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Lucy, Zoe, and Avery doing some nice parallel play.

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Lucy loves the little babies. Here she is with her friend Bennett. He’s 8 months of sweetness and Lucy was really into snuggling him today. She also even shared her eggs with him (clearly she had missed her friends)!

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Here’s Lucy being toted around by her daddy.

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And finally, another shot of Miss V with Lucy and her friend Jasper. He’s a sweetheart!

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Lucy’s big weekend in Ohio

We got the privilege to spend the weekend with the family in Ohio this weekend, and boy did Lucy have a ball! It started out with an egg hunt with Great Aunt Jane, Mama, and Aunt Sara.This was her first, and she caught on super quick that the goal was to find eggs and put them in her basket. Easter egg hunting is like a toddler’s perfect game!

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She also enjoyed getting her Easter baskets!

20130325-211925.jpgExcept when she got a chicken that lit up. She was not a fan!

20130325-212012.jpg A trip to Youngs Jersey Dairy later that day with aunt Sara, Grammie, and Grandpa made everything better, though!

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20130325-212200.jpg Lucy is at an age now that, because she is so much more aware of her surroundings, she’s also grown more timid. She loved the baby cows at the petting farm, but the baby goats? “No ta ta!” (“no thank you” in Lucy speak). They came a little too close for comfort.

Other big developments in the life of Lucy include some pretty big language leaps! We are making huge progress on the potty, and we’ve been working on some new signs! She is now good with “more,” “please,” “no thank you,” “eat,” “milk,” and the big one that I’m getting a lot of mileage out of lately is “wait.” I’ve been working on this concept with her for a while, and will continue working for(ever) a long time, but I’ve been signing and saying “wait” when something she wants (like that steaming, too-hot-for-baby plate of scrambled eggs) isn’t ready yet. I say Lucy we’re waiting and sign “wait.” She has started signing “wait” back to me and (seems to) understand a bit better. It definitely has cut down on the impatient crying! Go, Lucy, go!

Then today, the big golden egg of the weekend happened! We got 6-8″ of snow in Ohio. After going to look at the “no” with Lucy, and failing miserably at letting her play in her little cotton pants and canvas shoes, I decided this girl needed a snow suit! Even if she doesn’t see snow like this again for years, she needed to experience it full bore. So we set off, found a snow suit (after searching at 6 places) and Lucy got her snow angel on! She was unsure at first, but warmed up after seeing her sweet cousins playing in it and her sweet dog running through it with total abandon. This was definitely a day to remember!

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20130325-213903.jpg To top off an already awesome weekend, we had a great visit with Oma and Opa, and got to hunt for more eggs!

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20130325-214010.jpg Once again, I’m headed back to Nashville this weekend with love and thankfulness in my heart for our incredible family. You guys are a good bunch! Lucy is so lucky!

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16-month Silliness

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Lucy has started to understand that she can do things to make people laugh. She stomps around the kitchen laughing, and wants you to laugh, too. She loves to put hats on daddy and cracks up, and today she figured out how to make this “fish face.” She just can’t hold it for long because she cracks herself up every time she does it. Haha! She’s a nut. It’s amazing to see the development of her brain taking place, and it’s so much fun!
She is also getting more imaginative. Today she wanted to push her Owl in her swing (her backyard friend – an owl that was in our garden to scare away pests). She also wants him to sit in her little house with her.

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These little moments make me fall in love with her even more. And when you’re 16 months, everything is new, everything is exciting. Give this girl a gravel driveway to make a rock collection and she is one happy camper. Keep on trekking, little Lucy!

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Food Trials

Before I even start this post, I have to say that we are blessed with a good eater. Lucy loves her food, and sometimes I wonder where she puts it all! One of my favorite things is when she puts both hands on her (formidable) belly and gladly says “ba-by!” This is her term for belly, like she’s super proud of the adult-sized portion of dinner she just ate! She has been slowly developing a habit, though, of throwing food when she’s done eating. If she’s done or doesn’t want something on her plate, she just casually chucks it over the side! “Oh, this pea? I don’t want it. I’ll just throw it overboard.” Sometimes toddler logic amazes me. Sooo, being a behavior analyst, we are not going to just accept this as developmental and keep going about our business! It makes me cringe just thinking about it (which is why, Lucy, being the daughter of a behavior analyst, is totally going to have to deal with that in therapy one day). But I digress. Anyway, here’s the thing with throwing food…if you react, it becomes a game. If you ignore it, it could just go on and on (because, in this case, I don’t think this particular behavior is for attention…she just literally doesn’t want that pesky pea on her plate anymore). So what to do? Well, we have decided to repurpose her cup holder as the “no thank you” spot. Today I worked with Lucy on putting things she didn’t want into her cup holder, saying “no ti ti” (Lucy’s version of no thank you). It worked like a charm! By the end of today, she was using much better manners! I looked over at snack time and she had sorted all her unwanted cheese into her cup holder, and at dinner she filled it with several pieces of potato, and a few carrots. The funny thing is, both times she went back and ate what she had previously discarded. Think of all the food that would have been wasted on the floor! We’ll keep working at it, but for now I’m counting this as a small win. These things need to be celebrated, right?

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15 months of fun

Lucy had her 15-month checkup today, and she is doing great! She weighs 22 lbs (51st percentile!) and is around 30″ tall (30th percentile). She’s a little on the short side but that’s ok…she makes up for it in personality. Here she is, chowing down on a whole apple while we waited for the doctor. This was the happy baby before we had to get 3 shots…

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